Is it important enough to pay for?
Fam Pract Manag. 2008 Sep-Oct;15(8):8.
Information overload being what it is, you may not have seen the message yet, but this will be your last issue of the print version of FPM unless you elect to buy a subscription. If you're an AAFP member, you may have had the impression that FPM was paid for by your dues. That's not really the case, though. In fact, FPM has always been supported by advertising, not by member dues. Now, however, the pharmaceutical industry is facing a variety of economic challenges that collectively have a direct impact on advertising revenue. In response, the Academy has had to develop an innovative business model for FPM.
The AAFP leadership is firmly committed to publishing the journal. They recognize its value to readers and the specialty. Subscription income is intended to help ensure that FPM remains widely available. It will help fund costs not fully supported by advertising – costs of publishing the print journal, to be sure, but also costs of maintaining the FPM Web site and offering a new, free “digital edition” developed to ensure that FPM is still available even to readers who can't afford to subscribe.
The digital edition is an electronic replica of the print journal delivered by e-mail and designed for reading on a computer screen. It may not be as portable as the print version, but it does have some advantages, such as live hyperlinks and the capability to include video or audio illustrations when appropriate. Moreover, it's available for the asking. Just go to http://www.aafp.org/fpm/digitalfpm to sign up.
If FPM is important to you, though, I hope you'll subscribe to the print version. You can do so at http://www.aafp.org/fpm/subscribe. AAFP members can subscribe for the discounted price of just $30 for one year (six issues). We'll certainly try to make it worth your investment. Our November/December issue, for instance, the first under the new arrangement, will be a special issue on coding. The print version will come with a new, enhanced version of FPM's “Pocket Guide to the Documentation Guidelines” for coding E/M services as well as our 2008–2009 ICD-9 reference card. And we'll continue to include extras with the print version as we develop ones we think you'll find useful. Whether you subscribe to the print journal, sign up for the digital edition, visit us on the Web or use all three, know that we'll continue to make FPM practical, authoritative, readable and focused on what you need to make your practice the best it can be.
Robert Edsall, Editor-in-Chief
Copyright © 2008 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
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