Editorial | Open Access
Journal of Sports and Exercise Medicine
Please find below some proposed strategies (in order of importance), which, to my opinion, could help to increase the impact factor and the attractiveness of the journal:
Arguably, there are so many results around that we need more dedicated people who distill out higher level insights from the existing data. As a consequence, I think that data synthesis should be a priority for JSEM. As a way to increase engagement, it might be good to give a unique name to the relevant section (e.g., “Synthetic Sport and Medicine Sciences” or “Synthetic Sports Sciences”). Another possibly interesting idea would be to publish comprehensive and integrative reviews on specific sports, focusing on the performance aspects (e.g., “Sports Science of Basketball” – which also echoes the journal’s name) of a specific sport/activity. An analogous series of review papers could be also published on the biological needs of a specific sport/activity (e.g., “Supplementation in Basketball”). Submissions could be open to everyone, that is, no invitation or inquiry would be required for submitting a review. Publication of position statements providing common guidelines on sports-related issues could also increase the status of JSEM. Needless to say that reviews and position statements are generally much more frequently cited than original papers, and this will likely improve the impact factor of the journal.
Judging from the launch of the new journal by Taylor & Francis “Science and Medicine in Football”, I conclude that the special issues published by JSEM devoted to football have been a very successful example. In order to build on this legacy, JSEM could introduce a regular series of special issues devoted to currently hot topics in the field.
Another attraction for the readers would be the writing of editorials on papers of exceptional importance scheduled for publication by editorial board members or by an external invited expert. I do not regard editorials as lightweight contributions to the academic literature. Instead, I think that a carefully crafted editorial can help readers to organize their thinking around an issue and capture the reader’s attention. The journal “BioEssays” is a prime example, where the editorials written by the editor-in-chief Andrew Moore are frequently the most downloaded papers of the journal. Besides, I believe that edit orials will allow the readers (and prospective authors) to get acquainted with the editors of JSEM and shape the journal’s identity.
Despite the fact that I am not aware of the in-house editorial procedures of JSEM, I would like to suggest a couple of ideas that could possibly establish a trustworthy relationship between the authors and the journal. For instance, if JSEM applies an initial evaluation, in cases of rejections without external review,I believe it would be essential to include one to three fundamental comments brieflyexplaining the reasons of this immediate decision. In this way, the authors (the majority of them are the most devoted readers too) would feel that the journal respects their efforts and their trust. Moreover, a very successful strategy adopted by Elsevier is what it is called “Your Paper, Your Way”, where researchers can practically upload their whole paper as a single PDF file with no restrictions in format. I do not know whether a similar practice would be feasible in JSEM, but I believe that it is an option that greatly simplifies the process of preparing and submitting papers.
I am fully aware that being an Editor in JSEM is a great honour, and I am sure it would require a great effort. However, I believe that I would do my best to serve as a useful Editor in making JSEM one of the most highly respected and cited sports science journals.