Vol. 1 Issue 1

Introducing The Bridge and an Invitation for Contributions
By Paul Roman

Technology transfer is the vehicle for moving evidence-based practices to substance abuse treatment settings.    This e-Journal, The Bridge, is being launched by the Addiction Technology Transfer Center National Office as a forum for transmitting new knowledge about technology transfer as well as offering a platform for discussing and debating a multitude of issues that surround technology transfer.

In this new journal, we hope to create a mechanism to transfer information about technology transfer.  A specific goal of this publication is to look at technology transfer in a broader context beyond substance abuse treatment.  Thus, we will try to bring to the readers information about the historical context of technology transfer and the range of unresolved issues that affect its implementation in a wide variety of settings.  In this quest, we will also be looking at research that has specific implications for adaptations of technology transfer techniques in substance abuse treatment.   We will also consider what technology transfer techniques qualify as evidence-based practices.

No one working in the substance abuse area can be unaware of the evidence-based practice movement that has been so prominent during the past decade.  What may not be so well known is that concerns about increasing the efficacy and efficiency of professional service delivery goes far beyond substance abuse treatment occupations and professions.  In this publication, we will look across a variety of organizational applications of technology transfer, highlighting what appear to be their unique problems, and often discovering that these problems have unique and overlooked application to substance abuse treatment.  We will also pursue opportunities to learn about technology transfer in nations other than the United States.

- Meet the Editor -

The editor of this new journal is Paul M.  Roman, Distinguished Research Professor of Sociology at the University of Georgia.  Professor Roman has spent most of his 40-plus year career researching a range of aspects of health service delivery.  During his first 20 years, he was mostly concerned with the adoption and implementation of employee assistance programs to deal with substance abuse problems and the workplace. 

Over the past decade, he and his colleagues at the University of Georgia have intensively focused on the adoption of innovative treatment and managerial practices in substance abuse treatment.  Their research, supported primarily by the National Institutes of Health, is focused across large samples of treatment programs in the United States, representing a variety of specialty interest: for-profit programs, not-for-profit programs, publicly funded programs, therapeutic communities, methadone maintenance programs, and the spectrum of programs participating in the Clinical Trials Network funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.  In all of their research, the team has paid particular attention to the orientations in attitude of substance abuse counselors.  Most recently the research is also involved an ongoing evaluation of the Advancing Recovery Initiative sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

- Submit Your Thoughts -

Professor Roman will be providing a backbone of materials for each issue of The Bridge, and he has prepared all of the materials that appear in this first issue.   We hope that this will change quickly, and we urge you to consider submitting your thoughts and ideas to set the stage for their inclusion in some form in future issues of The Bridge. 

We envision at least four types of contributions to The Bridge from our readers:

  1. If you have prepared a manuscript that has already been published in a referred research journal and would like to provide a summary of its implications for technology transfer for publication in The Bridge, it would be most welcome for consideration. 

  2. If you have a core of ideas that you hope to move toward a published manuscript, The Bridge may be the appropriate forum for getting feedback on your ideas.  However, we will not include requests for lists of published literature since there are many other mechanisms that serve that need.

  3. We want to experiment with publishing “cases” of several types of technology transfer:  Stories of unexpected success, stories of problems, stories of dilemmas, and stories of disappointments.  The model we would like to eventually follow is the “case” that is widely used in business school education and publishing.   We do not intend to become overly elaborate, since some of the business school “cases” are worked on for months before they are either abandoned or unveiled. 

    - What we are looking for are descriptions of technology transfer that are out of the ordinary and thus of interest to many people.

    - Cases will definitely be edited, and there will be exchange between the authors and The Bridge as the idea progresses.  Thus a submission can be quite brief at the beginning but will grow as details and descriptive materials are added.

    - As this experiment unfolds, it may be that The Bridge will invite commentary from several people in the field, again a pattern followed in many management education “cases,” and which is bring used to excellent effect in the NIDA publication, Addiction Science and Clinical Practice

  4. A final type of possible submission is an opinion or debate piece.  There may be something about technology transfer that has aroused a strong set of ideas or opinions on your part that you would like to share.  Also, and this is especially true of materials in this first issue, we want to get your reactions and opinions about what is presented in The Bridge.

Any publication of this sort requires some ground rules, but we are going to develop those as we go along.  The key to the success of this endeavor is your interest and participation.

Please feel free to contact Professor Roman at proman@uga.edu.  Please put The Bridge in the subject line of your e-mail so that the intent of your communication is clear.  We hope to hear from you.

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