Journal Editor's Fall 2008 Update

Fig. 2. US vs. Foreign Submissions
Fig. 1. Impact Factor

Dr. Donald E. Thrall, DVM, PhD, Editor-in-Chief

Manuscript submission is at an all time high, with 191 manuscripts being submitted for consideration in 2007. Given this increase in submission rate, and the overall high quality of manuscripts being submitted, an increase in the page budget was approved recently. This will decrease the lag time between manuscript acceptance and publication, a parameter of great interest to authors. The page annual page budget will increase from 624 pages to 720 beginning in 2009. This should allow approximately 12 additional manuscripts to be published each year. The overall manuscript rejection rate during the period July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008 is approximately 38%. This is higher than the 28% for the prior 12 month period. The increase in the rejection rate is due to a greater variety of papers being submitted, with some not suitable for the audience. Also, with higher manuscript submission rates, the acceptance criteria naturally get more stringent. Having a rejection rate of the current magnitude is not problematic. The goal is to publish high quality material that will be useful to readers in their practice, and also cited by other authors.

Reports of individual patients are being scrutinized more closely for value. These reports are rarely cited and do not contribute to increases in the journal’s Impact Factor but some do convey interesting and valuable information. It is not the goal to eliminate individual patient reports, but the target number for each issue is approximately 2 reports, for an annual total of 12. For the period July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008, individual patient reports constituted approximately 29% of submissions, with approximately 22 reports making it into print. For the prior year, individual patient reports constituted approximately 38% of submissions and approximately 36 were published. Thus, the number of individual patient reports is decreasing as planned.

I am pleased to report that the journal’s Impact Factor has increased from 0.821 to 1.053. The journal is now ranked 41/133 among veterinary journals, which is a slight increase from 2006. The Impact Factor has increased dramatically since the 2003 ranking of 0.573 (See Figure 1).

There has been an increase in the fraction of papers submitted outside of the United States each year. These foreign submissions, many of which are exemplary, have been valuable in expanding the scope and quality of the journal in addition to maintaining manuscript submission rate. For the first time, in 2003 the number of manuscripts published that were submitted from outside of the United States exceeded those from within, and this continues (See Figure 2).

The ACVR sponsors a Resident Author Award that is open to residents in training in any recognized veterinary specialty. The author declares at the time of manuscript submission whether they wish the paper to be considered for this award. There were 28 eligible submissions this year. This is a significant increase above the 18 papers considered last year. That the author is in an approved training program is confirmed by the Editor. The ACVR should be proud of the interest in this award. This year the submissions came from the following disciplines: radiology, radiation oncology, surgery, neurology and EMCC. Associate Editors rank the papers and the paper with the highest overall ranking is selected as the winner. The winning manuscript was Comparison of Ultrasound, Computed Tomography, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Detection of Acute Wooden Foreign Bodies in the Canine Manus by Dr. Christopher Ober of Virginia Tech University. The honorarium for the resident-authored award is $500.

Twenty-eight ACVR Senior Student Awards were presented this Spring. There were 24 awards in the U.S., and 4 in Canada. Each recipient, as selected by members of the school's radiology department, receives an award certificate and a one-year subscription to Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound.