It has been a great privilege to be editor in chief (EiC) of Eye for the last 10 years and prior to that an assistant and associate editor for 6 years. When I started as EiC in 20081 my plans included expanding the editorial board, publically acknowledging reviewers, reducing the time to publication, increasing the quality of publications and encouraging more authors to submit to Eye. I am pleased to say all of these aims have been achieved.
We now have a dynamic, international editorial board who work tirelessly behind the scenes to review papers. More details can be seen on the Eye website 'Meet the editors' section. Consequently, we now have annual editorial board meetings at both the Royal College of Ophthalmology Congress and the American Academy of Ophthalmology. We publically acknowledge all reviewers in the December issue of Eye and award those reviewers who have done the most reviews with a year’s subscription to Nature. It is a small way to say thank you for all their hard work. The time to online publication, when an article is citable, is now reduced to 27 days and articles appear in print within 87 days. Eye is no longer a journal that takes a long time to publish articles.
Our impact factor has steadily increased and currently is 2.3. It was 1.8 when I started as EiC and our ranking against other ophthalmic journals has also increased.
Other innovations include new sections such as controversy, comment and Medscape articles, podcasts and seminars on how to write a paper, editor’s top picks, and themed editions. All of these have proved popular with our readers.
The internet has revolutionised publishing and we now offer open access publication, web focuses, and even Twitter and Facebook. Our journal website receives circa 2 million visits a year from around the world and over 30 000 people receive our table of contents by email each month. We process over 1000 manuscripts per year and Eye has the largest print circulation of any ophthalmic journal in the UK. Next year, the journal will move to a new publishing platform allowing more online interaction between readers and articles. We have come a long way from when the previous EiC, Prof Rennie amazingly ran the journal out of a filing cabinet in the pre internet era!
Therefore by any metric, Eye is a highly regarded global journal of ophthalmology, publishing the highest quality research of interest to ophthalmologists.
None of this would be possible without the largely unseen work of the reviewers and editorial board. In addition, I have received tremendous support from the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, who have given me the autonomy needed to function properly as an Editor in Chief. Special thanks to Kathy Evans and more lately Beth Barnes from the College for their help. Further support has come from the editorial team at Nature Publishing Group. Also, largely unseen, but most important to the smooth running of the journal, is the editorial assistant. I have been very lucky to have worked first with Elaine Hudson and subsequently Steve Beet. Both have made immense contributions to the journal.
Finally, I wish to congratulate Sobha Sivaprasad upon her appointment as the new EIC. I look forward to seeing the journal develop and flourish in the future under Sobha’s leadership.