Running Head: Editorial: Thank You, Now Onwards and Upwards
Citation: Dransfield M. Editorial: Thank you all, now onwards and upwards! Chronic Obstr Pulm Dis. 2021; 8(3): 303-305. doi: http://doi.org/10.15326/jcopdf.2021.0247
As I approach 12 months as Editor in Chief, I wanted to take time to update you about our busy year and future plans. More importantly, I wanted to thank all of you for your contributions – logistic, scientific, and strategic – that have brought our journal, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases: Journal of the COPD Foundation (JCOPDF) to its strongest position ever.
First, I would like to thank the late John W. Walsh and JCOPDF founding Editor James D. Crapo, MD, for having the vision to create an open access, high quality, COPD-focused journal, and for bringing that vision to reality. It is indeed an honor and privilege to follow in James’ footsteps and I truly appreciate this opportunity. I would also like to thank our associate editors—Peter Barnes, Brad Drummond, MeiLan Han, Barry Make, and Nirupama Putcha—for their guidance, friendship, and tireless service, as well as our Editorial Board members and reviewers. Thanks also to the Journal’s staff, particularly Cathy Carlomagno, Tina Watson, and Pete Amari who have been with us since the Journal’s launch and play critical roles in assuring the integrity and efficiency of our peer review process and bringing each issue to publication. Most importantly, my sincere thanks to our authors and readership for supporting the Journal – your engagement has been instrumental in our growth and will determine our future.
Changes and Growth
As with everything, the pandemic has presented many challenges, including complicating peer review processes and timelines, and putting additional pressure on our Editorial Board and reviewers. Despite these, the Journal has undergone a number of exciting changes in the last year designed to update our operations and to better serve our authors. Beginning in late 2020, we began posting “Articles in Press” within days of acceptance, reducing our time from acceptance to published online from months to days, and making new research immediately available to the COPD community. This change followed the conversion of our submission and review process from email (so Y2K!) to fully online via the electronic manuscript submission platform, ScholarOne, which has helped reduce our time from submission to first decision to 25 days.
To make the Journal more accessible to the broader COPD community and to improve communication of scientific research to non-medically trained readers, we added "Plain Language Summaries" to all our published articles. These summaries, provided by the authors and edited for readability and understanding to lay audiences, are posted online with each issue launch but are also circulated via the Foundation’s social media platforms and promoted to the more than 50,000 members of the Foundation’s 360social community.1 In 2021, it is critical that our publications are as accessible and impactful as possible, meaning the key findings are shared as simply and as widely as we can.
Amidst all of this, we learned in the fall of 2020 that we had been accepted into the Web of Science’s top tier of journal indexing, the Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE). The SCIE uses 24 quality criteria and 4 impact criteria to select the most influential journals in their respective fields for inclusion in the index. Though most of us are less familiar with the SCIE than we are with the much talked about impact factor, this SCIE recognition validates both our process and our product and was a necessary step to receiving our first impact factor. As you all have likely seen, that first impact factor (3.39) was received this summer and was the culmination of a multi-year process and a critical milestone in the life of a young journal. While we are thrilled with where we are (the highest-ranking COPD-focused Journal among top respiratory journals), we are by no means satisfied and are just getting started. We have already started to see the benefits of this initial impact factor with an uptick in the volume and quality of submissions. Though this will likely mean a drop in our acceptance rate, these are good problems to have.
Onwards and Upwards
For the next year we will expand our team of associate editors and broaden and strengthen our Editorial Board to assure we have the expertise needed to handle papers spanning the scientific spectrum, from the Institute of Medicine’s T0 (basic biomedical research) to T4 (translation to communities and populations) research classifications. We will continue to publish original research, brief reports, our topic-focused Journal Club, the Images in COPD series, and editorials but also welcome the submission of highly focused and authoritative reviews.
As always, I welcome your input about how we can take the Journal onwards and upwards in our constant effort to advance the field of COPD and to improve the lives of those suffering from the disease. Thank you for your continued support of the JCOPDF.