First of all I would like to thank all authors and contributors for their complimentary work. They have spent many hours beside their professional occupation in the evenings, at weekends and holidays. It might be sure, that their families were not always happy about this additional social engagement. Without this collaborative work it would never have been possible to realize the Textbook concept. Especially all members of the Editorial Board, who are responsible for comprehensive main chapters, agreed to an ongoing large commitment. In recent meetings at international congresses authors and editors discussed and developed every singular aspect of this really "living" book.
Martin Langer agreed to take care for all the new drawings, which will be necessary in the chapters. I am not sure whether he realized the great effort in the moment of his first support. His contributions under the conditions of Open Access are outstanding. I also thank Dorothea Scheurlen for developing the logo, which represents the idea of the book clearly.
The idea of the Living Textbook of Hand Surgery was substantially supported by Ulrich Mennen, President of the IFSSH at this time. With his engagement and the platform at the IFSSH-Ezine the Textbook became well-known in the first developmental steps. Raja Sabapathy, congress president at the IFSSH-Congress in Delhi 2013, gave us the opportunity to provide the book and the idea behind. Also Marc Garcia-Elias, now Secretary General of the IFSSH, with his great experience as author and editor, encouraged us and took responsibility for the most comprehensive main chapter. Furthermore we have to thank the IFSSH council to allow us to publish all Committee Reports.
Thank you to all members and founding members of "Handchirurgie Weltweit e.V.", the non-profit organization behind the projects, which was founded to realize financial support and cooperation with German Medical Science.
The editorial development and care in such a new project implies great effort and engagement for the whole team at German Medical Science, publisher of the book. In all phases of the project Ulrich Korwitz, Director of ZB MED in Cologne, endorsed the Living Handbooks pilot as a challenge for his team. Hans Reinauer, honorary president of the AWMF (Association of the Scientific Medical Societies in Germany), believed in the success of our work from the first second and cleared the way for the project.
My husband Rolf Winands-Böttcher was the one to precise the dream of hand surgical knowledge for everybody based on the concept of Open Educational Resources OER. His ideas and imperturbable confidence were my motor in the last three years. It is our common purpose to develop this book on the best possible scientific and technical level.
At least I will introduce the inner circle of the Living Handbook family. Anita Eppelin at ZB MED and Wolfgang Müller at GMS gGmbH/AWMF developed the concept together with us and were my sounding board starting in May 2011. Without Wolfgang Müller this project would never have started. And Anita Eppelin was our first and ongoing coordinator and manager. Her work is continued by Ursula Arning, who managed all difficulties in the last months and especially in the software development process with friendly but certain persistence. She guides the editorial office with Jana Neubert, Christian Kurrat, Katja Pletsch, Simone Haas and Yvette Martin, who are engaged members of the Living Handbook family.
Now, at time of the Alpha Version with a first scientific subchapter, David Warwick and his team of authors earn respect and gratitude for their exemplary chapters. They give us the confidence that the idea of comprehensive and scientific knowledge for everybody is not only a vision but feasible to become reality.
As shown below many people collaborate constantly to realize the Living Textbook of Hand Surgery crossing borders around the world for a better knowledge and education in hand surgery without restrictions.
Sincere thanks are given to them all!
"Ideas won't keep. Something must be done with them."
Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947), English mathematician and philosopher