Looking back on 2017 to go forward in 2018

Here at ACAMH HQ, December is all things Christmassy – silly jumpers, secret Santa, too many sweets and of course ‘reflection’.

At the journals’ editorial office, we have been reflecting on 2017. Have we continued to improve our service offering to our authors and reviewers? Have we improved our systems and workflows to make the editors’ work at least a tiny bit easier? Have we engaged actively with the editorial and advisory board members and the wider research community?

The answer to the above questions is ‘yes’ BUT there is more to do.

Time and again, surveys point out that authors choose to publish in journals with a high impact factor, a robust peer review and a reasonable ‘time to first decision’ and ‘time to publication’. The authors also wish to see their papers publicised.  Therefore, in terms of our service to authors, we are steadily improving our turnaround times and have also systematically increased the promotional activities. This brings us to the bug bear of all authors and reviewers (and understandably so) – the manuscript submission system. Even the well-known systems used by all major publishers and societies are far from perfect. (Most recently we have seen, Aperta, the workflow system developed by PLOS being shutdown). So, until we find the elusive ‘perfect’ system, we’ll keep building upon what we have! However, in 2018 we are definitely going to work towards making the author guidelines more proactive and user friendly. We are also excited to announce a scheme where reviewers of JCPP can opt to receive CME credits for reviewing. We should have more information about this to share in the New Year.

We are very proud of and grateful to our editorial advisory board members. Some of our members figure in Clarivates’ list of the top 1% of highly influential researchers in their respective field. That’s no mean feat!

Publications department’s newest offering, the revamped membership magazine, The Bridge, is one of our ways to engage with the wider research and practitioner community. Every issue of The Bridge will bring research highlights, interviews and news in a selected area in child and adolescent mental health.

Thanking everyone who has ever been and is part of ACAMH in any shape or form, I wish you all a very cheerful Christmas break.

If I can quote Søren Kierkegaard, the Danish philosopher – “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”

Looking forward to an even better 2018.

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