European Radiology Editor-in-Chief Dr. Maximilian Reiser is to leave his post before the end of 2017. In addition to a fresh editorial team, the journal is to have a face-lift in a bid to boost the declining impact factor.
Over the past decade, submissions to European Radiology have more than doubled. In spite of an increase in citations, the impact factor fell due to an increase in so-called source items, which comprises the number of published articles, Reiser explained in a report in Wednesday's edition of ECR Today, the daily congress newspaper.
"We were too slow in reducing the acceptance rate accordingly to the increasing submissions, which we are doing now," he noted. "Another reason for the decrease in the impact factor is the fact that we had very highly cited guidelines with several hundred citations in previous years; other articles could not compensate for these."
This is a weak point, but overall usage of the journal was impressive, Reiser continued. A substantial growth in article downloads has occurred, and there were 623,000 downloads in 2016, which proves the journal is highly appreciated and widely read.
The selection of articles must be improved and the journal should be the forum for cutting edge radiological research in Europe and worldwide, he told ECR Today. "In my view, the journal needs a facelift, as well as increased interaction with readers and authors. More active scouting for hot topics and the top authors will also be necessary, but this takes a lot of time and effort parallel to managing the peer-review process of 2,300 article submissions per year!"
It would be more convincing to make a fresh beginning with a new personality, and together with the recently appointed editors of Insights into Imaging and European Radiology Experimental, an entirely new team of editors of the European Society of Radiology (ESR) "journal family" would send out a compelling message, according to Reiser, who was ECR president in 2008 and ESR president in 2010-2011.
"European Radiology is very close to my heart and it was, and still is, a wonderful experience to have deep insight into the 'editorial business,' " he said. "Publications in scientific journals play a key role in the careers of scientists and in the reputation of a specialty. Therefore, the editor of a scientific journal has a huge responsibility."
One aspect he won't miss, however, is the job of rejecting articles. "I really struggle when I have to reject an article and with a rejection rate of more than 80%, this happens very frequently."
Finally, Reiser praised and thanked his team of deputy editors who have special expertise in various fields of radiology: Drs. Rahel Kubik, Sujal Desai, Jean-François Geschwind, Jose Maria Garcia Santos, and Peter Vock. He also acknowledged the work of the ESR editorial office under the leadership of Stefanie Bolldorf, as well as Dr. Katrin Deininger, the scientific assistant in the Munich office, and the representatives of the publisher Springer -- Drs. Ute Heilmann and Isabel Arnold.