December 2012
Volume 53, Issue 13
Free
Editorial  |   December 2012
IOVS 2008–2012
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science December 2012, Vol.53, 8238-8239. doi:10.1167/iovs.12-11331
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      Paul L. Kaufman; IOVS 2008–2012. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(13):8238-8239. doi: 10.1167/iovs.12-11331.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Five years have passed since I became Editor-in-Chief (EiC) of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science (IOVS). These years have brought many changes to the journal. The changes have fared well, and have enabled much growth on various platforms. Of course, the amount of change that IOVS has experienced since its inception 50 years ago is vast. To acknowledge this and the overall history of the journal, IOVS approaches its 50th anniversary by looking forward to the special edition that will be published in celebration of the research and discoveries highlighted by IOVS over the past five decades. Since 1962, IOVS has been at the forefront of many important developments in eye research history. 
More recently, these past five years have brought major changes to ARVO as well. Sadly, the ARVO journals and ARVO itself lost an effective, passionate, and tireless advocate when Joanne Angle passed away this past March. (Her In Memoriam piece can be viewed here.) Her loss has been felt by all. Joanne was vital in leading ARVO to become the organization it is today. The journals department, initially under the jurisdiction of Karen Colson, and later under Alice O'Donnell, has grown and developed. David Roddy, the longtime nonpareil executor of the peer review system, left ARVO in March 2012. Ilana Ostrin who has served in that role since May is a worthy successor. 
IOVS peer review has been using solely online submissions and reviews for a decade. After initially utilizing ScholarOne, IOVS transitioned to E-Journal Press (EJP) as its submission and peer review platform a year and a half ago. The online only platform has been accompanied by a steady, progressive increase in submissions since 2008, passing 2000 submissions in 2011. 
Another cause for the increased submissions is likely the addition of new sections, including Translational, Low Vision, Genetics, Multidisciplinary Ophthalmic Imaging, and Nanotechnology and Regenerative Medicine. As research grows and expands, so will IOVS
Corresponding to the increase in submissions, the total number of published articles and pages has increased. The increased submissions have affected the review process, often making it more difficult to secure reviewers and/or receive reviews (which then delay the review process). This is nonetheless a good sign of growing interest in and capacity for the journal. The 2011 and 5-Year Impact Factors (3.597 and 3.862, respectively) reflect this, with the journal ranking sixth out of 56 ophthalmology journals in the 2011 Journal Citation Reports (Thomson Reuters, 2012) and receiving the most citations of any journal in the ophthalmology category. 
In our new fast-paced technological world, academic publishing and the problems that develop within it are changing constantly, but ARVO steadfastly values publishing ethics. Plagiarism is easier now that articles are available online to anyone anywhere in the world. IOVS runs each submitted manuscript through iThenticate, a program that compares the text of the manuscript with published articles and returns a report listing phrases and passages that are similar between the two. Simultaneous submission to multiple journals and duplicate publication are not rare, and are handled by the journal on a case-by-case basis. We are also investigating technological developments offered by the Office of Research Integrity (via the Department of Health and Human Services) to fight plagiarized and altered works. For example, figures will likely be subject to falsification screenings. 
Duplicate publication, irrespective of language, is a severe transgression. Copyright and other legal issues are at stake if an identical manuscript is published in more than one venue. We respect the time and efforts of our editors and reviewers, and wish not to waste them on such unethical submissions. IOVS is proud to publish the best from our community, and will defend journal space for honest and meritorious research. 
To increase transparency, the journal has installed an extra layer of review and oversight, with the addition of Associate Editors (AE). This team of distinguished senior editors encompassing wide ranging expertise provides support and guidance to the EiC in both the review and policy making processes. The EiC reads the abstract of each newly submitted manuscript and assigns the manuscript to an AE based on expertise and current workload. From there, the AE oversees the review process: assigning an Editorial Board Member (EBM), handling any review issues that arise, and then either finalizing the accept/revise-and-resubmit decision, or making a recommendation to reject the manuscript which the EiC then finalizes. Reviewers are no longer able to leave confidential comments for editors directly in the system, but are still welcome to forward such comments to the editorial office. 
During the current EiC's term, rejection decisions are not negotiable and authors are not permitted to resubmit rejected manuscripts, unless the EiC receives credible evidence of a “fatal flaw” in the review process such as strongly biased or grossly incompetent reviews, or clear professional or personal conflict. Rejections are based on the opinions of two to three reviewers, an EBM and an AE, and all rejection decisions come through the EiC. Once an article is deemed unworthy or simply not good enough to make the cut, we cannot devote the time or resources to revisit the matter lest that become common practice and overwhelm the system. 
The select group of approximately 75 EBMs is critical to the review process, selecting the reviewers and developing a recommendation therefrom; EBMs average approximately 23 recommendations per year of service. Without the efforts of the AEs, EBMs, and reviewers, the journal would be unable to function. We appreciate the dedication and countless hours given by these volunteers, and of course the contributions of the authors who are the heart of IOVS
Readers receive IOVS differently than five years ago. The online only publication format gives readership their instant “fix,” versus awaiting publication in the print issue. This is especially so with the ability to read articles as they are initially accepted and prepublished, even without editing, in the Recently Accepted Papers section of the journal website. The online only publishing platform has also adopted a rolling publishing cycle. This means that instead of publishing once a month, papers are published throughout the month within one issue. Authors may now also add movie and animated figure technology, and color pages are free from charges for corresponding and/or first authors who are ARVO members. 
IOVS will continue to grow and adapt, with Dr. David Beebe, one of the initial Associate Editors, succeeding me as the incoming Editor-in-Chief. I would like to thank all those who supported and added to IOVS during my five-year term. I am excited to watch IOVS continue forward under new leadership and better serve you—the authors and the readers—and the entire vision research community. 
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