Time passes by very quickly, particularly when you are enjoying your job. Some less kind people might also say that time passes more quickly when you are getting older, but I absolutely deny that such a statement could have any relevance to me. To return to the first and more appropriate sentence, I am now close to the end of my sixth year as Editor of the BJU International and I continue to enjoy it very much indeed. It requires a considerable input of time, but with the help of my editorial team and of the staff of Wiley-Blackwell dedicated to the Journal, the production of something of which I am proud is achieved without too much difficulty. I have tried to change the Journal in every possible way during my editorship from what it has been in the past. The way the Journal now appears, the use of colour, its reader-friendliness, the highly acclaimed Surgery Illustrated Section with the wonderful artistry of Stefan Spitzer, are some of the obvious innovations. In addition, the early appearance of the completed and fully corrected articles online as well as the website innovations led by Marcus Drake, Robyn Webber and Frank Gardiner, have also added a new dimension to the Journal.
There have, of course, been other innovations and there will be many more. The new Essential Evidence Supplement, InfoPOEMS for Urologists has been a huge success and the Editor of this section, Roger Dmochowski, is putting a huge amount of work into producing something that will be of great value to the practising urologist, as well as to residents and fellows all around the world. Every month we have a box at the beginning of each original article stating the Level of Evidence supplied by the manuscript, and this is carefully evaluated by Mark Emberton, who has also helped to develop this innovation, unique to the BJU International.
The quality of the papers published in the Journal has also improved, as evidenced by the gradual increase in the Impact Factor. Whether this is the appropriate way for a Journal to be judged is for the reader to decide, but certainly it is the international way of judging the academic content at present. I am happy to say that since I have become Editor of the BJU International, the Impact Factor has risen every year. For this I must thank very sincerely the Associate Editors for their hard work in maintaining the high standard we have set ourselves, and to the long list of excellent reviewers who kindly give of their time on such a regular basis.
In a previous Editor’s Comment I noted that in 2003 the spread of papers published was truly international, in keeping with our name; 28% of these come from the North American Continent, 26% from Continental Europe, 24% from Asia, Africa, South America and Australia and 22% from the UK and Ireland. This international division has been maintained, but with a slight change. Now 30% come from Continental Europe, 28% from the North American Continent; 24% from the UK and Ireland and 18% from Asia, Africa, South America and Australia. I am delighted that we are still serving the interests of urologists from all over the world and we will continue to do this.