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EDITORIAL
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-2
 

Journal of Minimal Access Surgery: Looking back and looking ahead


Department of Minimal Access Surgery, Hinduja Hospital and Hinduja Healthcare Surgical, Mahim, Mumbai, India

Date of Web Publication14-Feb-2013

Correspondence Address:
Deepraj Bhandarkar
Department of Minimal Access Surgery, Hinduja Hospital and Hinduja Healthcare Surgical, Veer Savarkar Road, Mahim, Mumbai - 400 016
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-9941.107106

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How to cite this article:
Bhandarkar D. Journal of Minimal Access Surgery: Looking back and looking ahead. J Min Access Surg 2013;9:1-2

How to cite this URL:
Bhandarkar D. Journal of Minimal Access Surgery: Looking back and looking ahead. J Min Access Surg [serial online] 2013 [cited 2021 Sep 19];9:1-2. Available from: https://www.journalofmas.com/text.asp?2013/9/1/1/107106


With this issue, the Journal of Minimal Access Surgery (JMAS) has entered ninth year of its publication. This editorial traces the journey of the JMAS thus far and outlines our plans for the future.

The idea to start a journal of the Indian Association of Gastro Intestinal Endo Surgeons (IGAES) was conceived during the Biennial Congress of the Association held in Ludhiana in 2004. Professor Tehemton E. Udwadia was unanimously chosen as the Editor-in-Chief and an Editorial Board was constituted. The main purpose of the journal was to act as the vehicle for highlighting Indian Minimal Access Surgery, which by then had bloomed both in terms of its quality and in terms of reach. The Journal website (www.journalofmas.com) was launched in August 2004, and the inaugural issue was published in the first quarter of 2005. Since then, the JMAS has been published regularly every quarter-almost always on time - for eight years.

Thirty-two issues have been published including four dedicated to a single theme: Laparoscopic urology (October-December 2005), hernia surgery (July-September 2006), thoracoscopic surgery (October-December 2007) and single incision laparoscopic surgery (January-March 2012). In the recent years, not only have the number of articles submitted to the JMAS increased substantially, but we have also attracted a fair proportion of submissions from the overseas. [Table 1] shows the trend in various performance parameters of the JMAS over the years. The acceptance rate has been between 40-50%. Three factors were responsible for the somewhat aberrant 9% acceptance rate for 2012: a) We received several case reports, which lacked originality or a new message, b) several submissions were rejected as they were outside the scope of the JMAS, and c) at the end of the year, around 40% of submitted articles during the year were still in peer review process. We place the onerous responsibility of peer review on colleagues in India as well as abroad, who are the unsung heroes of the JMAS. These busy clinicians and academics deserve rich kudos for devoting their time and efforts to the cause of the JMAS. The period taken to complete the review process has steadily declined to the current figure of around 9 weeks. Acutely aware that this should be reduced even further, we are putting in place several new initiatives.

Over the years, JMAS has gone from strength to strength and has been indexed in several prestigious national and international indexing and abstracting services. The highpoint for us was being indexed in PubMed some 3 years ago. Last year, the JMAS was indexed in IndMed-the most prestigious Indian database as well as in the Science Citation Index (SCI). The SCI is considered the top citation index in the field of science and currently indexes only 75 surgical journals. All this has culminated in a steady increase in the impact factor of the JMAS, which currently stands at 0.611.

However, the journey of JMAS has not been without challenges. Over the years, the membership of IAGES has increased to around 3,800, all of whom receive the JMAS without paying an annual subscription. In addition, the JMAS remains an open access journal with its entire archives from 2005 onwards available for viewing and free-of-cost downloading at the JMAS website. These two policies have resulted in an ever-widening gap between the cost of publishing and mailing the journal, and the funds generated by way of subscriptions and advertisements. The Editorial Board is grateful to the successive Executive Committees of the IAGES who have supported the JMAS wholeheartedly and have provided the necessary finances. Authors wishing to publish their research in JMAS look for short decision / turnaround times and rapid publication of their research. As [Table 1] highlights, there is a scope for improvement for the JMAS in several areas of its performance. We plan to invite new reviewers to help us reduce the time taken for the peer review process. We are aware that at present the days taken from first submission to acceptance and from acceptance to publication are still on the higher side. This is primarily due to the current quarterly frequency of publication of the JMAS. Finances permitting, the JMAS would in the future become a bimonthly journal, and this would reduce the time between acceptance and publication significantly. Mindful of these challenges, we have inducted seven new Sectional Editors, who will help us streamline and expedite the processing of articles and bring in new ideas to help improve the functioning.
Table 1: JMAS performance statistics (2004-2012)


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So what does the future hold for the JMAS? It will be our earnest endeavor to continue the free subscription of JMAS to all the life members of IAGES as well as maintain it as an open-access journal. We hope to introduce new sections such as single-theme symposia and mini-reviews in the JMAS that will make it more reader-friendly. Medknow Publications, a leading publishing house, published the JMAS in the first 7 years. Last year, Medknow merged its operations with Wolters Kluwer, a world leader in medical publishing. Our association with Wolters Kluwer should help in propelling the JMAS on the world stage and make it even more visible and accessible.

As it has been urged on several occasions in the past, we once again appeal to the Indian surgical fraternity to submit their articles to the JMAS for consideration for publication. We also welcome feedback and constructive criticism from our readers that would help us in improving the quality of the Journal. The past 8 years have been productive, and the entire new Editorial Board of JMAS is committed to taking positive strides so that JMAS becomes one of the most widely read, circulated and respected journal in the field of minimal access surgery.



 
 
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2004 Journal of Minimal Access Surgery
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 15th August '04