Having just returned from SLEEP 2015 in Seattle, I wondered if they say “it is cloudy here most of the year” only so people are not inclined to move there. Every time I have gone to Seattle, the weather has been great. What a fantastic venue for the meeting.
Each year at the SLEEP meeting, the JCSM editors and editorial board meets and discusses the past year and future endeavors. Prior to the meeting, the AASM sent out an electronic survey regarding the readership's experience with JCSM. So for this year's meeting, my inaugural one as Editor, we discussed issues related to the journal and the results of the survey.
The journal had its highest number of papers submitted in 2014, surpassing the 500 milestone (504). Along with the increased submissions has come a reduction in acceptances with acceptance rates of original manuscripts down to 26.6% and for case reports down to 16.9%. We have continued to receive a high volume of new submissions throughout this calendar year with ever improving quality.
More than 700 individuals responded to the readership survey. The majority of respondents are MD or equivalent (61.2%) with next most common groups being PhD (17.9%) and RPSGT/RST (13.8%). Respondents spend the majority of their time in clinical activities (55.5%) and administration (15.6%) with research averaging 12.5%. On average, individuals spend about 1 hour (54.1 minutes) reading each monthly issue, with a standard deviation of 114.5 minutes. Most people read between 25–50% of the journal (57%) with 6.4% reading all or most of each issue.
We were interested in knowing what features the readership liked about the journal as well as what new topics or sections they want to see. For the most part, readers agree that the journal is publishing articles relevant to their practice and high quality research articles. They like review articles but are less enthusiastic about case reports and pearls. When examining specific article types, the most useful are the original investigations and review articles; they have less enthusiasm for book reviews, journal club and podcasts.
We proposed several new sections including: point/counterpoint on controversial topics in sleep medicine; updates on DME rules and regulations; forensic sleep medicine; history of sleep medicine; emerging technologies; patient focused articles in which a patient with a sleep disorder would discuss what it is like to live with a sleep disorder with a commentary by their sleep provider; health policy; and the global practice of sleep medicine. The clear favorites of these sections include the point/counterpoint, emerging technologies and updates on DME. Other popular sections included health policy and the global practice of sleep medicine. Section Editors were appointed for DME Updates (Rich Berry, MD; University of Florida); Emerging Technologies (Lee Brown, MD; University of New Mexico) and Global Practice of Sleep Medicine (Shirin Shafazand, MD; University of Miami). Be looking for some of these in upcoming issues.
A final area that was touched upon in the editorial board meeting is that of plagiarism. Both SLEEP and JCSM have been evaluating plagiarism software and have selected PlagScan®. Most journals now use software such as this to evaluate manuscripts to assure, in this day of electronic publishing, that papers contain predominantly original work. Beginning sometime this summer, all accepted articles will be run through PlagScan® to examine the degree of overlap and those with a higher than acceptable level (> 10%) will be reviewed by the editor to determine if they should be rejected because of an unacceptable amount of plagiarism. Authors and co-authors of manuscripts need to be cognizant of these issues, as even self-plagiarism is not acceptable.
The impact factor (IF) for 2014 was recently released and the JCSM IF is now > 3.0 (3.053). While I am very happy with that result, even more impressive is the 5 year impact factor for the journal which is 3.885, which places us 3rd behind Sleep Medicine Reviews (which only publishes review papers) and SLEEP, our sister journal. Congratulations again goes to Dr. Quan for this achievement. The editor, associate editors, editorial board and JCSM staff are working continuing to work hard to provide you the journal that you want to read for the latest and greatest information on clinical sleep medicine. We hope you will continue to read and enjoy the offerings provided in JCSM as we strive to make it a higher quality journal.
Collop NA. Making JCSM the best it can be. J Clin Sleep Med 2015;11(8):839.