The most important factor contributing to a top-class biomedical journal is the quality of the articles it publishes, their contributions to new knowledge, better understanding of disease and its treatment, and their relevance to the improved standards of patient care that we all seek to promulgate. Attracting those articles from authors, selecting the best and editing them for further improvement is the painstaking task of reviewers and editors. It is a time-consuming task that relies on the experience, fairness, expertise and creativity of those involved, and also their generosity and belief in the peer-review system that underpins academic excellence, our science and profession. While JGH no longer lists reviewers each year, your contribution is noted and greatly appreciated.
What may be less well-known is that our hardest-working reviewers, those who consistently review 5 or more manuscripts every year as well as writing for us frequently, are all members of the Editorial Board. Your names are clearly printed inside the front cover of each issue, and your sterling (in some cases, stellar!) contribution is hugely valued.
Ably supported by our reviewers and Editorial Board members, the Editors of JGH need to apply the same qualities to building a great journal, and also additional ones – like wisdom and judgment! Each Editor needs to tackle a constant stream of manuscripts to make timely decisions; each handles about 100 manuscripts a year. They are therefore conducting JGH business multiple times every week of the year. Indeed, it is evident to me that some of them conduct JGH business virtually every day of the year! Selecting which manuscripts should be sent out to our hardworking reviewers and Editorial Board members, nominating and inviting appropriate reviewers, occasionally chasing up those who are incommunicado or tardy, making judgments on discrepant reviewer reports or borderline articles (we only accept ∼12% of articles submitted to us), then finally improving the wording of titles, imperfections of English expression, unwieldy figures and tables all takes time as well as expertise. Editors also contribute substantially to the selection and writing of editorials and high quality review articles, attracting the best original articles for JGH (including some of their own), and developing and promulgating high ethical standards in research and publishing as required by this Journal.
The effort of the team of JGH Editors over the last 5 years or so has been outstanding. In my view, it is the main reason why JGH has grown into the top Asia-Pacific biomedical journal for Gastroenterology and Hepatology, now striving for a more leading role on the world stage. At the beginning of 2012, I want to particularly thank and acknowledge two senior editors who have made singular contributions to JGH. Professor Paul Desmond is a highly experienced hepatologist from Melbourne, whose hard work, great experience, wisdom and judgment have been very helpful to me as Editor-in-Chief and to newer editors – he will be hard to replace. Professor Ki-Baik Hahm from Soeul has been our first Editor from Korea. His legacy will be the greatly improved connection of JGH to our good Korean colleagues, both in the quantity and relevance of articles on topics of mutual interest. As the JGH team farewells these two Editors and thanks them for their sterling service, we welcome aboard several new members: Professor Justin Wu (Hong Kong), Man-Fung Yuen (Hong Kong), Min-Hu Chen (Guangzhou), Peter Gibson (Melbourne) and Shiv Chitturi (Canberra). The present expanding team of 19 editors is energetic, efficient, talented and fair. As I work with them in my sixth year as Editor-in-Chief, I know the future of the Journal is in excellent hands.