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Dermatology Online Journal

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(11a) Comments from Phil

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(11a) Editorial Comment

Welcome to issue number 2 of the Dermatology Online Journal in 1997. This issue marks several changes. One of the early dreams of the Journal was simultaneous publishing in multiple languages. The dream is realized in this issue, with the addition of simultaneous Spanish and Portuguese translations. We welcome Drs. Ignacio Doval and George Leal and their colleagues and thank them for their efforts and interest. Is this the first medical journal to be published online simultaneously in three languages? We plan to expand the translations as the Journal grows.
Also new is the report from the Medical Dermatology Society and the Internet Dermatology Society. We welcome the participation of these two new, growing groups, and look forward to their participation in future issues.

In addition, Claire Haycox continues her series of reviews of multimedia educational dermatology works and has initiated a table of comparisons as reviews continue. We have accrued several other pieces for future issues. Please recommend CD-ROM, computer-based tutorials, VCR tapes or whatever you encounter. The book reviews will also continue; again, please state your preference.

Skin Cap had an impact on all of us this year. From miracle drug to sham, its rise was almost as dramatic as its fall. The article by Crutchfield, Lewis and Zelickson, published here earlier this year has drawn our first flurry of letters. Yes, we are angry at being deceived by the manufacturer. None the less, one must wonder what in the preparation makes it appear so much more effective than its ingredients in other bases. Is Skin Cap more effective than other topicals with similar ingredients? Conventional double-blind trails are lacking despite the testimonials. The letters are a welcome addition to the Journal. One unwelcome accompaniment to the Skin Cap scenario was the realization this summer that parts of the article by Crutchfield, Lewis and Zelickson were taken verbatim from a similar article published by the same authors in the Journal of Geriatric Dermatology (5:21-24, 1997). No journal appreciates duplicate publication, not even a fledgling journal in a new medium such as ours. As stated in the instructions to authors, "Information that has been published or is being considered for publication elsewhere will not be accepted." The article (vol 3, no 1, 4) has been marked as a duplicate publication on the Dermatology Online Journal, one of the advantages of electronic publishing.

Please join us for this issue. Your comments will be appreciated.

Phil Fleckman, M.D. Chief Editor