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  Qiang Shu, Zheng-Yan Zhao
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Qiang Shu, Zheng-Yan Zhao
Hangzhou, China
Author Affiliations: Shu Q is deputy editor-in-chief and managing editor, WJP; Zhao ZY is editor-in-chief, WJP
Corresponding Author: Zhao ZY, 57 Zhuganxiang, Hangzhou 310003, China (Tel: 86-571-87084307; Fax: 86-571-87084307; Email: wjpch@zju.edu.cn)
doi: 10.1007/s12519-015-0001-y
A decade's publication of the World Journal of Pediatrics (WJP) is an occasion on which to look back how the journal is growing up since it was born in July 2005. Editors still remember the proposal to launch an international pediatric journal which was discussed at a meeting of hospital directors in 2004. After over one year's preparation, the inauguration issue of WJP appeared as the first peer-reviewed English-language pediatric journal in China. WJP took about five years to mature as a journal known to the world pediatric community. Certainly because of its content or materials published, the journal is now abstracted or indexed by major databases including SCI-E (2007), PubMed/Medline (2008), SCOPUS, EMBASE, Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), Google Scholar, Academic OneFile, EMCare, OCLC, SCImago, and Summon by ProQuest. Over a decade, the number of manuscripts being submitted to the journal each year has increased steadily from 60 in 2005 to 600 in 2014. The impact factor of the journal in 2013 was 1.048 and a five-year impact factor, 1.268.
From the very beginning, the journal has an editorial board consisting of noted pediatricians and scientists from about 20 countries like Anthony C. Chang, Martha D. Mullett, Stuart E. Siegel, William A. Neal, and George Hoffmann. They review and write articles for WJP quite often. With the expanding of manuscripts being submitted from different countries and regions, the board has been expanded from 59 in 2005 to 141 members in 2014 to relieve the pressure of manuscripts stagnation. Moreover, approximately 2500 specialists and experts are invited to serve as external reviewers of manuscripts. Their contributions to the journal deserve a great appreciation; without their support, WJP can do nothing. In short, the combined contribution of editors screening articles, reviewers reading the remainder, and editors using the reviewers' opinions in making their final decision is an effective mechanism for identifying articles that should be published and then put to the test of time.
WJP has changed considerably since its humble beginning. The big problem at that time was the source of manuscripts. The editorial staff took several years to solve this problem by active solicitation of articles from various countries on different occasions. Later on, the situation has changed much from manuscripts invited by associate editors and house editors to free submissions to the journal. The editorial office now receives over 60 manuscripts a month, of which about one quarter are accepted for publication. The decision of whether or not an article is suitable for publication largely depends on expert reviewers who perform the demanding and unacknowledged task of giving their opinion about its merits or demerits. Without peer opinion an editor would find himself in an impossible situation. Unlike research papers, review articles, editorials and special communications are mostly invited by house editors. There was a marked change in proportion of authors, i.e. 85.5% of authors of the articles published in 2005 were Chinese but 75% were from overseas or other 30 countries in 2013 (Fig. 1). The journal has published highly-cited articles including two research articles regarding melamine-contaminated milk products induced urinary tract calculi in children after the "melamine milk incidence in China" in 2008.[1,2] These articles are still valuable for the clinical diagnosis and treatment of such disease in other countries. The journal also published several important review articles on obesity, asthma and congenital heart diseases. The citation rate of journal articles increases each year (Fig. 2) and in 2013 it increased by 31% as compared to the previous year (data from SpringerLink). These achievements are ascribed to the contributions made by authors, editorial board members, reviewers, and the editorial staff. The increasing number of submissions has increased the rejection rate from 19.3% in 2005 to 85.5% in 2013, but free high-quality submissions are lacking (Fig. 3). This is partly due to so-called "impact factor" effect making many high-quality research articles including those funded by governments or foundations published in some high impact journals out of China. Fortunately, WJP in 2013 was financially supported by the Project for Enhancing International Impact of China STM Journals initiated by the governmental institutions. This project encourages Chinese scientific journals to reinforce the process of peer-review and publish high-quality or outstanding researches and creations in basic and clinical studies.
The journal will endeavor to keep the mission described in an editorial in the inauguration issue "to publish advanced pediatric research, broaden the knowledge of pediatricians, and ultimately improve the health and well-being of children worldwide".[3] Hence it is imperative to bring the journal to as wide an audience as possible through its circulation, electronic edition, international databases, social networks and other means. Adhering to the principles of research ethics, scientific integrity, and editorial independence exercised in practice, editors are convinced that WJP will help pediatricians and scientists with better service to children around the world in the next decade.
Funding: This editorial was funded by the Project for Enhancing International Impact of China STM Journals (no. 2013-214 D-8).
Ethical approval: Not needed.
Competing interest: None declared.
Contributors: Shu Q and Zhao ZY wrote the paper and approved the final version of the paper.
1   Zhang L, Wu LL, Wang YP, Liu AM, Zou CC, Zhao ZY. Melamine-contaminated milk products induced urinary tract calculi in children. World J Pediatr 2009;5:31-35.
2   He Y, Jiang GP, Zhao L, Qian JJ, Yang XZ, Li XY, et al. Ultrasonographic characteristics of urolithiasis in children exposed to melamine-tainted powdered formula. World J Pediatr 2009;5:118-121.
3   Zhao ZY. A new life, a new journal. World J Pediatr 2005;1:5.
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