Teaching is a core part of the practice of medicine. Whether in a formal university setting geared to medical students or, less formally at the bedside or at the bench, this is an integral part of all healthcare professionals (not only academics!) and proper material is of utmost importance.
It is well known that learning is moving from traditional (and sometimes expensive) “textbooks” to short bites taken here and there from the web, including very unconventional sources (e.g. YouTube and other social networks). However, this material is NOT peer reviewed, there is no guarantee of the quality and, most importantly, the presence of erroneous, outdated and even malicious information might be misleading and possibly threatening research quality and patients’ care.
Usually, systematic and narrative reviews published in peer-reviewed journals represent a trusted source of updated information. However, the ever increasing trend toward niche specialization means that even the typical narrative reviews of specific topics are rather difficult to read and digest unless the reader is indeed a specialist in that field.
In light of the mission of AboutOpen to facilitate transfer of knowledge (1) we are keen to introduce an innovative Review article type, entitled “How to …”, which aims to provide a literature overview on a given topic, but with the specific goal of being educationally useful for the colleagues still in training or, more in general, for the professionals who are not specialists of the topic under review.
The goal of these “How to …” review articles is to provide state-of-the-art-material, which is fine-tuned to be educational, but at the same time fulfills the standard of quality required by a scientific publication (e.g. editorial assessment, peer review, professional copyediting and typesetting).
We hope that these reviews will make the transferring of knowledge outside the academic world easier. While inviting key authors to write those reviews we will encourage submission of accompanying material, such as short videos, to increase the use of the material. We will also coordinate with other AboutOpen Section Editors to make sure that the scope of these “How to …” reviews encompasses a growing number of topics.
We hope that the readers of AboutOpen will appreciate this new initiative and look forward their feedback.
Conflict of interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Financial support: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.