News: For the love of AMOR

Editorial board members outlined enthusiastic measures to promote emerging journal

The Editorial Board Members (EBMs) of the journal Advances in Modern Oncology Research (AMOR) recently met to discuss current plans and upcoming efforts to raise the profile of the newly launched publication.

The meeting, held online, hosted board members from all across the globe and time zones to deliberate various ideas on attracting the interest of more authors in the oncology field, in addition to further elevating the quality of published papers.

Publication fees have often been a deterrent for authors seeking to publish in journals, even more so in new journals, and a fee waiver structure for AMOR authors is an option being contemplated.

“I think having more waiving options for authors is mandatory,” said AMOR editor-in-chief Dr Omar Abdel-Rahman of Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt, who also proposed inviting free submissions from leading oncologists and scientists, and waiving article fees every six month or every year for every EBM.

Anoop Kumar of BIT Mesra, Ranchi, India, concurred. “It’s difficult [for authors] to pay publication fees – especially for young researchers,” he commented, adding, “We can increase the quality of articles by giving full waiver to highest quality of article.”

AMOR managing editor, Kho Siew Leng explained that, in AMOR’s current structure, each EBM is given a publication charge waiver one year (valid for one article) and a 50% discount for articles published in the second issue.

“For non-EBM authors, a 30% discount will be given to submissions from the world’s top 30 universities, and a 70% discount will be given to authors who come from low- or lower-middle-income countries as defined by the World Bank,” she added.

Furthermore, for young researchers (age 35 and below), a 30% discount will be given to the authors. “As we are a new journal, we need the article processing fees to cover the cost of publication. However, we will figure out more discounts to attract authors to submit their manuscript,” Kho said.

Additionally, among other proposal considered was to create small working groups of EBMs who share the same field to contribute papers. The idea is to “reorganize our EMBs to small groups with a leading guest editor responsible for each group,” proposed AMOR editorial board member Dr Ahmed Ibrahim who called in from Egypt’s Mansoura University.

Each section group will help submit a review article, he explained, “and these articles can be under one umbrella viewed from different aspects according to our sections.”

Section editorial will be more appealing to authors, agreed Kho, adding that EBMs “will be appointed as members of a core editorial team. Section chiefs will be chosen for each sub-specialty of oncology.” AMOR will soon finalize its list of EBMs along with their specific interests, and invite members to become section editors of related fields, according to her.

Moreover, editorial board members could also be rallied to organize AMOR’s occasional special issues or special topics. Kumar observed, “In cancer field recently, immune-oncology is emerging very fast, and my suggestion for a special issue on immune-oncology.” Dr Omar agreed: “We can formulate a special call for that issue and invite prominent immuno-oncologists to participate.”

Another important point raised in increasing submission rate is to accelerate the rapidity of peer review process. “Some expert review journals provide authors with a standard track (free) with response after about 12 weeks versus paid track with response after 4-6 weeks,” explained Dr Omar. “I think we can use the same model to solve the issue of publication fees and peer-review response rate,” he said.

Kho added, “We propose the introduction of a fast peer-reviewing scheme, with a quick turn-around time (i.e., 1.5 week or less).” AMOR, she added, is keen for EBMs who are interested to sign up as a fast-track reviewer, if given monetary incentives.

In other proposals, editorial board member Prof Milan Stehlik of Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria, Valparaiso, Chile, suggested launching monthly newsletters to EBMs for updates on the latest news and progress of AMOR. Dr Mohammad A Saeed from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia meanwhile proposed sending emails to universities offering a discount in publication fee to all of the authors of the selected universities.

All proposals are being fully considered, according to Kho and, efforts are already underway to AMOR being indexed. Said project manager TS Jong, “Currently, the in-house editorial staff is working on AMOR’s indexing road map. We’ll be sending our journal to high visibility index databases for evaluation in the near future and we’ll be updating our editorial board members regularly.”

Finally, AMOR acknowledged Dr Anjali K Pahuja from Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre, New Delhi, India, for being the best reviewer of AMOR’s first issue. “She completed a total of four reviews from August to November, taking between three and 14 days to complete the assigned reviewing tasks,” applauded Kho.

Well done, Dr Anjali!