The American Journal of Occupational Therapy (AJOT) achieved a milestone in 2016 by reaching its highest journal impact factor to date: The 5-year Journal Citation Reports impact factor is now 2.113, and the 2-year impact factor is 1.806. This growth reflects not just the able leadership of Editor-in-Chief Lorie Gage Richards but also the continued expansion of quality research in the field of occupational therapy. We are receiving enough submissions that the 2018 volume is beginning to fill up with accepted papers, which is a good problem to have.
Changes to the AJOT Editorial Board in 2016 included Mariana D’Amico and Barbara Mollere Doucet stepping down as Associate Editors and the welcoming of Karen Jacobs and Linda Shriber to the board in those roles. In addition, in September 2016 Marjorie Scaffa became the Associate Editor responsible for education manuscripts, replacing Janice Burke. Ameican Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) staff are grateful to them and to the entire editorial board for the hours of dedicated service they have devoted to AJOT. We also appreciate the work of the 290 reviewers (43 new this year) who have taken the time to provide their valuable feedback on manuscripts submitted to the journal—AJOT’s increased impact factor is in no small part a result of their efforts.
AJOT is part of a multidisciplinary rehabilitation journal group that requires clinical trials published in the group’s journals to be prospectively registered with Clinicaltrials.gov (or a similar international site for non-U.S. trials). These journals use the National Institutes of Health (2004) definition of clinical trial: “a research study in which one or more human subjects are prospectively assigned to one or more interventions (which may include placebo or other control) to evaluate the effects of those interventions on health-related biomedical or behavioral outcomes.” Registering trials reduces the risk of bias and promotes the publication of higher quality evidence. This requirement went into effect for AJOT in January 2016; for more information, see the AJOT author guidelines (AOTA, 2016b) at http://ajot.submit2aota.org/journals/ajot/forms/Ajot_guidelines.pdf.
In late 2016, we implemented an online feature that allows nonsubscribers to pay to access content as needed. This option is important because it enables professionals from other health-related disciplines to better discover occupational therapy research. We have seen decent use of the option and, of course, would hope that anyone buying more than a few articles would go ahead and join AOTA or subscribe to have access to the entire journal.
From the Centennial Vision to Vision 2025
Although AJOT will not celebrate its official centennial until 2047, the journal is very much engaged in honoring AOTA’s 100-year milestone in 2017. The AJOT Editorial Board has planned a special Centennial Topics section for each issue of the 2017 volume from a call for papers issued in mid-2016. Each issue will have several articles focusing on specific themes. The Centennial Topics section in the January/February 2017 issue will focus on the history of occupational therapy and considerations for the future. Other issues will focus on areas in which occupational therapy could increase its role as it enters the next 100 years: cancer treatment; youth-to-adult transitions; health, well-being, and quality of life; and mental health. In the November/December 2017 issue, the Centennial Topics section will focus on occupational therapy internationally.
Occupational therapy maximizes health, well-being, and quality of life for all people, populations, and communities through effective solutions that facilitate participation in everyday living.
This vision has been distilled into the following core tenets:
Accessible: Occupational therapy provides culturally responsive and customized services.
Collaborative: Occupational therapy excels in working with clients and within systems to produce effective outcomes.
Effective: Occupational therapy is evidence-based, client-centered, and cost-effective.
Leaders: Occupational therapy is influential in changing policies, environments, and complex systems.
AJOT will assist in realizing this vision by publishing high-quality research that supports the core tenets and demonstrates the role of occupational therapy in supporting participation in everyday living.
AJOT continues to play a vital role in raising the profile of the occupational therapy profession. We have tremendous appreciation for the work of the researchers who choose to publish with us. Whether they are AOTA members or not, and whether their article is accepted or rejected, we aim to provide a positive experience for authors.