As previously outlined in an editorial published in the June 2021 issue of the Journal1, there will be a transition to exclusive online publication of the ANZ Journal of Surgery in 2022. So, the final issue of the Journal has now been printed and distributed.

Since 1931, there has been an uninterrupted publication of 91 volumes containing a total of 636 issues, initially at three issues per year rising to a peak of 12 issues per year, and now at 10 issues per year. There have been six different cover designs over this period.

There will be significant sustainability and environmental benefits associated with a wholly digital publication. Currently 16 million pages are printed annually and 85,000 copies, each wrapped in plastic, and shipped to readers from the printers. In addition, our publisher, Wiley, has committed to planting a tree for every print copy saved.

Many readers already access current or archived articles in each issue of the journal online at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) website  via the library, both in HTML and PDF formats. This will not change. Access may also be achieved through hospital, university, or other institutional subscriptions. Wiley is currently exploring the possibility of publishing each full issue as a PDF or as a flipbook.

Regular email alerts containing issue highlights will be provided. An electronic table of contents (eTOC) for each issue will continue to be available through the RACS library. Fellows, Trainees and specialist international medical graduates can set up an individual customised alert by visiting the Wiley Online website. The Journal may also be read on the Wiley App available from the App Store or Google Store. It is hoped that the transition to an exclusive digital format will be smooth.

The Journal will continue to publish high quality articles for all surgery and for those with specialty interests.  An improved article submission system will soon be introduced, and the overall efficiency of article publication will be enhanced. The incorporation of videos, photo galleries and sound bites to complement written submissions will be encouraged. Additional refinements are under consideration to further optimise the contributor and reader experience.

Julian A. Smith, MBMS, MSurgEd, FRACS Editor-in-Chief
Department of Surgery, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

1 Smith JA, Malisano LP. ANZ Journal of Surgery: soon to make the shift from print to digital publishing. ANZ J Surg 2021;91:1051.