Changes to the Journal


Professor Frank Oberklaid, Royal Children’s Hospital, Flemington Road, Parkville, Vic. 3052, Australia. Fax: +61 9345 5900; email:

The past year has been a challenging and rewarding one for the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. We have instituted many new initiatives, with the aim of creating a better, more efficient journal, and have many more exciting developments planned for the future.

In January 2006, we implemented the online submission of articles, using the Manuscript Central system. While the system still has its quirks, contributors should be seeing tangible benefits in terms of a shorter time from submission to first decision. One of our goals is to continue to reduce the amount of time papers spend in the review process and we have seen this come to fruition with the introduction of Manuscript Central. We have also received valuable comments and suggestions from our readership, editorial board members, and editors of the Journal which have greatly assisted us in modifying the system further to benefit the Journal.

To achieve our goals of continually trying to improve the Journal and make it more accessible to our readers, we intend to be transparent with our readership about the progress of these changes, which will assist in encouraging your feedback and comments. Following are some general statistics – we will publish these on an annual basis:

2006 Statistics

Average time (days) from submission to first decision: 51

Average time (days) from re-submission to decision: 28

Average time (months) from acceptance to publication: 4.2

Percentage of all manuscripts accepted: 29%

The layout of the Journal has also undergone changes; subtle alterations to the style, font and paper have been made to improve the Journal’s readability.

In line with our aim of reducing post-acceptance publication time, in 2007 the Journal will be introducing OnlineEarly. This is a Blackwell Synergy service where fully corrected, fully web-functional and complete articles are published online when they are ready, before they appear in print.

We will also be offering an English-editing service to authors for whom English is a second language. Our Instructions for Authors will now include a link to a web page of approved academic editing services, so that our potential authors can seek help with English expression before submission. We hope this service will also benefit our reviewers and editors by improving the legibility of the papers they are asked to review.

Finally, I would like to mention changes to our Editorial Panel as Editors complete a period of service to the Journal and others are appointed to take their place. We thank John Carlin, Jenny Couper, Jane Harding, Karen Simmer and Melissa Wake for their valued time with us, and we welcome Catherine Skellern, Julie Bines, Peter Watson, Trevor Duke, Nicole Spurrier, Renata Kukuruzovic and Polly Hardy.

As always, we welcome and encourage your comments, feedback and suggestions as to ways we can make the Journal even more relevant to our readers.