More and more public health related journals are expanding their online universes with blogs. Eg. BMJ and PLoS have blogs associated to their journals. Now one of the smaller journals of Public Health has also started a blog. The International Journal of Public Health’s blog is made as a joint venture with the Swiss School of Public Health +.
The blog aims to promote debate around current public health issues and articles published in IJPH and to bring together public health research and clinical practice. The idea behind it has been double:
- to provide a discussion platform for quick and direct exchange; and
- to put this discussion in an open space so that interested public health people from various fields can follow it and make contributions.
The blog seems to be populated with new posts quite regularly. Mostly the posts work as advertisement of newly published articles in International Journal of Public Health or events at the Swiss School of Public Health +. Almost all the posts end with a question, inviting the readers to comment, share ideas, thoughts and critic, such as:
“What do you think about this study? What could such results mean for Public Health policies?” or “We hope you find these articles useful! What other methodological articles would you like to see in IJPH?”
So far the comments section has not been used much. Whether this is due to lack of interest in commenting or inawareness of the blog is difficult to say as the blog is still quite new, and only was launched early in 2011.
Creating a open commenting culture is perhaps also just something that takes time…