Managing the AustralasianJournal onAgeing: A 30-year journey

Authors


The Australian Council on the Ageing (COTA) commenced publication of the Australian Journal on Ageing (AJA) in early 1982 with the purpose of publishing important issues around ageing, reporting new ageing research developments and providing a forum for the exchange of views on ageing issues. Over a 30-year period, the AJA has evolved into an internationally recognised, peer-reviewed journal, publishing high-quality original work in gerontology and geriatric medicine under the stewardship of six editors, editorial teams and management committees. The journal is currently published on behalf of the AJA, Inc., with representation from The Australian and New Zealand Society for Geriatric Medicine (ANZSGM), the Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG), COTA and Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA). Key events over the 30 years are explored later and summarised in Table 1.

Table 1. Contribution timeline
VolumeEditor in chiefEditorial TeamEditor, Book ReviewsManagement Committee
  1. AAG, Australian Association of Gerontology; ANU, Australian National University; ANZSGM, Australian and New Zealand Society for Geriatric Medicine; ASGM, Australian Society for Geriatric Medicine; COTA, Australian Council on the Ageing; n/a, not applicable.

Vol 1, No 1, 1982

COTA

Published by COTA

*first published as Australian Journal on Ageing

Cliff Picton

Denys Correll

Joanna Johnson (COTA)n/an/a

Vol 13, No.1, Feb 1994

(COTA, AAG, ASGM)

Published by COTA

John McCallumJoanna Johnsonn/an/a

Vol 13, No. 2, May 1994

(COTA, AAG, ASGM)

Published by COTA

John McCallumJoanna JohnsonElizabeth OzanneDenys Correll (Chair), Elizabeth Ozanne, Linda Rosenman, John McCallum, Joanna Johnson, Rob Helme

Vol 16, No. 4, Nov 1997

(COTA, AAG, ASGM)

Published by COTA

Anthony JormJoanna JohnsonElizabeth OzanneDenys Correll (Chair), Elizabeth Ozanne, Linda Rosenman, Anthony Jorm, Joanna Johnson, Rob Helme

Vol 17, No. 1, Feb 1998

(COTA, AAG, ASGM, Aged Care Aust)

Published by COTA

*First Edition as Australasian Journal

Anthony JormJoanna JohnsonElizabeth OzanneDenys Correll (Chair), Elizabeth Ozanne, Mike Rungie, Laurie Buys, Anthony Jorm, Joanna Johnson, Robert Prowse

Vol 20.1, Mar 2001

(COTA, AAG, ASGM, Aged Care Aust)

Published by COTA

Anthony Jorm

Joanna Johnson

Associate Editors:

Dianne Gibson

Kichu Nair

Elizabeth OzanneDenys Correll (Chair), Laurie Buys, Kathy Hogarty, Anthony Jorm, Joanna Johnson, Elizabeth Ozanne, Robert Prowse, Mike Rungie, Sue Jarrad

Vol 20.3, Sep 2001

(COTA, AAG, ASGM, Aged & Community Services)

Published by COTA

Anthony Jorm (ANU)

Editor in Chief Elect:

Dianne Gibson

Associate Editors:

Kichu Nair

Administration:

Therese Manaia (COTA)

Elizabeth OzanneDenys Correll (Chair), Laurie Buys, Diane Gibson, Kathy Hogarty, Anthony Jorm, Joanna Johnson, Elizabeth Ozanne, Kichu Nair, Robert Prowse, Mike Rungie, Sue Jarrad

Vol 21.1, March 2002

(COTA, AAG, ASGM, Aged & Community Services, Alzheimers Assoc Aust)

Published by COTA

Dianne Gibson

Associate Editors:

Kichu Nair

Administration:

Therese Manaia (COTA)

Elizabeth OzanneDenys Correll (Chair), Laurie Buys, Diane Gibson, Kathy Hogarty, Joanna Johnson, Elizabeth Ozanne, Kichu Nair, Robert Prowse, Mike Rungie, Sue Jarrad

Vol 21.3, Sep 2002

(COTA, AAG, ASGM, Aged & Community Services, Alzheimers Assoc Aust)

Published by COTA

Diane Gibson

Associate Editors:

Kichu Nair

Administration:

Therese Manaia

Yvonne WellsLaurie Buys, Diane Gibson, Kathy Hogarty, Joanna Johnson, Elizabeth Ozanne, Kichu Nair, Robert Prowse, Mike Rungie, Sue Jarrad

Vol 23.1 March 2004

(COTA National Seniors Partnership, AAG, ASGM, Aged & Community Services, Alzheimers Assoc Aust)

Published by Blackwell Publishing

Diane Gibson

Associate Editors:

Kichu Nair

Len Gray

Helen Bartlett

Administration:

Therese Manaia

Yvonne WellsPatricia Reeve (Chair), Helen Bartlett, Laurie Buys, Anne Eays, Diane Gibson, Len Gray, Kathy Hogarty, Kichu Nair, Robert Prowse, Mike Rungie, Yvonne Wells

Vol 23.4 December 2004

(COTA National Seniors Partnership, AAG, ASGM, Aged & Community Services, Alzheimers Assoc Aust)

Published by Blackwell Publishing

Diane Gibson

Associate Editors:

Kichu Nair

Len Gray

Helen Bartlett

Administration:

Therese Manaia

Yvonne WellsIan Yates (Chair), Helen Bartlett, Laurie Buys, Anne Eayrs, Diane Gibson, Len Gray, Kichu Nair, Robert Prowse, Mike Rungie, Yvonne Wells

Vol 24.3 Sept 2005

(COTA National Seniors Partnership, AAG, ASGM, Aged & Community Services, Alzheimers Assoc Aust)

Published by Blackwell Publishing

Susan Quine

Associate Editors:

Kichu Nair

Len Gray

Helen Bartlett

Yvonne WellsIan Yates (Chair), Helen Bartlett, Laurie Buys, Anne Eayrs, Len Gray, Kichu Nair, Robert Prowse, Susan Quine, Mike Rungie, Yvonne Wells

Vol 25.1 Mar 2006

(COTA National Seniors Partnership, AAG, ASGM, Aged & Community Services, Alzheimers Assoc Aust)

Published by Blackwell Publishing

Susan Quine

Associate Editors:

Richard Lindley

Len Gray

Helen Bartlett

Yvonne WellsIan Yates (Chair), Helen Bartlett, Laurie Buys, Anne Eayrs, Len Gray, Richard Lindley, Kichu Nair, Robert Prowse, Susan Quine, Mike Rungie, Yvonne Wells

Vol 26.1 Mar 2007

(COTA, AAG, ANZSGM, Aged & Community Services)

Published by Blackwell Publishing

Susan Quine

Associate Editors:

Richard Lindley

Len Gray

Helen Bartlett

Yvonne WellsIan Yates (Chair), Laurie Buys, Robert Prowse, Susan Quine, Sandra Hills

Vol 28.3 Sept 2009

(COTA, AAG, ANZSGM, Aged & Community Services)

Published by Wiley Blackwell *Medline Listed

Lynne Parkinson

Associate Editors:

Richard Lindley

Len Gray

Helen Bartlett

Yvonne WellsIan Yates (Chair), Laurie Buys, Robert Prowse, Lynne Parkinson, Jill Pretty

Vol 30.2 Jun 2011

(COTA, AAG, ANZSGM, Aged & Community Services)

Published by Wiley Blackwell

Lynne Parkinson

Associate Editors:

Richard Lindley

Len Gray

Helen Bartlett

Yvonne WellsIan Yates (Chair), Laurie Buys, Vasi Naganathan, Lynne Parkinson, Jill Pretty

Vol 30.3 Sept 2011

(COTA, AAG, ANZSGM, Aged & Community Services)

Published by Wiley Blackwell

Lynne Parkinson

Associate Editors:

Richard Lindley

Jane Sims

Vasi Naganathan

Yvonne WellsIan Yates (Chair), Laurie Buys, Vasi Naganathan, Lynne Parkinson, Jill Pretty

Vol 31.1 March 2012

(COTA, AAG, ANZSGM, Aged & Community Services)

Published by Wiley Blackwell

Lynne Parkinson

Associate Editors:

Richard Lindley

Jane Sims

Vasi Naganathan

Elizabeth Brooke

Yvonne WellsIan Yates (Chair), Laurie Buys, Jacqueline Close, Lynne Parkinson, Jill Pretty

1982–1993

In 1982, COTA launched the AJA as an initiative of the United Nations (UN) World Assembly to give an Australian platform for ageing research and a national forum for debate. The UN World Assembly (Vienna, 1982) was arguably the most significant international event of the time that focused attention on the issues and consequences of ageing populations. COTA was the sole publisher of the AJA for 22 years (1982–2004).

Cliff Picton (editor 1982–1990) and Denys Correll (editor 1991–1993) guided the development of the journal into a recognised, peer-reviewed research journal, specifically targeting medical and social gerontological communities, practitioners and academics. The journal achieved a circulation of 900 by 1991, providing a firm base for future growth. Denys Correll had a clear vision for the journal, which was reflected in his final 1993 editorial statement – ‘Perhaps it is the mark of forward thinking individuals and organisations that they do not seek acclaim for past achievements, but rather, have their sights set on what is still to be achieved’. [1]; p.114]

1994–2003

In 1994, under the guidance of Denys Correll, the format of the AJA changed and expanded with COTA forming an AJA Management Committee, which included representatives from the Australian Society of Geriatric Medicine and the Australian Association of Gerontology who were later joined by representatives from Aged & Community Services (1998) and Alzheimer's Association Australia (2002).

During 1994, the newly formed management committee appointed a new editor, Professor John McCallum, and an editorial board, with members from the fields of social gerontology, biology of ageing, home and community services research, and health services research. The significance of the emerging partnership was highlighted by Professor McCallum's 1994 editorial, commenting on Minister's Howe's address to the journal. Minister Howe ‘welcomed the collaboration of different organisations and professions in producing the Journal and he recommended this as a model for other areas in social policy. The final point of the Minister's address was to recognise the Journal as the “major vehicle for sharing of information on medical and social gerontology” and he encouraged us to develop “a partnership which has the potential to be unique in our region, if not the world.” ’ [2]; p.55].

Over three years (1994–1997), Professor McCallum guided significant changes in the journal. Most notably, he introduced changes in the journal format and layout, including book reviews and letters to the editor, and a ‘Viewpoint’ section. Professor McCallum prepared the foundation for the journal's capacity to adapt to changes in academic information technology. He began the conversation around trends to electronic distribution, paperless journals and CD-ROM technology, and encouraged the exploration of media outlets. Professor McCallum also initiated a conversation about the journal's interpretation of quality research, leading to improved quality articles.

Professor Tony Jorm's (editor 1997–2001) vision for international recognition of the journal re-directed the journal towards a regional focus and to professional publishing with online distribution capacity. In early 1998, the name of the journal was changed to the Australasian Journal on Ageing to promote and foster a broader regional focus.

Professor Jorm introduced: (i) an ‘Opinion’ section with invited contributions to encourage debate; (ii) ‘Professional Practice Update’, which focused on specific areas of aged care from an invited expert in the field; and (iii) an ‘Innovations in Aged Care’ section to ‘evaluate innovative treatments, care programs, professional training courses and social policies’. He introduced changes to improve access and readability, such as structured abstracts and a key messages box, and the maximum length of articles was shortened to 4000 words to allow for more articles within the journal. Circulation in 2002 was 2200 subscribers.

During this time, the management committee and the editorial team concentrated on the move to professional publishing and online distribution. Professor Diane Gibson (editor-in-chief 2002 to March 2005) met the daily challenges of maintaining and producing the Journal during a significant period of transition.

2002–2007

In 2002, Blackwell Publishing (later Wiley Blackwell) became a partner with COTA in the publication of the journal and by 2004 were appointed the professional publishers of the AJA and facilitated the introduction of the electronic version, published alongside the printed journal. The key features of the digital formats included: PDF/HTML viewing, reference links, table of contents, email alerts, text searching, reference linking partnerships and Google optimisation.

Associate Professor Susan Quine (editor 2005–2009) built a strong foundation for the journal to achieve international recognition. Targeted strategies were implemented to increase the quality of articles and the citation of AJA research. The journal achieved Medline Listing in 2008 and its first Impact Factor (0.319) in 2009. Achieving the MedLine listing was one of A/Prof Quine's major achievements, making a significant contribution to the AJA's status as a recognised international journal.

2007 to present

As a result of two years of planning and negotiating, in 2007 the AJA ownership was transferred to the AJA, Inc., with a management committee including representatives from the COTA, the ANZSGM, the AAG and the ACSA.

Professor Lynne Parkinson (2009–present) continues to build the strength of the Journal with the Impact Factor increasing to 0.94 for 2013. The AJA is available in 4286 institutions worldwide and an additional 3811 institutions in the developing world via philanthropic initiatives. Full-text downloads for the journal via Wiley Online Library and all online platforms increased in 2011 from 60 217 to 74 514, a rise of 23%. The journal is listed in 18 abstracting and indexing indices with an ISI Journal Citation Reports Ranking 2012 of 16/30 in gerontology and 38/46 in geriatrics and gerontology.

Ancillary