Good tidings and Happy New Year from the Editorial Team.
It's now 12 months since Mike O'Doherty handed over the baton of Editor of our prestigeous journal to myself and I would like to share my experience with the Journal readership in this Editor's note.
I have been joined by Alan Perkins who succeeded Alex Elliot who retired as an Editor this past year. Alan is a Professor of Medical Physics at Nottingham and is also President-Elect of the British Nuclear Medicine Society. We all appreciate the committed service and leadership provided by Mike and Alex to the Journal and they have set a high standard to emulate. Naturally, with the departure of two of the more senior editors a reorganisation of the hierarchy of editors was considered and acted on. We strengthened Adil Al Nahhas's hand as a Senior Editor, by nominating him as our Editor-in-Chief. In my view this has acknowledged his seniority and his contribution to the Journal. It also provides a single focus for contact for key editorial decisions.
We had a few brainstorming sessions within the Editorial Team to discuss mechanisms of boosting the value provided by the journal to its readership and to science in general. The Impact Factor has shown a steady increase and indicates that there is a niche area covered by this journal that is not necessarily covered by other similar journals.
In line with internationally accepted norms relating to standards of papers presented, we have introduced an Ethics Checklist from July 2009, which requires authors to declare compliance with high ethical and professional standards. It also requires a clarification of contribution of each author to the manuscript.
We also want to strengthen our links with the British Nuclear Medicine Society. Over the years, the geographical spread of authors and indeed the Editorial Board has taken on a global dimension, and it was felt that the fact that this Journal was the official Journal of the British Nuclear Medicine Society has not been well known. With the arrival of Alan Perkins to the Editorial Team, we hope to form a better partnership between the Society and its Journal.
As with every organisation, there is a team of extremely efficient professionals working behind the scenes enabling a smoothly functioning unit. We are extremely fortunate in retaining the services of Linda Sellers, who used to assist Mike O'Doherty in his Editorial role. She has now taken on a bigger role of overseeing editorial activities on a daily basis on behalf of all Editors. Phil Daly is our publisher from Wolters Kluwer Health Lippincott Williams & Wilkins and his experience has been immensely useful to us. He has a full publishing team including Magda Lewandowska as production editor, who work tirelessly for our journal and our heartfelt thanks go to all of them.
It has been frequently said that a Journal is only as good as its Editorial Board. We have a fantastic Editorial Board with a wide geographical spread. They have enabled us to use the term ‘Rapid’ in Rapid communication journal. This journal is well known for rapid decisions and indeed rapid communications! The Editorial board has also acted as a good forum for discussions and various plans for the improvement of the journal have received a good number of comments (supportive as well as critical). We are now introducing a tenure of 3 years for all members of the Editorial Board and each member will be encouraged to contribute further, over and beyond current contributions.
The Journal is ever open to means and mechanisms to further improve the quality of papers published in the Journal and also to improve the readership of the Journal in real terms. With the world wide web providing a new dimension for propagating science, Online access to the journal and the unlimited scope of this activity will no doubt be taking precedence over ‘print editions’. All subscribers can currently access electronic versions of the journal in addition to the print journal.
With a view to addressing acceptability among junior members of the professions and to enable practitioners to keep up with latest knowledge, a new section in the style of ‘Continuing Professional Development’ through ‘multiple choice questions’ is being considered. This proposal received unequivocal support at the recent Board Meeting in Barcelona, and a small core team has been formed to take things further.
In summary, it has been a year of change and potential opportunities. The basic infrastructure has been reinforced and we hope to convince more authors to submit articles to our journal over the coming months to years.