The birthing and growth of the Journal of the Pan African Thoracic Society: An editorial reflection
How to cite this article: Ozoh O. The birthing and growth of the Journal of the Pan African Thoracic Society: An editorial reflection. J Pan Afr Thorac Soc. doi: 10.25259/JPATS_27_2023
September 2020 marked the “birthing” of the Journal of the Pan African Thoracic Society (JPATS) with the publication of its first issue. Like all births, there was a gestational period during which decisions regarding leadership and funding for the journal were considered by the executive committee of the Pan African Thoracic Society (PATS). The first, an editorial board was elected, and to the second, a new partnership with the British Thoracic Society (BTS) provided the needed leverage. The underpinnings of the PATS and BTS partnership have been published previously. In summary, it included 3-year funding support for JPATS and a clinical exchange program between PATS and BTS members. Three cycles of the exchange program have been successfully completed, and the published reports attest to the valuable contribution it has made to the participants personally and to the advancement of global health.[3,4]
Being the first chief editor of a new journal, the initial editorial objective was to get the journal “walking.” This meant ensuring that there were uninterrupted publications of all proposed issues in a timely manner. We set a target of three issues per year, and with ten issues published in the past three years, we can assert that JPATS is now “walking.” In doing this, we never lost sight of our core value of publishing quality science, with the goal of transcending Afrocentrism to being global in relevance and appeal. Our authors have ranged from early-career African researchers to well-established African and international researchers. Presently, we have published a total of 87 papers.
Our next developmental milestone is “running,” which will be reached when the journal is indexed in all reputable repositories to increase its reach and impact. JPATS is currently indexed in the African Journal Online, Google Scholar, and CrossRef. We are aware that we have not yet arrived at our destination, but we have left and are getting close, as we continually check off the boxes that will lead us there.
It is at this point in our journey that I hand the baton of the Chief editor into the hands of Marco Zampoli, a very capable pioneer member of the editorial board. Zampoli is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and he is committed to supporting and taking the journal forward. I am confident that he will build on all we have already achieved.
Indeed, it has been a great privilege and honor to lead a dedicated editorial board in the past three years, working hard to get the journal off the cradle to its present position. It is known that the initial steps in any journey are the most difficult, and having overcome these, we are set to accelerate. I thank the PATS executive committee for entrusting me with this huge responsibility and for the consistent support they have provided. I am also thankful to the BTS Global Health group for getting us on our feet to continue the journey. Special recognition and appreciation go to the work of the editors, the global team of reviewers, and our publisher, Scientific Scholar® who all contributed to the high quality we have achieved. I value all authors who chose to publish their important work in JPATS. I am confident that Marco Zampoli will receive all the needed support as he leads the editorial board in the coming years to take the journal to its pinnacle. I wish him well.