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As in other years, the International Journal of Urology (IJU) Editorial Board held the annual meeting during the 99th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Urological Association (JUA) in Nagoya, Japan, on 22 April 2011. We were happy to have two guests from the Urological Association of Asia (UAA). Dr Rajeev Kumar (Additional Professor of Urology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, India) has been working for UAA as the Chief Editor of the Asian Urology/UAA Website and also for IJU as an Associate Editor. Dr Rainy Umbas (Professor and Head of Urology Training Program, University of Indonesia, Indonesia) serves as the Director of the UAA Asian School of Urology. We here extend profound gratitude to these two guests for their participation and useful advice for IJU.

Professor Naito, the Editor-in-Chief of IJU, opened the meeting by expressing his deep sorrow for the victims of the great earthquake and tsunami that struck the Tohoku area of Japan 6 weeks earlier. Then he introduced the international guests, who gave short comments for IJU. The presentation on the 2010 performance of IJU was made by the Managing Editor, followed by the publisher's presentation on Journal strategy by Ms Sasaki from Wiley-Blackwell.

A growing number of manuscripts have been submitted to IJU in the past decade (Fig. 1). Now we receive more than 1200 submissions per year. This rapid growth is apparently attributed to the increased number of international submissions. Actually, it has increased from 64 in 2001 to 973 in 2010, which means more than 15-fold increase. Now IJU is the leading journal in Asia in the field of urology, and is expected to be really “international” in both name and reality. Submissions from Asian countries account for approximately 60% of all submissions (Fig. 2). Japan (250 submissions) is the leading country, followed by China (219), Korea (93) and India (60). Europe (222), the Middle East (137) and North America (81) also made significant contributions. Italy (56) leads in the European countries, followed by the UK (36), Germany (32) and Greece (26). Turkey (91) and Egypt (31) made the most submissions from the Middle East.

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Figure 1. Number of submissions since 2001. (inline image), Japan; (inline image), overseas.

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Figure 2. Breakdown of submissions by region in 2010.

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Short publication latency is crucial for a scientific journal. Unfortunately, until 2006, IJU used to take more than 1 year to publish an article (Fig. 3). We improved the reviewing system, which resulted in the dramatically reduced submission–acceptance time to as short as 1.76 months in 2009. The publisher also made efforts to shorten the acceptance–publication time from 8.13 months in 2006 to 3.19 months in 2009. In 2010, however, the publication latency got longer to 6.3 months on average. The increased number of submissions might be blamed, but we apparently need to further brush up the reviewing system.

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Figure 3. Average submission time since 2003. 2003–2009 calculated by 5 days per week; from 2010 calculated by 7 days per week. (inline image), Submission to acceptance (months); (inline image), acceptance to publication (months); (inline image), total: online publication (months).

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The acceptance rate for original articles in 2010 was 7.9%, and that for case reports was as low as 0.23%. Approximately half (52.1%) of the submissions were immediately rejected before peer review, so we could maintain the rapid processing of the increasing submissions. Although rejection disappoints the authors, it also gives them an early chance to approach another journal.

The impact factor (IF) of IJU in 2009 was 1.158, and is expected to reach around 1.4 in 2010 (Fig. 4). Of course, submissions of good quality bolster the increasing IF, and we also continue to make an effort to make IJU more attractive. One such effort is to publish more review articles, editorials or guidelines. Actually, many excellent review articles have been cited recently. Another effort is educational seminars for authors and reviewers. Starting from 2008, we have held “IJU seminars” for senior urologists at annual regional meetings of JUA.

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Figure 4. Impact factor since 2004 (estimated by Publisher).

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Online access to IJU is also growing. We had 132 082 online article views in 2010, which is a 22.5% increase from the previous year. The publisher's sales and circulation strategy continue to focus on increasing the Journal's reach by offering a number of different routes to content and promoting readership through discoverability. In 2010, there were 30 institutional subscriptions for IJU globally, which is a 15% increase from the previous year, and more than 3740 institutions have access to journal. Additionally, more than 4650 libraries in the developing world have access through philanthropic initiatives. IJU also is available in more than 2700 public and specialized libraries globally through third party databases.

Not only are the journal articles, some audio-visual contents have also been casted via YouTube. We, in collaboration with the publisher, are working to enrich the IJU website.

The Editors know that the journal quality is supported by excellent reviewers. As an expression of our gratitude, we have presented an award to outstanding reviewers since 2008. This year, we were proud to award seven reviewers as the “Reviewers of the Year 2010”; Dr Tetsuya Fujimura, Dr Hiroshi Fukuhara, Dr Jun Nakashima, Dr Noritoshi Sekido, Dr Narihito Seki, Dr Noboru Hara and Dr Yuzuri Tsurumaki (Fig. 5, from left to right in the second row).

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Figure 5. 2010 Reviewers of the Year together with Editors and guests from UAA. Dr Umbas and Dr Kumar is fourth and sixth from left in the front row, respectively.

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We were sorry to have the reception canceled this year after taking into consideration the heavy damage of the disaster. Still, the Editors had good discussions with participants.

Before ending this meeting report, the Editors would like to express their profound gratitude to all the participants and everyone involved in IJU.