Optometry and Vision Science (OVS) enjoyed another banner year, apparently appreciated a great deal by our readers.
REFLECTING ON AN INNOVATIVE YEAR
In October 2012 OVS began two very important initiatives to strengthen the journal and its impact for our readers. Just over 12 months ago the iPad App for OVS was made available and enabled the download of entire issues of OVS for later viewing. By April 2013 we learned in our OVS membership survey that almost 50% of our membership actually owned an iPad, with another almost 20% owning some other type of tablet device. Certainly our publishers made a bet that tablet use would increase, as would online readership. So the future for tablet use in reading OVS has remarkable potential. That same month OVS created an entire online-only section that was intended to enhance the strength of our clinical content. In that section, Clinical Communications, we include Clinical Cases, Clinical Reports, Clinical Perspectives and even occasional Clinical Reviews. This is accompanied by online-only color-enhanced News and New Products, and Book Reviews. Since then I have been fortunate to recruit 3 Academy Fellows as Editors for the Clinical Editorship (Dr. Larry Alexander) and Book Reviews (Drs. Vivian Manh [née Wong] and Jeff Rabin). All have been very proactive in their roles. Larry Alexander creates “Clinical Pearls” each month and comments on Clinical Cases, Clinical Reports and Clinical Perspectives for the practicing clinician interest. Vivian and Jeff now seek out texts that they feel deserve membership attention and will meet the interests of our readers. They invite authoritative reviewers of the texts. The entire section on Clinical Communications as well as the News and New Products and the Book Reviews are online-only– the ultimate direction of most journals nowadays. This has allowed OVS to liberally use color and video clips. The color and video publications are arguably the most effective in our clinical publications. This really enhances a publication and at no color or video charge to the authors; an issue for many journals and a burden for authors. You have already seen some wonderful video clips beginning in October 2012 and then throughout 2013. There is little doubt that in an area of clinical care and discovery, motion can be a game changer to a publication. We just need to become even better at this—a challenge for editors and authors alike.
TAKING OUR TEMPERATURE
We closed 2013 for OVS with a sense of exhaustion—but a happy sense. We had a record number of submissions (20% higher than in 2012, which itself was a record year). OVS published close to 40% of all submissions in 2013 (down from 60% just a few years ago) and as editor I note that I personally made close to 1200 separate decisions on submissions or revisions. This also means that your OVS Board of Editors, who act as Topical editors for submitted manuscripts, along with our Associate Topical Editors, each called upon an average of 2 reviewers for each manuscript. You do the math—there are many in the team doing a fantastic job and are also exhausted. OVS began 2013 with a new cover, which will be further refined next month for greater visibility, and signing a new 7-year contract with our publishers (Wolters Kluwer Lippincott Williams and Wilkins). To meet the increased editorial manuscript load the AAO Board approved my request to expand the OVS Editorial Board by 2 members in 2014. It has also approved a targeted search to appoint an Associate Editor.
A special thanks to all those who were authors and reviewers– you make a journal strong. In the OVS case it means you make it the top Optometry journal in the world based on impact factor (both 2 year and 5 year impact) and on Immediacy factor.
Readers will have seen that OVS now has a Call for papers in two very different areas. The first is Age-Related Macular Degeneration, and the second is Wavefront Refraction and Correction. Both Feature Issues of OVS will be published in 2014.
ANNUAL CONTINUING EDUCATION COURSES (INCLUDING FOR OVS AUTHORS AND REVIEWERS)
Nourishing and encouraging new authors and reviewers is critical for OVS, especially as we look forward a few years. OVS has maintained a very high standard for publication acceptance and this depends critically on excellent authors and reviewers. In Seattle in October, OVS conducted a Workshop (OVS Workshop: Fundamentals for Authors and Reviewers). This was a first for OVS, though it was a long time in the making. Annually OVS will continue to offer courses and workshops for its authors and reviewers and provide resources and instruction for those who seek it. This first workshop was filled 3 months prior to being conducted and future courses and workshops are likely to enroll greater numbers of attendees with formats that are appropriate for the topics we select.
In October 2013 we also conducted our 9th successive annual “OVS Presents” continuing education course. In Seattle it was on Myopia, which was the Feature Issue for last month. In a sense the CE was a preview of our November Feature issue. OVS Presents continues to focus on illustrating the way that discovery in optometry impacts clinical care. This year’s course beautifully illustrated this with actual implications for treating and dealing with the progression of myopia in clinical practice, including with contact lenses and orthokeratology. Again attendees were able to see where the field is going and the potential for future advances in preventing and slowing the progression of myopia with clinical interventions.
THE WORLD LEARNS ABOUT OVS
Press releases, selected by your Editor and written by our publisher’s medical writer, continue to be effective and draw attention not only to OVS publications allow the public around the world to have a greater appreciation of the interesting discoveries made by optometry researchers. Readers are reminded that the complete collection of these Press Releases can be found at the OVS web site under “Collections” (http://journals.lww.com/optvissci/pages/collectiondetails.aspx?TopicalCollectionId=4).
Many of our members locate the entire series of Collections, not just the Press Releases, by going through the American Academy of Optometry home page (http://www.aaopt.org/) and clicking on the OVS connection in the top orange menu banner. But anyone can go directly to the OVS home page (http://www.journals.lww.com/optvissci).
WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2014
In 2014 we have more planned with efforts to further strengthen the journal and editorial process for our authors. Already the AAO Board of the Academy has authorized an increase in the OVS Editorial Board to 12 members and I have recently invited a number of international colleagues to become new Associate Topical Editors. So we face 2014 with more resources, the search for an Associate Editor to assist in the Editorial process, and a commitment from our Clinical Editor and two Book Review Editors to continue their excellent work and leadership for OVS.
WITH APPRECIATION AND THANKS
As I have said before, and never has the truth of my statement been more evident, the success of top journals like OVS is critically dependent on the quality of our authors work and the constructive peer review by our reviewers who help shape our publications. We thank our authors and reviewers for this most fundamental fact. In an age where new journals emerge and disappear each month, quality, fine content and constructive peer review will sustain and advance our better journals. Authors and readers recognize this, as does our publisher. Each year at this time I write a personal letter of thanks to each of our many corresponding authors and reviewers. They deserve the recognition and appreciative thanks I offer on behalf of our OVS Board and Managing Editor.
I also take this opportunity to thank our Managing Editor, Kurt Zadnik, and our ten OVS Board members for the tremendous energy, pride and enthusiasm they bring to the journal. It is quite remarkable and makes leading as the Editor In Chief a delight and assures the journals obvious success.
We wish all our readers a happy holiday season and a successful 2014.
Editor in Chief