Creative Concretions, Pearls and Publication: The Philippine Journal of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery on its Thirtieth Year
“Who, on finding one pearl of great value,
went and sold all that he had and bought it.”1
The traditional thirtieth anniversary symbol is the pearl. Pearls are calcareous concretions of nacre formed through a biomineralization process incited by an irritant in the tissue of bivalve mollusks, producing concentric layers of crystal-form CaC03 (aragonite or calcite) and an organic binding agent, conchiolin.2,3 Interestingly, the modern thirtieth anniversary symbol is the diamond. Whether it is reflective of the fast-food generation penchant for instant gratification, or a commentary on their transient perspective on relations to fast-track the traditional diamond jubilee, the pearl teaches a lesson all its own. In contrast to the fiery metamorphosis of carbon to brilliant diamond, pearls are examples of slower creative processes overcoming potential destruction, or patiently making the best of a bad situation, demonstrated by the lowly oyster. As Federico Fellini put it, “All art is autobiographical; the pearl is the oyster's autobiography.”4
There is great value in painstakingly producing a work of art or craft, science or technology. The mentifacts and artifacts conceived and created by our minds and hands arise from our interactions with the geosphere, biosphere and sociosphere. Our research in these spheres reciprocally affects them in a continuing spiral of experience, reflection and expression as our findings are published and disseminated to others. Moreover, the elements that make up the components of our research and publication activity, including the materials we use and the methods by which they are sourced, used and disposed of, also affect these spheres of our existence, and affect us in return.5
Our journal is itself the product of countless hours of writing, editing and review by our authors, editors and reviewers. From initial manuscript submission, through research design and methodological evaluation and reference checks, repeated form and content editing and revision, to external review and more revisions, each manuscript is painstakingly shepherded through the editing and review process, to final copyediting, galley proofing and approval of accepted manuscripts. The entire process can take anywhere from two weeks (for well-written manuscripts compliant with Instructions to Authors and excellent reviewers) to two years (for more challenging manuscripts, with equally challenged authors or reviewers). The online Editorial Management System has increased the number of overseas submissions, reflected in our growing international contributions. Our publication is disseminated electronically and in print to subscribers and medical libraries and indexed on multiple databases. It is a pearl of great value to many who benefit from the knowledge and wisdom contained in its pages, and who in turn use their learning for the good of their colleagues, trainees, students, patients, families and communities.
It would not have been possible without the contributions of our authors, the dedication of our editors, the zeal of our reviewers, the support of our specialty society and the patronage of our readers. Thank you. We especially thank our Editorial Assistant (Weng) and our Layout (Virgie) and Artistic (Erika) Producers and Copywriter (Patti) for their strong, silent background support. Another milestone has been achieved. We are now thirty years old. Maraming Salamat Po!
Copyright transfer (all authors; where the work is not protected by a copyright act e.g. US federal employment at the time of manuscript preparation, and there is no copyright of which ownership can be transferred, a separate statement is hereby submitted by each concerned author). In consideration of the action taken by the Philippine Journal of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery in reviewing and editing this manuscript, I hereby assign, transfer and convey all rights, title and interest in the work, including copyright ownership, to the Philippine Society of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Inc. (PSOHNS) in the event that this work is published by the PSOHNS. In making this assignment of ownership, I understand that all accepted manuscripts become the permanent property of the PSOHNS and may not be published elsewhere without written permission from the PSOHNS unless shared under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license.