Frequently asked questions

For the sake of brevity, we refer hereafter to OSEHR Technical Journal as "OTJ".

Is OTJ an Academic Journal?

No! OTJ is not an academic journal. OTJ is a technical journal for a "community of practice". This means that articles follow the style of "technical reports", and emphasize the practical aspects of developing, testing and deploying software for management of Electronic Health Records. This is a publication for software developers by software developers. The prototypical successful article in OTJ will be written by an OSEHR developer and will describe the practical implementation of a solution to overcome an existing problem or limitation with OSEHR. The article is intended for other OSEHR developers who will find such new software implementation to be useful.

Does my OTJ submission have to use the OSEHR software?

NO! The software discussed in your technical paper does not have to use OSEHR. It could be based on any other open-source package. Your paper should somehow add to the OSEHR open-source community by providing code, application details, and lessons learned. For example, an article on the Linux Kernel, per se, is not appropriate for OTJ, while an article on how to make OSEHR take advantage of some features of the Linux Kernel is certainly a good fit for OTJ.

Your submission should include your full-length paper (we suggest 4-5 pages, but they can be longer or shorter as you see fit). Your submission must also include associated presentation materials, data, results, and source code.

Does my OTJ submission have to include open-source code and data?

Yes !, we expect that your paper will focus on open-source (how you used it, how others can benefit from what you have done). The community reviews the papers, and it is important to keep the community in mind when you write your papers. The community wants to benefit from reading your paper...if not via code, then via lessons learned that apply to their work.

What should I do to submit my additional material to the OTJ?

The OTJ typically has one and only one "issue" accepting submissions at any time. Once you've created your login on the OTJ website, just browse to the "Submit a new publication", click on "submit" in the right-hand column of the issue of interest, and then answer the questions and upload your paper. Some random, related notes:

Oh great webmaster, please tell me more about submissions and reviews... :)

Each OTJ submission is made immediately available online, since OTJ is a web-based e-journal. More specifically, the reviews and your submission will be available to the public and will be indexed using a digital library "handle." More information on our digital library system and handles is at .

What if people don't like my submission, can I withdraw it?

Even better than withdrawing your submission - you can improve it! We welcome revisions at any time. Your submission is a dynamic entity - if it goes well, you can add more details. If people don't "get it", you can clarify the important points. Just follow the handle address to your paper, press edit, and upload the improved version of your paper. Please, however, do not delete the old version. People can learn from the steps you took to reach that now highly regarded new version.... Learning from other's mishaps is very important in communities of practice, particularly in the domain of medical records.

Paper deadline is in X weeks, why should I submit now?

Since the OTJ uses a fully electronic submission process, it is not surprising to see that most papers are submitted on the last day possible day, close to midnight. We always build enough time into the process for effective reviews to be received by the paper selection date; however, since reviews can happen at any time, you might want to consider submitting your paper early. In that way, people will have even more time to read and provide positive comments on your paper. The choice is yours...

What/who created the OTJ?

The original concept of the OTJ was developed by the Insight Toolkit community ( ) , and because it proved to be so successful with that community, the same model was adopted by the OSEHR Custodial Agent ( as one of the main venues for driving innovation into the OSEHR community of practice.

Systems behind the OTJ

The OTJ submissions are indexed and archived using digital library system that we call MIDAS. The OTJ submission system was implemented by Julien Jomier with contributions from Stephen Aylward, and Zack Galbreath. The Insight Software Consortium website was designed and implemented by Julien and Matthieu Jomier using PhpNuke. Several custom modules were developed for the software and data review process. Management of OTJ is provided by the OSEHR Custodial Agent.

What about Copyright and Licensing?

OTJ is committed to enabling the sharing of knowledge and information with minimum restrictions. Therefore, OTJ has adopted the Open Access publishing model, in which authors (or their employers) retain the copyright of their technical reports, and license them to the community at large, under the Creative Commons by Attribution License 3.0. (

In this way, authors are able to reuse their materials in any way they want, and readers are allowed (and encouraged) to further copy and disseminate the articles to reach a wider audience. Readers are free to download articles, email them to friends and colleagues, posting them in other web sites, copying material for reuse in other articles, blogs, and forums, with the sole condition of giving the due credit to the original authors.

Is OTJ distributed in printed version?

No. Some of the key advantages of OTJ derive from the fact that it is not subject to the limitations of the printed press. OTJ is at its core an online publication. However, given the Open Access models adopted by OTJ, you are always free to download the articles and print them for wider distribution. You are also allowed and encouraged to sell such printed versions as a service to the larger OSEHR community (as long as you credit the original authors). The goal of OTJ is to achieve maximum distribution of the content to serve the innovation needs of the OSHER community. Therefore we embrace the most agile methods for distributing information that are available to us today.

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