Endocrinol Metab > Volume 32(1); 2017 > Article
Huh: How to Prepare Endocrinology and Metabolism for Reapplication to MEDLINE
Endocrinology and Metabolism's application to become indexed in the MEDLINE database was submitted in February 2016. The journal received notice that it had not been selected in June 23, 2016. Table 1 presents the results of the Journal Review Summary by the United States National Medical Library Literature Selection Technical Review Committee (LSTRC). In this editorial, I would like to analyze the summary, to propose a path toward addressing the areas for improvement, and to speculate on the prospects of the journal. Other comments from the committee were as follows:
(1) Area(s) for improvement: Editorial board members are listed without credentials. There are signs of poor editorial work (e.g., a single author review which alternated between the singular pronouns “I” and “We” throughout the article). Lax ethics practice, e.g., a case report showed a barely disguised full facial photograph without an ethics statement (e.g., patient's consent). The journal has a relatively low unsolicited rate of 70%, with very high acceptance rate of 67%—this acceptance rate could be lowered. There is a lack of high-quality content (e.g., randomized controlled trials or systematic reviews). The journal could widen its regional scope.
(2) Overall comments: This is a medical journal that promotes clinical and translational science in the area of endocrinology and metabolism. It is a regional journal (Korea). Some of the Korean authorship includes collaborations with Europe or the United States. Animal, ethical, and Institutional Review Board (IRB) statements are provided in the Methods section of articles. However, there is some inconsistency in the following of these ethical guidelines (written consent and IRB statements are lacking in a few articles). The website is very user-friendly and articles are available in several different formats.
The committee gave the journal an overall rating of 3 on a Likert scale from 0 to 5, with 5 being the highest rating. The committee also noted that “The LSTRC assessment of journals is based on several critical elements that serve as a general guide for recommending a journal title to be indexed in Medline. There is no one element by itself that tends to disqualify a journal from being recommended. The overall appraisal of a journal's scientific content, quality, importance, editorial policies, and subject coverage in Medline determine the LSTRC scoring and recommendation.”
The comments that the LSTRC provided on the journal editing and publishing were meticulous and showed evidence of their close analysis. Incidentally, it should be noted that informed consent for the patient's photograph mentioned in the comments was received during the article submission process; however, mention of the informed consent was omitted from the article. Also worth noting is that full text of the journal is available in PubReader, ePub, and PDF formats.

A PROPOSED STRATEGY FOR ACTION ON THE BASIS OF THE LSTRC COMMENTS

First, the journal deserves recognition for the positive comments on the quality of the journal website. Many of the other comments can be addressed. For example, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) is one of the standard ID systems used worldwide for researchers [1]. ORCID of all editorial board members can be announced publicly. Another way to address the comments is to acquire more meticulous English proofreading to be provided by a professional English proofreading company. An ethics editor should also be recruited to take responsibility for the enforcement of research and publication ethics. The journal also needs to reduce its acceptance rate. To do so, the number of submissions must increase. Providing better services to attract more submissions would include a rapid review process; fluent and informative review comments; prompt decisions on acceptance for publication; ePub ahead of print for accepted manuscripts; and the continuous removal of the author's article processing charge. A call for submission of randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews should be announced to not only the Korean Endocrine Society members but also all researchers worldwide. To broaden the scope of the journal to an international level, the journal is already welcoming submissions from investigators in the Asia-Pacific region and throughout the rest of the world. From 2014 to 2016, the journal published articles from 17 countries. The editorial board members already represent 19 countries now. An invitation to potential board members from additional countries would provide an opportunity to recruit more manuscripts from board members' countries.
To recruit authors from all over the world, one of the most important incentives may be being listed in international databases. The journal has been searchable in the EBSCO database since 2012. It has been made accessible throughout the world through ScienceCentral (http://e-sciencecentral.org) that is free or open access full-text archives of scientific society journal literature at the Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies, as of December 2013. The ScienceCentral database provides translation into 80 other languages in the world in collaboration with Google Translate. Although Google Translate is not perfect, the quality of translation becomes better year by year because it relies on a deep learning technique. For any two closely related languages, it is possible to understand the contents without difficulty, for example, between Korean and Japanese. Between English and French, the translation is also understandable. Endocrinology and Metabolism began being indexed in PubMed Central on January 10, 2014 and is searchable from the first issue of volume 28, 2013. Automatically, this made it searchable through PubMed. In August 2015, the journal was notified that it will be indexed in Scopus. It is now searchable in the Scopus database from the 2014 volume 29, number 1 issue. On September 28, 2016, it was first listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ, http://doaj.org/). To be searchable in DOAJ, it is recommended that XML metadata be deposited soon. The indexing status in the abovementioned databases may increase submissions from all over the world. Besides this, the journal is now under consideration by Clarivate Analytics for inclusion in the Web of Science Core Collection.

SUGGESTION TO ADOPT AN OPEN DATA POLICY

On October 10, 2016, the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) circulated a draft of Data Sharing Plans for Clinical Trials to member journal editors: “The ICMJE believes there is an ethical obligation to responsibly share data generated by interventional clinical trials because trial participants have put themselves at risk [2].” Although the degree of adoption of this data sharing plan may vary according to the journal's situation, it should be announced that the plan will be adopted by the journal. Furthermore, the adoption of an open data policy is worth considering. If raw data are openly available to the researcher, the replication of experiments and trials can be performed more easily and the data analysis can be more transparent. In Korea, up to now, only one journal, Journal of Educational Evaluation for Health Professions, has adopted an open data policy, which began in April 2016 [3]. This policy provides a means by which the journal can enhance the scientific soundness of its published studies and encourage higher quality submissions.

MEDLINE JOURNALS IN THE CATEGORY OF ENDOCRINOLOGY

When the United States National Library of Medicine Catalog was searched with the term “endocrinology (MeSH major topic),” 23 journals were returned as MEDLINE journals. Among them, 12 are from Europe, 10 from the United States, and one from Japan. Only one journal title is from Asia, the Endocrine Journal, which is published by the Japan Endocrine Society. Therefore, it can be concluded that the number of source titles from Asia on the subject of endocrinology is insufficient. The prevalence of endocrine diseases including diabetes has increased very fast in Asian countries, including Korea and China [4]. Information from Asian countries is very important for patient care and prevention of endocrine diseases throughout the world. Endocrinology and Metabolism would be a good vehicle for providing that essential information to the world. There is still a possibility that this journal could be selected for inclusion in MEDLINE because it can provide unique information on the prevalence and epidemiology of endocrine diseases in Asian countries.
The review of potential MEDLINE titles is carried out three times a year by the 15 LSTRC members. Each time, up to 140 titles are reviewed. The recommendation rate is less than 14% [5]. These data showed that it is very difficult to pass the MEDLINE review. Up to January 2017, 28 journals published in Korea have been listed in MEDLINE [6]. In the MEDLINE review process, the criteria in Table 1 are an important basis of evaluation. One another important point is that if any journal can enrich the MEDLINE database by providing unique medical information, the committee may justify indexing it [7]. Therefore, recruiting unique articles that cannot be found in other endocrinology journals in MEDLINE deserves greater focus.

WHY MEDLINE IS WORTH CONTINUING TO PURSUE

Getting listed in MEDLINE enables a journal to have Medical Subject Headings added to the citation data of the journal in PubMed by professional indexers. Therefore, a more sensitive and specific search of its articles is possible. Of course, it is also simply an honor to be recognized as a MEDLINE journal in and of itself. The editorial board members of Endocrinology and Metabolism do their best to promote the journal, and the Korean Endocrine Society fully supports the journal publication. Furthermore, the journal has a unique scope and top-notch editing and publishing quality. Thus Endocrinology and Metabolism has a great potential to become indexed in MEDLINE.

NOTES

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST: No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.

REFERENCES

1. Im J. Applying Open Researchers and Contributors ID in scholarly journals. Sci Ed 2015;2:28-31.
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2. Taichman DB, Backus J, Baethge C, Bauchner H, de Leeuw PW, Drazen JM, et al. Sharing clinical trial data: a proposal from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Ann Intern Med 2016;164:505-506.
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3. Huh S. An eventful year for the Journal of Educational Evaluation for Health Professions. J Educ Eval Health Prof 2016;13:45
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4. Rhee EJ. Diabetes in Asians. Endocrinol Metab (Seoul) 2015;30:263-269.
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5. Stanger R. Medline journal selection [Internet]. London: World Confederation for Physical Therapy; c2017. cited 2017 Feb 5. Available from: http://www.wcpt.org/sites/wcpt.org/files/files/networks/ispje/MEDLINE-Journal_Selection2016.pdf.
6. Huh S. Promotion to Medline, indexing with Medical Subject Headings, and open data policy for the Journal of Educational Evaluation for Health Professions. J Educ Eval Health Prof 2016;13:14
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7. Huh S. How to add a journal to the international databases, Science Citation Index Expanded and Medline. Arch Plast Surg 2016;43:487-490.
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Table 1

Results of Journal Review Summary by the United States National Medical Library Literature Selection Technical Review Committee for Endocrinology and Metabolism Dispatched June 23, 2016

NA, not available.

Scope: X Core biomedical subjects __ Related to medicine
Coverage: __Predominantly US. ___International X Regional __Local
1. Quality Poor 0 Fair 1 Moderate 2 Good 3 Excellent 4 Outstanding 5 NA
 Scientific merit (validity, currency of information & references, originality, contribution to field)
  Review articles X
  Clinical research X
  Basic research X
  Other (Case reports, Editorials, etc.) X
  Authors/Institutions X
 Editorial work (credibility of contents)
  Editorial board quality X
  External peer review X
 Production quality (layout, printing, readability, usability, graphics; number and location of advertisements)
  Print quality
  Online quality X
2. Importance None 0 Little 1 Moderate 2 High 3 Very high 4 Outstanding 5 NA
 Researchers X
 Clinicians in the field X
 Clinicians not in the field X
 Educators X
 Administrators X
 Allied health professionals X
 Students X
 Policy makers X
3. Ethics policies/Statements
Policy exists Policy is adequate Policy consistently followed
NA Yes No Yes No Yes No
 Conflict of interest X X X
 Human/Animal rights X X
 Informed consent X X
None Little Moderate High Very high Essential NA
 Ethics policies X


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