Tai Pong Lam
Dr Lam is currently looking at how people with respiratory infections are looked after in a primary care setting. In addition, he is interested in the scholarship of teaching and learning, both for undergraduates and postgraduates.
What prompted you to submit a paper to a BioMed Central journal?
The article that I submitted to BioMed Central looked at the health effects of Chinese patients with low literacy, which should be of interest to healthcare workers all over the world. BioMed Central provided the best channel for me to disseminate this information because it has an international readership. At the same time my article is easily accessible, particularly by those who reside in less affluent countries, as it can be accessed freely on the Internet, which is now available in most parts of the world.
What was your assessment of the electronic submission and peer review process?
The speed and certainty of the documents being received were the two most impressive elements. The review process was efficient. Once accepted, the almost instant publication was just phenomenal.
Throughout the submission and review processes we received immediate acknowledgments from the journal that our documents had been received. This is a big contrast to the slow pace of movement of traditional journals where you submit a hard copy of your manuscript, you don't know whether this has been received and you might not hear anything for up to half a year. Very often, you wonder if the manuscript has been lost somewhere along its path. By the time you have to revise the paper, the data and references seem so old and the publication may even have become irrelevant to the rapidly changing world that we are in.
What do you think you gained from publishing in an open access journal?
The degree of exposure is perhaps the best thing with an open access journal. You have got the whole world!