Lorie Gage Richards; State of the Journal, 2018. Am J Occup Ther 2018;72(6):7206070010. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2018.726003
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© 2019 American Occupational Therapy Association
The American Journal of Occupational Therapy (AJOT) continues to be the most highly ranked occupational therapy journal as measured by its Journal Citation Reports impact factor (its 5-yr impact factor is now 3.325). AJOT’s goal is to remain occupational therapy’s leading research journal with disciplinary and interdisciplinary impact. AJOT instituted measures starting in January 2018 to address increasing concerns about research reproducibility and study reporting methods. Starting in 2019, AJOT will be distributed online only and will offer an annual “Best of” print compendium to AOTA members.
Did the study examine the occupational therapy profession?
Did it investigate interventions that are unique to occupational therapy?
Did the study test the value that occupational therapy brings to interdisciplinary interventions?
Did the study investigate interventions that fall under the scope of several disciplines?
We are working with reviewers to increase the number of reviews that are returned on time (only 70% of reviews are returned within 4 weeks). Some reviews are never returned. AJOT is asking reviewers to ensure that their email addresses are current at the AJOT manuscript submission site (https://ajot.submit2aota.org/) and that their email spam systems whitelist AJOT emails. Sometimes reviewers underestimate time requirements of other work or obtain unexpected new work after accepting a review; in these situations, reviewers should request an extension or surrender a review so that a new reviewer can be solicited.
AJOT will have a new reviewer training module in 2019. This module will cover review ethics (Committee on Publication Ethics, 2017), effective use of the AJOT manuscript review site, and tips for performing a quality critical review. We hope that this module will assist reviewers in providing high-quality reviews.
AJOT has created new review checklists that better match reporting guidelines for various article types. The instructions have been reworded for clarity, and some frequently missed sections have been moved for salience. These changes should make it easier to complete reviews.
Authors can help speed review of their manuscripts, too, by attending to the Guidelines for Contributors to AJOT (AOTA, 2018) : In at least 30% of submissions, manuscripts are returned to authors because simple requirements such as line numbering have not been followed. Even authors who have frequently been published in AJOT should review the author guidelines, because changes occur each year; for example, we have implemented a requirement for structured abstracts, beginning in 2019. In addition, authors should always suggest reviewers when submitting a manuscript, particularly on an uncommon topic or a general professional issue.
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