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In reply: is it time for a trans-Tasman dietetics journal?

To the Editor: I was pleased to read the letter by Dr Tim Green and Helen Wallwork in the June 2004 issue of Nutrition & Dietetics. I agree with them that dietitians (and nutritionists) in our two countries should put all our effort into the one journal with the best chance of surviving in the very tough modern world for specialised scientific journals.

* Because of the internet, even the biggest journals are struggling. The Lancet now belongs to Elsevier (a Netherlands company) and the BMJ has given up its book publishing, now taken over by Blackwells.

* The former Australian Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics, now Nutrition & Dietetics, is a remarkably successful journal. I am on the editorial board of this journal and of its British counterpart (Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics). The Australian journal is better looking and often more interesting.

* A couple of years ago the DAA Board changed the journal's name to Nutrition & Dietetics because they hope and expect to publish papers from beyond Australia. There are Editorial Board members who live in four regional countries, including New Zealand.

* In the June 2004 issue of Nutrition & Dietetics there is an editorial by New Zealand writers (with material important for Australian nutrition as well); a book review by a New Zealander and a letter to the editor from New Zealand.

* The textbook used by dietetics students in New Zealand and Australia is a joint NZ/Australian publication.

All that would need to be done to make the Green/Wallwork proposal a reality is for the University of Otago Department of Human Nutrition (the largest in the southern hemisphere) to send more of its research of Australasian interest to Nutrition & Dietetics. In due course the subtitle of the journal on the cover could, with negotiation, be lengthened to (something like) Journal of Australian and New Zealand Dietetics Associations (with detailed wording for DAA and NZDA on the title page inside).

It would not be difficult to increase the number of editorial board members living in New Zealand from the present one to two or more, certaining adding someone in the North Island.

I believe Nutrition & Dietetics is ready for more New Zealand input--and that it will be the trans-Tasman dietetics journal sooner rather than later.

The idea of local national supplements once a year is brilliant.

Professor Stewart Truswell, AO

Book Review Editor, Nutrition & Dietetics

Honorary Member DAA
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Title Annotation:Letters to the Editor
Author:Truswell, Professor Stewart
Publication:Nutrition & Dietetics: The Journal of the Dietitians Association of Australia
Geographic Code:8NEWZ
Date:Sep 1, 2004
Words:398
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