Past, present and future of PRHSJ. (EDITORIAL).
Article Type: Editorial
Author: Escobales, Nelson
Pub Date: 03/01/2010
Publication: Name: Puerto Rico Health Sciences Journal Publisher: Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Ciencias Medicas Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Ciencias Medicas ISSN: 0738-0658
Issue: Date: March, 2010 Source Volume: 29 Source Issue: 1
Accession Number: 219519242
Full Text: Since its creation 27 years ago, the Puerto Rico Health Sciences Journal (PRHSJ) has served well the scientific community of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean through the publication of review articles, basic and clinical science articles, case reports and special articles. The contribution of past Editors, Drs. Lillian Haddock and Rafael Villavicencio, were fundamental in establishing its foundations for the future. Under the leadership of Dr. Jorge L. Sanchez, the Journal has undergone a significant improvement in quality by strengthening the peer review process, the implementation of electronic submission, and its inclusion in several information service engines (MEDLINE, Index Medicus, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch[R]), Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition, Index Copernicus, Elsevier SCOPUS, EBSCO Information Services and recently, Index Pharmacus). An International Advisory Board was created which supports the Editorial Board by keeping the character and personality of the journal while strengthening its mission as a scientific journal. The Journal has a worldwide distribution, and is available on-line for manuscript submission and for accessing previously published issues. The PRHSJ is now the most influential scientific publication in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.

As a result of these changes, the PRHSJ has evolved and inaugurates in 2010 a new front cover and Editorial Board/Index page format. This new format represents the Journal's dynamic character while its Editorial Board moves forward with a strong agenda to continue improving both quality and impact. Expectations are very high.

In the coming years we expect full compliance of all authors with Journal requirements as stated in the Journal's Instructions for Authors. This is an area where constant efforts are made by our personnel to improve the manuscript submission process. We also need to reduce the time devoted to the peer review process. Our statistics indicate that on average reviewers are taking 8 weeks to complete the first review cycle. We aim to reduce the review period to 2 weeks to incorporate a revision step by a Proofreader/Copy Editor. This addition to the review process reflects the Journal's commitment to continue improving the quality of published manuscripts. The Journal will also sponsor workshops to promote writing skills and compliance with author and reviewer requirements. A Strategic Plan to guide future developments of the Journal is being generated with the help of expert external advisors.

The direction of a Scientific Journal is a singular process where the Editor may float aspirations and set standards. However, no less important in this mission are the efforts of the contributors. The Journal will continue its policy to be open to all members of the health sciences community in the region. This assures continuance of its mission to be a vehicle for the dissemination of scientific information of the varied components of the health sciences. Our goal has been, and remains, to establish an outstanding journal that publishes articles, reviews, and related items that document the exciting progress of the health sciences. These aspirations are vital to its survival and continuation.

For better or worse, we are living in interesting times. The economic crisis is forcing all of us to think, and rethink our goals. The PRHSJ must be part of this evaluation process, and could be critical for the discussion of issues that affect our scientific community. It is our obligation to do our utmost to maintain its health so that our society benefits from its publication in these difficult but challenging times. Let's begin this new season of the PRHSJ with high hopes to make history from our dreams.

Nelson Escobales, Ph D

Associate Editor
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