Path of Progress: Report of an Eventful Year for the Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
Sandeep B Bavdekar, DR Sahu
Journal of Postgraduate Medicine, Seth G. S. Medical College and K. E. M. Hospital, Parel, Mumbai, India
Sandeep B Bavdekar
Journal of Postgraduate Medicine, Seth G. S. Medical College and K. E. M. Hospital, Parel, Mumbai
|How to cite this article:|
Bavdekar SB, Sahu D R. Path of Progress: Report of an Eventful Year for the Journal of Postgraduate Medicine.J Postgrad Med 2005;51:5-8
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Bavdekar SB, Sahu D R. Path of Progress: Report of an Eventful Year for the Journal of Postgraduate Medicine. J Postgrad Med [serial online] 2005 [cited 2023 Oct 1 ];51:5-8
Available from: https://www.jpgmonline.com/text.asp?2005/51/1/5/14014
The readers, contributors and reviewers make things happen for a journal and are primarily responsible for the progress of a journal. It is, therefore, desirable that editors provide a periodic review of the journal's functioning. This editorial team has begun the practice of providing an annual report of the steps taken for improving the content and presentation of the journal and for increasing the efficiency in handling manuscripts. Such communication also provides us with an opportunity to discuss about where the journal stands today and where it is headed.
The Golden Jubilee Year and 'Golden' Road to Open Access
The year 2004 was an eventful year for the journal. The Journal of Postgraduate Medicine (JPGM) started its golden jubilee celebrations with an international conference, the JPGM GoldCon, on medical writing, editing and publishing. A detailed discussion on the issue of open access was one of the hallmarks of the conference. JPGM has long been committed to the concept of allowing everyone free access to its contents and it can be considered as one of the pioneers in evolving and implementing this notion. When it started executing this idea by developing a website, doubts were expressed about its feasibility and sustainability. The experiment has been immensely successful. The journal has grown in its reach, its popularity and its depth as can be seen from the upsurge in the number of submissions to the Journal [Figure:1], rising citations received by published articles [Table:1], [Table:2] and growing numbers of web-site visitors [Figure:2]. JPGM has shown that it is possible for journals in developing countries to implement, adhere to and sustain open access policies without losing on the paid subscriptions to the print version. More important, for journals with a small print circulation, open access acts as a boon allowing them to reach scientists in countries far and wide. There are additional gains too. By March 2005, close to 80% of the articles published in JPGM in the year 2002 (excluding Letters to editor and Images), have been cited by scientists. In addition, the number of citations received by the articles published in the journal has increased manifold [Table:1]. The articles published in the journal are being quoted in the year of publication itself more frequently than ever before [Table:2]. These are encouraging signs for smaller journals from developing countries. They demonstrate that not only are the articles published in the journal being read, but are also being cited. The increased accessibility and provision of free access have reduced the overwhelming (and at times unfair) importance that some journals from the developed world seem to enjoy. Articles representing good work that are published in smaller journals can now attract attention and get cited by other researchers purely on their merit. It is possible for them to compete with articles published in popular and highly rated journals. The size of the journal in terms of print order or its reputation is no more the sole criterion for ensuring that your work is accessible to others. It is a matter of abundant satisfaction and great pride that several biomedical journals in this country are following in the footsteps of JPGM and have already implemented this policy and many more are thinking of joining the stream.
The 'Green' Road to Open Access
The editors firmly believe that knowledge should not be the monopoly of a chosen few, especially when the information and knowledge have the potential to enhance the quality of healthcare. We also feel that this can be achieved easily through participating in the open access movement. The journal is firmly committed to open access and preservation of its scientific treasures. Not only does the journal allow author-/institutional archiving of its content, it makes the published articles available online through the OAI (Open Archive Initiative) compliant e-print repository of the University of Toronto Library, Canada. The journal also intends to support the efforts aimed at setting up an institutional archive for its parent organization i.e. Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai. It is indeed heartening to note that JPGM and its open access and electronic publishing policies are being appreciated and referred to by experts and organizations working in this field more frequently than any other individual journal from developing countries.,,,,,,
JPGM attracts contributors from all over the World
It is our pleasure to inform our contributors, readers, reviewers and advertisers that the journal continued its journey towards attaining greater heights. The number of manuscripts submitted has increased by a whooping 43% [Figure:1]. The number of submissions from outside India has increased from 166 in 2003 to 189 in 2004. It is noteworthy that over 40% of foreign contributions are from the UK and USA [Table:3]. The proportion of original articles submitted by foreign scientists has increased from 15% in 2003 to 31% in 2004. The journal now receives contributions from every nook and corner of the world (over 40 countries) making it a truly international journal. It is also noteworthy that three more bibliographic agencies (Index Copernicus, ISI Current Web Content and MANTIS) began tracking articles published in the journal. JPGM has the honour of being the first journal published from India to be included by these agencies.
Increasing impact of research: Select fast and publish early
The journal continues with its policy of being very meticulous in choosing the right articles and providing prompt reviews on submitted papers. The acceptance rate last year was 19% as compared to 33% in the previous year. Thanks to the hard work put in by the referees and the editorial staff, despite the increasing volume of submitted articles, the journal has been able to maintain its efficiency in completing the entire editorial process within a reasonable timeframe: average time from submission to first review was 31.8 days, time lag between submission and acceptance (turn around time) was 72.5 days and a manuscript was published within a mean period of 74.8 days after acceptance. The journal has been able to maintain lower turn around time and also publish articles early by publishing more number of articles in each issue. This ensures that the work done by researchers gets a chance to make an impact on future work at the earliest. The journal was amongst the first few to institute and use a web-based manuscript submission and review system. The system, being used since 2001, has stood the test of time and has been instrumental in helping reviewers and editors meet "deadlines". Considering the positive feedback from everyone, the system seems to have increased the comfort levels for contributors as well (Box 1)[Table:4].
Not just Online, but more visible, Interactive and Dynamic.....that's JPGM Online
The journal gives great importance to improving its website, which is the most visible face of the journal. The editorial board understands that most readers would view the journal content through this window. The board feels that visitors should not only be able to navigate through the website with ease but it should also be a pleasurable experience for every visitor. Hence, the website is being constantly updated and given the accolades that the website has been receiving, visitors seem to appreciate these efforts (Box 2) [Table:5]. With every passing month, the website's popularity is increasing and its virtual readership is constantly growing [Figure:2]: through 2004, there have been 693,931 hits every month with 65,033 downloads of full text articles per month. Every article now carries the citation details helping contributors know how often their article has been cited. The contributor also gets to know how often his article has been seen or e-mailed to others since online publication. The website now provides a list of its "top-cited articles" as well. Additional features include RSS feed and an XML format designed for sharing Web content. These can be used by news-sites and personal weblogs, increasing the exposure for the articles. The availability of abstracts in XML helps in efficient indexing and information retrieval of the published content. The journal has links from the names of bacteria appearing in the text with several databases including Species 2000 and DSMZ. In addition, the journal now provides links from eponyms in the text to external sources providing origin of the terminology; JPGM is probably the first journal to have integrated these sources with the journal's own content. The journal's contents can also be searched and accessed from the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ, http://www.doaj.org/openurl?genre=journal&issn=00223859).
Fulfilling promises and making new commitments
The practice of annual review allows the editors to take stock, assess the journal's performance and declare plans for the forthcoming years to its readers and reviewers. Most of the initiatives planned last year, such as providing assistance to contributors for improving the language in the paper submitted, appointment of a statistician to review important papers and publishing new sections have been implemented. The journal has also adhered to its policy of providing open access and it takes pride in sharing its treasures with anyone and everyone irrespective of the location, race, and economic might of the individual. The journal has not allowed fiscal pressures to compromise this policy and we hope that help given by subscribers, reviewers, contributors and advertisers would allow us to continue this endeavour. Some new initiatives have been planned for the year 2005. As per the commitment made during the JPGM GoldCon, the journal will continue to contribute in training authors, reviewers and editors. As the first step in this direction, the journal will organize a workshop for reviewers and editors in statistical methods and the way they should be depicted in a research paper. The second initiative concerns appointment of 'Student Editors' for the journal to allow undergraduate students have their say in matters related to academics, research and writing. Their contributions will expand the spectrum of views expressed and their enthusiasm would provide additional impetus for those working for the journal. In addition, we would be sensitising young medical graduates to the issues and processes involved in editing a biomedical journal. Who knows, the process of training a would-be editor of a prestigious international journal may have just begun!
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