Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology
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Table of Contents   
EDITORIAL  
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-2
Journal's impact factor: Setting the stage for an inspiring new era


1 Liver Disease Research Center, King Khalid University Hospital, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh; Gastroenterology Unit, Department of Medicine, King Khalid University Hospital, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Liver Disease Research Center, King Khalid University Hospital, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh; Gastroenterology Unit, Department of Medicine, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

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Date of Web Publication11-Feb-2015
 

How to cite this article:
Abdo AA, Sanai FM. Journal's impact factor: Setting the stage for an inspiring new era. Saudi J Gastroenterol 2015;21:1-2

How to cite this URL:
Abdo AA, Sanai FM. Journal's impact factor: Setting the stage for an inspiring new era. Saudi J Gastroenterol [serial online] 2015 [cited 2020 May 29];21:1-2. Available from: http://www.saudijgastro.com/text.asp?2015/21/1/1/151208


To be a scientific journal and not be endowed with an impact factor (IF) can be a terrible affliction. The IF is certainly an important goal for every journal and its editors. It is a measure of the average citations received to recent articles published in the journal, and hence is used as a proxy for the relative importance of a journal within its field. Journals aggregating higher IFs are deemed to be more important than those lumbered with lower ones. Generally for journals, the time for IF release can be an anxious occasion, where the fortunes of a journal can be viewed in the light of positive or negative trends. In this context we wish to happily communicate the release of the Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology's (SJG) first IF at 1.22, surpassing the IFs of much more established local and regional biomedical journals [Figure 1]. [1]
Figure 1: Comparative rankings of locoregional biomedical journals

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The awarding of the first IF is an important milestone for any journal, but for the SJG it holds a greater reverence. The journey of the Journal has not been a smooth one, not defined by the assured certainty of contemporary journals, but rather one that has floundered and languished in equal measure for much of the last two decades.

After its inception in 1995, the journal went through its multiple phases of creation. Certainly, the task of setting up the journal was not an easy one. Only the grit, passion, and the pioneering vision of the two founders of the Journal, the late Prof. Ibrahim AlMofleh and Prof. Mohammed El Mouzan, stood between its survival and decay. The first couple of years were literally like carving stone. The editors, not only poured their time, effort, and resources into the Journal, but also solicited articles from any author who had research to spare. The challenges were punctuated by poor resources of the Saudi Gastroenterology Association (SGA), a nationwide inexperience of the task at hand, and a paucity of scientific data from the region. "We would advertise for the journal, solicit articles from all and sundry, and run around trying to convince people to write for us. Similarly, we used to follow reviewers personally, chase them with calls, visits, and any other way we could. Each issue was a huge challenge for us," remembers Prof. El Mouzan. There was no experienced technical help for the journal, and no English language editor who could do all the editing and copy-editing (a job that can be daunting at most times, and at other times entail re-writing the entire paper in this part of the world). Galley proofs required manual corrections by the editorial team, conducted word-by-word and page-by-page in the most tedious manner possible. [2] Such were the challenges faced by the editors, from which we can but only take pride in the results they have borne today.

With the foundation already in place over the preceding decade, the Journal embarked on a more enterprising journey in 2006, infusing new blood in the form of a younger editorial team and outsourcing the publishing work to Medknow Publications in India. Harnessing the technological revolution sweeping the times, we open-sourced SJG and studiously cultivated an international flavor to the journal. With more consistency in the quality of papers and the publication timing, the journal was ISI-indexed in 2011, adding an important testimonial to the journal's quality improvement. This step was particularly important for the academic community in Saudi Arabia as most Saudi universities only acknowledge papers published in ISI-indexed journals for academic staff promotion.

And this brings us to our present point-in-time. The struggles marking the evolution of this Journal serve as the perfect foil to its future potential. Indexing is not an end but the beginning of another phase of the journey. However, SJG faces serious challenges ahead. Many of these are generic for all scientific journals but some are more specific to this part of the world, and to SJG in particular. Among these, most importantly, is the challenge of attracting high-quality scientific work. The journal traditionally receives some fine work, but also a lot of work that is at best politely termed "poorly cooked" [Figure 2] and [Figure 3]. We foresee this to be the major challenge facing the editorial team in the next five years. The second issue is securing timely and professional reviews. Although this is a universal concern, it is particularly exacting to this part of the world. Nonetheless, as we face these challenges and many more, we remain optimistic for a bright future.
Figure 2: SJG submission rates over the years

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Figure 3: Manuscripts acceptance rates over the years

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We thank everyone who has contributed anything small or large to the Journal, definitely, the scientists and knowledge creators that make this journal worth reading, our previous associate editors, Drs. Abdulrahman Aljumah and Ahmad Al Zubaidy for leaving their clear thumbprints on the journal's progress, and the reviewers to whom we are most grateful. And above all, we remain indebted to the untiring inspiration of the current enthusiastic editorial team, without who our goals would have remained a distant dream. Truly, we can all take comfort from the notion that contributing to the knowledge of mankind is perhaps the most honorable work that anyone can do. Finally, we also thank our publishers, Medknow Publications, and the SGA, for their continued support and guidance over the years.

There is certainly no man who would have been happier and more proud on this occasion than late Prof. Al Mofleh. He had seen this project from its inception but has tragically left us this year without sharing this moment with us. We can only pray that he be rewarded generously for all his dedicated work. It is through his spirited vision, incredible self-discipline, and dedication that we derive our inspiration.

As the saying goes: "Dear past, thank you for all the valuable lessons that you have taught us. Dear future, here we come, better prepared, more hopeful, and ready to learn some more."

 
   References Top

1.
Web of science. Available from: https://admin-apps.webofknowledge.com/JCR/JCR?RQ=LIST_SUMMARY_JOURNAL. [Last accessed on 2014 Dec 17].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Sanai FM, Abdo AA, Al Zubaidy A, Al Mofleh I, El Mouzan M. Saudi journal of gastroenterology: A tale of passion and perseverance. Saudi J Gastroenterol 2009;15:215-6.  Back to cited text no. 2
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  

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Correspondence Address:
Ayman A Abdo
Liver Disease Research Center, King Khalid University Hospital, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh; Gastroenterology Unit, Department of Medicine, King Khalid University Hospital, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1319-3767.151208

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  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]



 

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