You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
C. S. Lewis
For many of us, the turn of the calendar prompts reflection about accomplishments and not quite fulfilled goals of the year that is ending as well as the determination of the direction we hope to take in the year ahead. Bear with me as I do just that, reflecting on where the Journal has come from in the 6 years I've manned the Editor's desk, and where it is poised to go in the year ahead.
For the Journal, this season of transition will be marked by a change in leadership as I complete my sixth year as the Editor, and we select a new Editor to take the helm. As I write my final Editor's Message, interviews are under way to select the next Editor-in-Chief. We received more than a dozen serious inquiries about the editor's role in response to the call for applications, from well-qualified researchers and visionary educators, and are faced with a challenging decision! Join me in thanking the members of the search committee, Section President Bill Staples, Board Liaison Mary Thompson, and Associate Editors Marybeth Brown and Kevin Chui for their work on behalf of the Section during the selection process. Decisions will be made by early December and will be announced on the Journal and Section on Geriatric Web sites.
The Journal has grown and developed in many ways since 2007; here are a few of the highlights:
The number of manuscript submissions have doubled; with a projected 60 papers submitted for peer review by the end of 2012!
- As a journal committed to providing best evidence, we have moved from 3 issues containing 17 papers per year to 4 issues with 26 papers per year; this includes invited “White Papers” on key topics identified by the Editorial Team and Proceedings of the Section's ExPAAC conference.
- The Journal now has an editorial team that includes the Editor-in-Chief and four Associate Editors, expanding the set of skills in research design and statistical analysis available for the review process.
- The number of reviewers has increased from 20 to a cadre of more than 100, from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Israel, Australia, and New Zealand!
- After many years of successful self-publication (under the incredibly capable Sharon Klinski from the offices of the Section on Orthopedics), the Section took a leap of faith in moving to Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (WK/LWW) in 2010, with the goals of increasing exposure and moving toward “tier one” status as a research journal.
- The submission, review, and revision process are now entirely online, using the Editorial Manager System provided by WK/LWW. The resulting improvement in manuscript tracking has reduced response time (from submission to completion of initial review) to 6 to 8 weeks!
- In addition to indexing in MEDLINE/PubMed, CINAHL, EMBASE, and AMED, the JGPT is now included in Science Citation Index Expanded, Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition, and Current Contents/Clinical Medicine.
- Our initial SCI impact factor (an indicator of a journal's quality and rigor) is 1.21! We are ranked as 35 of 45 journals in the content area of geriatrics and gerontology and 35 of 62 journals in the content area of rehabilitation. This initial quality indicator, higher than the publisher anticipated, is a very solid foundation on which the JGPT will build!
- The number of national and international library subscriptions of the JGPT has increased substantially since moving to WK/LWW. (While we have not yet reached the “break even” point between costs and revenues, it is likely that the JGPT will become self-supporting within the next few years.)
- In addition to authors from the United States, researchers and clinicians from Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, India, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Israel, Japan, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, and countries of the United Kingdom have submitted their work for peer review.
In addition to the Journal's Web site (www.jgpt.org), we now have a presence on Facebook and Twitter, and the new iPhone app for JGPT will be introduced at the 2013 Combined Sections' Meeting in San Diego, California!
I also want to recognize the contribution of several additional reviewers whose names were erroneously left off the list that appeared in the October 2012 issue. Their support of the Journal should be recognized and applauded, despite the fact that this editor cannot keep her records straight!
Michael Moran, PT, DPT, ScD
Kerstin Palombaro, PT, PhD, CAPS
Mindy Oxman Renfro, PT, DPT, PhD, GCS
Kathleen Zettergren, PT, EdD
In closing, it has truly been an honor and a privilege to sit in the Editor's chair for these 6 years. What a journey it has been! I have learned much, been stretched and challenged in ways that I could not have imagined, had a wonderful opportunity to mentor emerging researchers and reviewers, and have been able to “keep current” with the key topics in geriatric rehabilitation. I hope that members of the Section and my colleagues in physical therapy education and research have found my service as the Editor to be worthwhile. My “dream” as I move toward my fourth decade as a physical therapist is to return to clinical practice, using what I have learned as an educator and researcher to provide the best care possible to older adults on the functional “front lines” of their lives, their homes. I sincerely thank the membership and the leadership of the Section on Geriatrics for their faith in my ability and the support and encouragement they have provided over these wonderful years as the editor!
Michelle M. Lusardi, PT, DPT, PhD