In July 2008, the Iranian Journal of Ophthalmology (IrJO) was selected by the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI) for inclusion in its Science Citation Index Expanded. This is a focal point in the history of the journal, and congratulations go to the Iranian ophthalmic society!
Research is defined as any objective replicable enquiry the product of which is Science.1 But this formal systematic observation does not occur in isolation we formulate the question, design the protocol, and report the findings within the current paradigms and available scientific literature. The essence of contributing to science is conducting a quality research, preparing a polished report, and having it published in an indexed journal to facilitate discovery and allow citation. In concrete terms, unless cited, no work can be a piece in the knowledge puzzle or a knot in the science web.
Among the numerous international databases for scientific knowledge and biomedical sciences, ISI, Medline/PubMed, EMBASE, and Scopus are the most popular. These databases are ranked based on their coverage, perceived quality of covered literature, their popularity, and their identity in the information world (analytical and processing tasks, and their services and features). We are now being indexed in the most prestigious scientific database of the world.
The IrJO was founded by the late Professor Mohammad-Gholi Chams in 1968, who apart from having an outstanding role in ophthalmic care and academic ophthalmology (education and research), was a key figure in ophthalmology leadership in the country and made lasting contributions to ophthalmology profession in this part of the world. Later, the journal was entertained by the vivid vision of Professor Ahmad Javadian and fueled by his well-known sense of urgency. It was published half in English and half in Farsi for a number of issues, and anglicized completely in 2006. The IrJO has now been published on a quarterly basis for forty years.
Our editorial board members and scientific reviewers are renowned national ophthalmology academicians, however, the last element to be added to this elixir was technical input by our motivated editorial office members, some of our young peers from within the ophthalmic community, and our sharp collaborators at Farzan Institute for Research and Technology. Finally our dreams were realized in July 2008. We are now indexed in the ISI Web of Knowledge, and also in the process of achieving indexing in other mentioned databases.
ISI selects scientific periodicals for inclusion according to formal criteria: quality of scientific content, regularity of publication, editorship processes, and perceived representation of human knowledge (geographically and thematically).2 We have met those criteria, but we are still far from the state of the art standards of scientific publication in the world. ISI reviews maintenance of standards and our status is subject to exclusion.3 The world is competitive, i.e. our inclusion in the ISI is deterrent to other (regional) journals, and they are our potential replacements in the ISI database.
In the editorial board, we are to adopt more sophisticated approaches in journal structure and invite participation by authorities with excellent research track and employ motivated, interested young colleagues with technical expertise in the field of scientific editorship. We plan to apply flexible schemes for publication i.e. being versatile in manuscript types4 and publish special issues and supplements. The editorship processes should be transmuted to the digital format for a more efficient and objective process, which is a mandate for state of the art international journals.
Our mission now goes beyond our borders and we have a regional duty to facilitate dissemination of the best research from Persia/Central Asia to the World. We should seek collaborations with our regional counterparts and potential international partners, not only for more manuscript submission but also for participation in the editorship.
We have to exploit this unprecedented opportunity for visibility in the scientific community not only is it instrumental in reporting current research but it also motivates us to embark on more extensive studies.
p.s. The journal welcomes your views on this subject in the form of a ‘Letter to the Editor’.
1- http://www.experiment-resources.com/definition-of-research.html accessed in Oct 2008.
2- Kato J. ISI Web of Knowledge: Proven track record of high quality and value. Thomson Scientific Knowledge Link Newsletter April 2005.
3- Testa J. Journal Selection Process. http://www.scientific.thomson.com accessed in Nov 2008.
4- Mohammadi SF, Mohammadi SM, Bahlakeh J, Chams H. Manuscript flexibility: a note for the journal’s contributors, reviewers, and readers. Iranian Journal of Ophthalmology 200820(2):3-5.