The American Journal of Occupational Therapy (AJOT) has again achieved a higher impact factor than in previous years. The 2016 2-yr impact factor (IF) increased to 2.053, and its 5-yr IF moved to 2.322 (for comparison, the 2015 IFs were 1.806 and 2.113, respectively). This growth reflects the leadership of Editor-in-Chief Lorie Gage Richards as well as the ongoing increase in high-quality occupational therapy research. We are receiving so many quality submissions that our issues fill up many months in advance.
The AJOT Editorial Board experienced a few changes in 2017, with terms ending for Roxanna Bendixen, Hector Tsang, and Linda Shriber; we are grateful for their service to AJOT and look forward to their continued contributions to the community of occupational therapy researchers. We also appreciate the work of the 295 reviewers who provide their valuable feedback on manuscripts submitted to the journal.
Andy Cheng, Véronique Provencher, and Stacey Reynolds have joined the Editorial Board as Associate Editors. Dr. Cheng is from Hong Kong, and Dr. Provencheur is from Canada; they, along with current Associate Editor Ted Brown, who is from Australia, reflect AJOT’s increasing international presence.
Along with the IF, our readership continues to increase, and researchers around the world submit manuscripts to AJOT. As this article went to press, authors from 28 countries other than the United States had submitted manuscripts in 2017. Visitors to the AJOT website have also continued to increase. Between January 1 and September 26, 2017, according to Google Analytics, AJOT was accessed 1,082,616 times, an increase of 11.46% over the same period in 2016. The vast majority of visitors to the site are from the United States, Great Britain, and Australia. Interestingly, however, the site received almost as many hits from Spain (11,363) as from Australia (12,675). Table 1 shows our 10 most popular articles in the 12 months ending September 2017.
AJOT continues to be 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). In addition, in response to increasing concerns among researchers about research reproducibility, AJOT is implementing new requirements for intervention trials. Namely, authors will be required to discuss whether their results are above the standard error of measurement for their outcomes, select a primary outcome for the trial, provide the effect size of the outcomes, and calculate a Fragility Index. Details on these requirements are available in the updated Author Guidelines (American Occupational Therapy Association [AOTA], 2017), available at http://ajot.submit2aota.org/journals/ajot/forms/Ajot_guidelines.pdf.
AJOT successfully participated in AOTA’s Centennial celebration by devoting part of each issue to a commemorative “Centennial Topics” section. Four of the sections focused on areas of emerging or resurging practice: cancer; youth-to-adult transitions; health, wellness, and quality of life; and mental health. The January/February 2017 Centennial Topics focused on occupational therapy history, and the section in the November/December issue focuses on international occupational therapy research, because AJOT truly has become an international journal.
On the Horizon
Starting with the January/February 2018 issue, we are reorganizing AJOT contents by article type rather than practice area. This approach is intended to eliminate problems with overlapping categories. In addition, topic-oriented tables of contents are less useful in an era of online journal access and highly accurate online search. In addition, we plan to make some small improvements to our online display to better distinguish between the issue date and the date on which material is uploaded to the website.
AJOT continues to be the only occupational therapy journal providing a print edition to all subscribers. Increasingly, AOTA members—especially students—access AJOT solely online, leaving the print version untouched. Printing and mailing efficiencies are important considerations for the journal’s bottom line. As a result, beginning with the January/February 2018 issue, we are encouraging AOTA student members to switch to online-only delivery of AJOT. We will use the findings from this approach to shape AJOT delivery for the entire association. Channeling the savings generated by online-only delivery into new features will enable us to make the journal even more essential not only to the occupational therapy profession but also to other health care professionals and researchers.
AJOT plays a vital role not just in raising the profile of the occupational therapy profession but also in furthering evidence-based practice. Our goals for the coming year include increasing the quality of submitted manuscripts, emphasizing the reproducibility of the research described; creating new review templates for types of manuscripts not well represented by current templates (e.g., scoping reviews); and enhancing the training of our reviewers. In all cases, the overarching goal is to provide a positive experience for our readers as well as our authors. We appreciate the hard work of the researchers who choose to publish with us, and we want to make sure AJOT is their first choice for publishing their research.