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Accepting the Torch

Fass, Ronnie MD

Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: January 2017 - Volume 51 - Issue 1 - p 1
doi: 10.1097/MCG.0000000000000767
Special Article

The Esophageal and Swallowing Center, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, MetroHealth Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH

The author declares that there is nothing to disclose.

Address correspondence to: Ronnie Fass, MD, The Esophageal and Swallowing Center, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, MetroHealth Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University, 2500 MetroHealth Drive, Cleveland, OH 44109-1998 (e-mail: Ronnie.fass@gmail.com; rfass@metrohealth.org).

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I have been given the great honor of becoming the new Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology. I am accepting the torch, and thus I will carry the legacy of the previous editors, Drs. Howard Spiro and Martin Floch from Yale University. Dr. Martin Floch, who carried the torch for 16 years, is transferring to me a highly respected and well-received journal in the clinical GI community. Dr. Floch, through his unconditional commitment and hard work, has brought the journal to its current valuable status. During his tenure, the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology became the official journal of the World Gastroenterology Organisation and grew over time into a long-standing partnership.

I accepted the position of Editor-in-Chief with great excitement and enthusiasm but also with some trepidation. These are times in which most scientific journals focus solely on the impact factor. Consequently, we have seen an earth-shaking shift during the past decade in the types and numbers of articles accepted for publication by journals with high-impact factors. Rejection rates have increased dramatically—many times without a full review. Prospective trials with a relatively small number of participants, which are the backbone of today’s clinical gastroenterology, have a difficult time in finding a publishing journal. More disconcerting is the growing focus on studies with sensational messages rather than important scientific content.

My vision for the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology is to serve as the home for prospective high-quality clinical trials in gastroenterology and hepatology (which do not necessarily include a large number of subjects). Furthermore, well-done mechanistic studies and robust, scientifically driven observational studies and data-mining trials with significant results will be sought out. For that purpose, I have invited an outstanding group of renowned experts in their respective fields to serve as associate editors. The editorial team will work diligently to ensure a fair and high-quality review process and will also be actively involved in encouraging potential authors to submit their scientific work to the journal. The Editorial Board members will provide active support for the journal and thus will be an integral part of its success.

This is truly an exciting time for me as well as an opportunity to make a difference in clinical gastroenterology. It will surely require hard work, dedication, and time, but I hope we will be able to further improve the trajectory of the journal and make it a highly desirable and competitive publication in clinical gastroenterology.

Ronnie Fass

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