Epilepsia editorial: Publications by country

Authors


As a journal representing the international community, Epilepsia has a mission to support and disseminate high quality research from all regions of the world, and the Journal strives to maintain transnational balance and perspective. However, it is not uncommon to receive oral comments and letters, like the one by Hu et al. in this issue, that question if Epilepsia really serves the international community or if the Journal favors one country over another with respect to published manuscripts.

Such a question is not unreasonable, and as Editors it is our view that the best way to address this question is through data. Table 1 shows the number of papers submitted to and accepted by Epilepsia from 2008 to 2013 according to country. Since 2008, Epilepsia has received manuscripts from 88 countries from all regions of the world. Of these, 77 were countries with International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) chapters, and 11 were countries without chapters. This represents 69% of all countries with ILAE chapters.

Table 1. Submissions and acceptances by country for Epilepsia 2008–2013
CountryAcceptSubmit
Algeria01
Argentina520
Armenia01
Australia90177
Austria1650
Bangladesh01
Belgium1962
Bosnia and Herzegovina01
Brazil37174
Bulgaria02
Cameroon34
Canada95227
Chile04
China27261
Colombia01
Costa Rica01
Croatia03
Cuba05
Cyprus11
Czech Republic1040
Denmark2134
Ecuador03
Egypt119
Estonia03
Ethiopia11
Finland1949
France63179
Georgia02
Germany154366
Greece123
Honduras11
Hong Kong818
Hungary1127
Iceland11
India22120
Iran, Islamic Republic of430
Iraq04
Ireland1137
Israel2256
Italy143374
Jamaica02
Japan67293
Jordan01
Kenya512
Democratic People's Republic of Korea02
Republic of Korea23134
Kuwait02
Lao People's Democratic Rep01
Lebanon06
Lithuania12
Macao01
Malawi01
Malaysia19
Malta01
Mexico229
Morocco04
Nepal02
The Netherlands60152
Netherlands Antilles01
New Zealand1526
Nigeria012
Norfolk Island01
Norway1134
Oman01
Pakistan02
Peru02
Poland830
Portugal1032
Puerto Rico12
Romania01
Russian Federation39
Saudi Arabia19
Serbia517
Singapore29
Slovenia11
South Africa15
Spain2295
Sweden1538
Switzerland3176
Taiwan1581
Thailand622
Trinidad and Tobago01
Tunisia23
Turkey12124
United Arab Emirates12
United Kingdom147317
United States5321321
Vietnam33

There is a somewhat skewed distribution of submissions by country but not for number of papers accepted and acceptance rates. The mean (± standard deviation [SD]) number of submissions by country was 60 ± 160 (range 1–1,321), with a median of 6. Fourteen countries (16%) submitted >100 manuscripts each, which represents 79% of all submissions. These countries include Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, The Netherlands, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States, with the United States being the highest (25% of all submissions). The mean (±SD) number of accepted papers by country was 20 ± 63 (range 0–532), with a median of 1. Twenty-nine countries had 10 or more papers accepted by Epilepsia from 2008 to 2013, which was 96% of all published papers for that period. Those 29 countries represented all ILAE regions except for Africa, with the highest number from the United States (the same country with the highest number of submissions representing 30% of all accepted papers). The mean (±SD) percentage of accepted paper by country was 25 ± 28% (range 0–100%), with a median of 19%. Of countries that submitted 20 or more papers from 2008 to 2013, 22 (25%) had acceptance rates of 30% or greater. The five countries with the highest acceptance rates were Denmark (62%), New Zealand (58%), Australia (51%), United Kingdom (46%), and Hong Kong (44%).

What do these data mean with respect to fulfilling the mission of Epilepsia as an international journal and having a paper accepted by individual country? Epilepsia is fulfilling its mission by publishing high quality papers from around the world. Many published papers are from the United States; however, this is also the country with the highest number of submissions, so it should not be a surprise. Other countries also have higher acceptance rates. Hence, Epilepsia does not appear to discriminate in accepting papers by country.

As is true for journals with higher impact factors, Epilepsia makes acceptance decisions according to the quality and impact of submissions. As presented by Phil Schwartzkroin, immediate past Editor-in-Chief of Epilepsia in the accompanying letter from Dr. Hu and colleagues, those qualities include submissions that focus on important and interesting topics; have clearly stated goals and objectives; the observations and findings are novel and change the way we think about epilepsy; and the study is well designed and includes adequate sample size, comparison groups, and statistical analyses. It is also important that the data are appropriately interpreted and not overly construed.

We hope this addresses the question about publication by country for Epilepsia. The Journal is committed to publishing the best quality and high impact research related to epilepsy, especially of international importance. As Editors, we encourage authors, especially new investigators, to consider submitting your work to Epilepsia. We promise to give your work a fair review without bias to geography, but with a bias toward quality and impact.

We confirm that we have read the Journal's position on issues involved in ethical publication and affirm that this report is consistent with those guidelines.

Neither of the authors has any conflict of interest to disclose.

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