Joses M Kirigia
Joses M Kirigia works with the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa as a Regional Advisor for Health Economics. Before joining WHO he was a Senior Lecturer and Coordinator of a Health Economics Masters Program at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
He is interested in the economic evaluation of health care, the technical efficiency analysis of hospitals and health centers, the economic burden of public health problems, and the demand/choice analysis of public health care.
What prompted you to submit a manuscript to one of BioMed Central's open access journals?
For those of us whose job satisfaction and mobility greatly depends on published output, we do not have the luxury of waiting for one year or longer to get feedback from journal editors. Thus, when I discovered BioMed Central's website accidentally while browsing the Internet, and realized that it is possible to have articles peer reviewed within a period of less than eight weeks, I was excited, but skeptical. However, when we submitted manuscripts to BioMed Central's journals, we quickly realized that our skepticism was unfounded.
What was your assessment of the electronic submission and peer review process?
I found the electronic submission to be extremely convenient but also cost-effective. This process actually saved us the money that we would have used on DHL or postage. With the weak postage systems in many developing countries, there is no certainty that the manuscript will arrive at its intended destination and, if it does, that it will get there on time. However, after we submitted manuscripts electronically we received acknowledgement of receipt within a day or two.
I found the open peer-review process to be rigorous and efficient. Last year we submitted five manuscripts to different BioMed Central journals. Within a period of four weeks we had received the peer reviewers' comments and suggestions. Two of the manuscripts were rejected, but the comments and suggestions were very useful for use in rewriting these manuscripts. The remaining three were accepted after some revisions.
What do you think you gained from publishing in an open access journal?
I gained a number of things from publishing in BioMed Central's open access journals:
- Timely receipt of peer reviewers' comments and editors' decisions;
- Timely publication of articles once accepted;
- The ease of archiving and distributing the electronic published articles to colleagues and friends via email or by referring them to the BioMed Central website;
- The satisfaction of knowing that I would not go into my grave pregnant with ideas that were never published.
The latter is very important, especially in Africa where the publishing culture has not taken root. When a professional dies, a library of ideas, innovations, inventions, and knowledge is often completely lost. Open access journals are crucial not only in reducing the permanent loss of such knowledge, but also in improving access for those living and working in resource-poor settings. These journals are making an immense contribution towards bridging the knowledge-gap between economically rich and poor countries.