A personal journal journey It has been my honor and pleasure to have co-edited the Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery since 1996 in succession with co-editors Stephen Obstbaum, Douglas Koch, and Nick Mamalis. It has also been a real pleasure to work with associate editors Thomas Kohnen and BJ Dupps during this period, and I am delighted that the excellent work of Thomas Kohnen has been recognized by the board of the ESCRS, which has selected Thomas to succeed me as co-editor. I wish Thomas continued success and a long period in office for what he is able to bring and for what he has already brought to JCRS. The highlight of my editorial career was the 1996 amalgamation of the Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery (JCRS), the peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery (ASCRS), with the European Journal of Implant and Refractive Surgery, the peer-reviewed journal of the European Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgeons (ESCRS). The amalgamation has been highly successful for all concerned, especially the readers of JCRS, who have seen the impact of the journal continuously in the ascent, high among all ophthalmic peer-reviewed journals. Editorial work is divided equally between the USA and Europe and supported by an international editorial board and journal management by Elsevier. As with all peer-reviewed journals, JCRS is inevitably dependent on our reviewers, whose support is vital and efficient in keeping the quality of the journal at its current high level. The JCRS impact and eminence among ophthalmic specialist journals coupled with the pride in participation and the joy of teamwork provide monthly evidence of the fruitful outcome of a collaborative effort. On stepping down as co-editor, I am delighted that I now have a niche to utilize years of editorial experience to handle case reports in the journal and also on line and so relieve the JCRS main editors of an extra time-consuming editorial burden. My journey started when I was a 3rd year medical student in Manchester, U.K., and was appointed editor of the Manchester Medical Students Gazette after a period as an editorial assistant. The Gazette became the Manchester Medical Gazette for the benefit of all past and present Manchester medical men and women, containing news and medical reviews to suit all palates. The experience was valuable in providing journal management and editorial experience. Some years later (in 1981) at the formative meeting of the European Implant Council under its first president, Caes Binkhorst, it was decided that national European implant societies would delegate the Q 2014 ASCRS and ESCRS Published by Elsevier Inc.
organization of an annual conference to a different society each year. As a U.K. representative at the inaugural council meeting, I suggested that a year gap between meetings should be supplemented by the production of a peer-reviewed journal in the name of the European organization, then the European IntraOcular Implant Council (EIIC), initially published on a quarterly basis. The idea was accepted, and the first European journal, Implant, was launched in place of its French forebear, which was about to be suspended. I was elected to the editorial board of the new journal under the editorship of George Baikoff. George, for personal reasons, asked me to take over as editor in 1982. As a result of my Manchester medical journal experience, I accepted. Because of its French origin, Implant was a bilingual English–French language journal initially but soon became English language only for economic reasons. The journal evolved to become the European Journal of Implant and Refractive Surgery as the EIIC, similar to the national European societies, embraced refractive surgery as the appropriate companion interest of cataract and implant surgery. The European Journal of Implant and Refractive Surgery rapidly grew in size, frequency (monthly), and authority to cater to the rapid expansion in ocular anterior segment surgery in the 1980s and 1990s. In 1995, I was approached by the editor of the Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery, Stephen Obstbaum, to discuss the possibility of a merger of the American and the European journals, subject of course to the approval of the respective management boards. The recognition that as a combined society publication we would be much stronger than existed as separate journals was approved in late 1995. In 1996, alongside Stephen Obstbaum, I became co-editor of the Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery, the journal of the ASCRS and the ESCRS (In 1988, the EIIC evolved to become the ESCRS, the European Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgeons.1) Editing in those formative years was a tough business as there was no online facility to send manuscripts to reviewers, to make life easier for authors to submit on line and for reviewers to be approached for reviews with ease of rapid response. The publication revolution came in 2005, dramatically improving turnaround times and shortening delays in publication. I have been continually surprised at how cataract and refractive surgery have evolved as expansion of knowledge and technology demanded the need for journal evidence-based contributions. With 1300 manuscripts received annually, the editorial process has been time consuming. Each editor at 0886-3350/$ - see front matter http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcrs.2014.07.012
JCRS needs to assess the potential value of each manuscript before inviting several reviewers for peer analysis of its worth plus advice on how to improve the submission more often than not. For authors and editors alike, the adoption in full length articles of “What Was Known?” and “What This Paper Adds” 2 years ago has made the editors' requirement of assessing the submission's value much easier. These additions has also helped the reviewers' overall task and helped authors focus on the added value of their submission. The journal aims to publish articles within 6 months of acceptance for the process of review and the editorial process may take months, especially if more than 1 revision is requested. Publication space is inevitably limited, and a rejection rate of nearly 70% overall reflects that limitation to some degree, although there is a very conscious effort to prioritize publication based on the quality of the manuscript and its relevance to the JCRS readership. Case reports can easily distort the content of the journal; of the 1300 manuscripts received each year, about 212 are case reports. Most readers do enjoy case reports, but in fairness to other categories of submission and publication, JCRS publishes only 3 reports in each issue. To accommodate the many good reports for which we have no space, JCRS now offers an online case report journal, JCRS Online Case Reports, which is also accessible through the JCRS website. The case reports editor then has the task of prioritizing case reports for the print version, which do achieve PubMed recognition while online reports at this time do not but are quoted in Scopus and Science Direct databases and the contents are printed in the JCRS. The authors are of course at liberty to try other journals for print publication but the JCRS online case report section is, I believe, a very attractive option. I am pleased to report 2 editorial successes in terminology. I have always objected to the use of a compound adjective, eg, viscoelastic, being used as a noun and always corrected manuscripts to the term ophthalmic viscosurgical device (OVD). I am pleased to see this term now in common use. The regular reference in submitted manuscripts to corneal axis or IOL axis is confusing as the cornea has no axes, only meridia, and toric IOLs are also placed in relation to corneal meridia. Optical lenses used in glasses to
correct refractive errors have axes at 90 degrees to their steep meridian; hence the use of axis in relation to corneal refraction and IOL orientation has been constantly misapplied, a message that has more often than not been understood.2 The editors of JCRS do not work in a vacuum for they have able support from Christine Ford, Wendy Pacheco, Lou Dragon, and Reva Hurtes. I owe a large debt to Louise Brennan in my office, as Thomas does to Alison Rowan McEwan, his editorial assistant. Indeed, this editorial gives me the opportunity to thank all team members of the production side of JCRS as well as the Elsevier teamdJosh Spieler in the past and Nancy Axelrod his successor. From the management perspective, Carol Fitzpatrick and Mary D’Ardis at ESCRS and Dave Karcher at ASCRS have always been supportive and on the European side, members of the ESCRS publication committee oversee and advise on all our JCRS efforts. I have seen transition from the Graefe knife “soft boiled egg approach” to cataract surgery to femtosecond laser–assisted microincision closed eye surgery with control effected by OVDs. I am amazed by the continuous upward developmental curve of cataract surgery to surpass its state of excellence for several years. General anesthesia and retrobulbar anesthesia have given way to topical anesthesia as a routine. Infection prophylaxis progress has saved countless eyes. Dramatic expansion in lens surgery numbers in industrialized nations has occurred, although old methods and low volumes of surgery unfortunately and perhaps inevitably persist in much of the world. May the dissemination and fall in the cost of modern refractive cataract surgical methods continue to expand to the advantage of cataract patients all over the world. Emanuel S. Rosen, MD, FRCSEd Co-Editor JCRS 1996–2014 REFERENCES 1. Barry P, Rosen ES, eds. European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons – A History. Dublin, Ireland, Gill & Macmillan, 2013 2. Rosen E. Axis or meridian? [editorial] J Cataract Refract Surg 2011; 37:1743. Available at: http://www.jcrsjournal.org/article/ S0886-3350(11)01168-0/pdf. Accessed July 24, 2014
J CATARACT REFRACT SURG - VOL 40, SEPTEMBER 2014