Volume 14, Number 1, March 2002

A New Journal

This issue of Asian Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery marks the start of the fourteenth year of the regular appearance of the Journal as the official publication of the Asian Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Occasioned by the recent change of editorship and publisher, it may be opportune to reflect on past achievements of the Journal as a way to identify strategies aimed at securing continuous progress and improvement in the next phase of the Journal's development.

What Has Been Achieved?
As I briefly mentioned in the last issue of the Journal (Volume 13, Number 2), we owe a large debt of gratitude to the former Editor-in-Chief and all members of the Editorial Board of the past 13 years for achieving consistency of publication, combined with a high standard of scientific content. This record sets the Journal firmly on the bedrock necessary for future development.

It should also be acknowledged that the Journal could not exist without financial support from the Association - this has been generously provided in the past, and continues to be pledged for the future. In turn, like all official publications of professional associations, the Journal lends a face to the Association and provides a window into the professional activities of its membership.

Where Do We Go From Here?
In terms of scientific content, which I believe is the single most important factor in the success of any journal, as of now, the peer review process will be set on a wider base, drawing on an expanded Editorial Board and the specific expertise of individual reviewers in the community. The review process will therefore be international and not purely Asian. The standard and nature of accepted manuscripts will therefore be further improved. The time from receipt of submitted manuscripts to publication will be minimised, and the interval between acceptance and publication will be 6 months or less. This is possible only because of the change to a quarterly publication with effect from the current issue. Electronic communication will further help in this regard. Submission of manuscripts, peer review, and manuscript trafficking will be accomplished electronically as soon as possible.

There is no doubt that Asian colleagues have made and will always make significant contributions to knowledge in our field. However, further effort is needed to widen the source of manuscripts. It is desirable for the Journal to reflect the professional and academic activities of all the national groups within the Association, and a special effort will be made to encourage these submissions. A wide net will also be cast internationally to attract manuscripts from various parts of the world to further enhance the scientific profile of the Journal. It is also hoped that some Asian manuscripts currently sent to other competing journals will be redirected to the
Asian Journal of Oral Maxillofacial Surgery when their authors realise the advantages offered by rapid manuscript turnaround.

The Journal has not been used sufficiently as a platform for interaction among members of the Association, partly because of the biannual publication schedule. The quarterly appearance of the Journal from now on will help in this regard. The Journal will also publish 'Letters to the Editor' on scientific aspects of published articles, and the authors' responses will be sought and simultaneously published. Letters on any professional matter relating to the specialty of oral and maxillofacial surgery will be encouraged. Announcements of courses, scientific symposia, conferences, and other professional notices will be accepted for appearance in the announcements section. Other strategies to promote the educational value of the Journal will be developed and implemented.

It is therefore with much anticipation that we, the Editorial Board, office bearers of the Association, and the publishers, embark on this phase of the development of our Journal, hoping to induce you, the reader, to learn and contribute to our interesting and exciting specialty, thus promoting the culture of scholarship within our region.

Nabil Samman
Asian Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Asian J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2002;14:4.
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