Our four scientific, peer-reviewed journals performed extremely well in 2022. Our Editors-in-Chief reflect on the year, and look forward to 2023.
This year has seen a significant shift at Obesity Reviews with a change in Editor-in-Chief. After 11 years of David York’s stewardship, OBR enjoys the highest impact factor of any dedicated obesity journal (IF=10.867) and over recent years, has received an average of roughly 600 submissions/year. This year the numbers will be similar to those in 2021.
In the latter half of 2022, there has been planning for a number of changes that will come into play in 2023. While we will maintain the luminary status of our Board, the intention is to expand the group to include a new cohort of Associate Editors encompassing a broad mix of gender, geography and career stage with specialist understanding of the key areas that OBR considers from public health and preventative strategies through paediatric considerations, bariatric surgery to the clinical and basic sciences. In addition to these traditional strengths, there will be a push toward developing a greater representation of invited narrative reviews and a new 'Perspectives' element. We would also like to ensure that we are well aligned with current and developing interests in the psychology of obesity and also the exciting escalation of translational studies in the basic science to clinical arena.
I’m hoping that these changes will maintain the successful trajectory that is the legacy of David’s hard work.
Clinical Obesity underwent a transition in 2022 with a new Editor-in-Chief appointed and new additions being made to the editorial board (that will continue throughout 2023) to extend the journal’s continuing effective role in providing up-to-date research on management of people with obesity and its complications. The aim for 2023 and beyond is to speed up the review process and timelines to expedite delivery of knowledge into clinical practice. The journal is expected to obtain its first impact factor rating and will build on this over the years to come.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the most downloaded articles have focused on the interaction between obesity and COVID-19 across the age span. These articles have put the relationship between obesity and increased risk of infectious disease and its complications on the agenda for future research as well as ensuring greater preparedness for potential future pandemics. Other published work concentrated on obesity from the affected individuals’ points of view, lifestyle factors related to obesity, and the provision of effective services for people with obesity. A key highlight is the publication of research from across the globe which is essential for the greater understanding of obesity and its care provision.
The emergence of novel effective treatments for obesity is a significant milestone in clinical care and it is expected that future submissions will examine the role of novel pharmacotherapy and endoscopic procedures for the management of obesity. It is expected that there will be a further move towards a less BMI-centric approach to obesity to focus on managing a chronic relapsing disease defined by the health and quality life impact of excess adipose tissue. In 2023, there will also be a focus on policy for prevention and provision of timely effective care, an area not frequently explored. Overall, 2023 will be an exciting year for the care of people with obesity and the journal is a strong vehicle to disseminate emerging findings.
Pediatric Obesity has sustained a strong presence in 2022, maintaining our impact factor close to 4.0. As I write this summary in early December, we have received a total of 422 submissions which is closing in on matching last year’s total submissions of 453 papers. We have maintained our goal of publishing monthly review papers on timely topics, and in 2022 received 11 new review papers. Our team of 23 Associate Editors from 10 countries has continued to grow and they are dedicated to timely and high-quality reviews, which is always a challenge, yet we have maintained a rapid turnaround with an average of 25 days to first decision in 2022. Like many other Journals, our biggest challenge is finding reviewers.
Our top 3 downloaded papers in 2022 were:
- Children and adolescents' exposure to food and beverage marketing in social media apps (Kent et al; 2019)
- Impact of the COVID‐19 pandemic on elementary schoolers' physical activity, sleep, screen time and diet: A quasi‐experimental interrupted time series study (Armstrong et al; 2021)
- Physical activity behaviour and screen time in Dutch children during the COVID‐19 pandemic: Pre‐, during‐ and post‐school closures (Vreugdenhil et al; 2021)
Obesity Science and Practice continued on its impressive growth trajectory in 2022. With a few weeks left in the calendar year, we are on pace to match, if not exceed, last year's record number of new submissions. The scope of papers published in the journal continues to widen. We are seeing an increasing number of submissions from authors from around the world. To this end, we are hoping to publish a special issue on Obesity in Asia in 2023. Our most read papers in 2022 have been focused on the effects of the pandemic on weight gain and eating behavior, and the value of telemedicine as a modality to successfully engage patients in weight loss treatment. While we all hope to put the pandemic behind us in the new year, we have learned a number of important lessons over the past few years that will serve the field well for years to come.
Looking forward to 2023, I'm optimistic that we will continue to see growth in new submissions. A good percentage of our submissions are referrals from our sister obesity journals. I look forward to working with the new and continuing editors of those journals to promote success for all of our publications. I also plan to make some additions to the editorial board to expand the scope of our expertise. Finally, building off of some of the major themes from the Annual Meeting of The Obesity Society in November 2022, we have preliminary plans for a special issue dedicated to new and emerging obesity treatments. Keep your eye out for the call for submissions!