Annals of Saudi Medicine
Publication of the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
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  Message from the Editor-in-Chief


The baton of Editor-in-Chief was passed on to me in January 2010. To start out with, I would like to acknowledge the exemplary job done by my predecessors, the editorial board members and the editorial staff. In this regard, and within this short period of time I have come to recognize and have developed tremendous appreciation for a grand job by my immediate predecessor, Dr. Ali Zahrani. Indisputably, he has provided unparalleled leadership. The transition has been seamless. I have accepted the responsibility of the Editor-in Chief with joy and pleasure, coupled with an immense sense of responsibility.

The fact that the Annals now enjoys the highest impact factor in the region is a direct tribute to the efforts over the last few years of previous Editors-in-Chief, the eminent members of the editorial board and the editorial staff. Recently, in an unsolicited comment, Dr. Kenneth L. Mattox, one of the pioneering surgeons from the early days of KFSHRC, congratulated the editorial board on bringing “this high impact medical journal so very far” in documenting “the tremendous advancement you have made in providing advanced medical care to your citizens and visitors” (full comment to appear in the July issue).

By now the journal has grown to become one of the most important general medical journals, not only in the Middle East, but the Eastern Mediterranean and Asia, with manuscripts submitted from all over the world. The journal is included in the National Library of Medicine’s MEDLINE database, searchable through PubMed.

Despite improvements of the last few years, there are still challenges that remain to be resolved. The wide popularity of the Annals has resulted in a record-breaking number of submissions of high quality articles averaging about 40 submissions per week. We have been receiving submissions from a wide and vast area as reflected in the accompanying figure. Coping with this demand is a pleasant yet demanding task.

Notwithstanding an excellent peer review and production, we need to maintain a mean submission to first decision time of 31 days, and speed up the time to first decision and time to publication. By necessity, I have expanded the membership to the Editorial Board. I am overjoyed that several talented and dedicated clinicians and scientists have accepted the challenge with enthusiasm and respect. Also, the Editorial Board is honored to add three international figures: Dr. Peter Hall, of Queen’s University Belfast, UK, and Dr. Peter Hall, of Queen’s University Belfast, UK, and
Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Pathology, Dr. Beverly Teischer, Senior Editor of Clinical Cancer Research, and Vice President of Oncology Research, Genzyme Corporation, from Massachusetts, USA, and Dr. Edward Laws, a celebrated neurosurgeon of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, USA.

Other issues to contend with include: 1) Should there be a limitation on the number of authors? 2) How best to solve the shortage of reviewers who are qualified and willing to help the Annals make decisions, and 3) Reviewers need to be reminded to be constructive in criticism, thus allowing authors to revise their papers to a higher standard for resubmission. A new item we have initiated is the “Editor’s Corner,” a series of mini-reviews that will reflect contemporary cuttingedge information. The review by Walid Hassan, MD, on transcatheter percutaneous aortic valve implantation is the first in the series.

Lastly, but not least, I would like to thank the authors, the reviewers, the Board members and the staff for their continued tireless efforts to have made the Annals the success it enjoys. Collectively, we have great powers to achieve formidable tasks. However, “Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers; pray for powers to be equal to your task.” This was a realistic admonition offered by Phillips Brooks, an author from Massachusetts. Our task at the Annals is certainly a noble one. Editor-in-Chief

Mohammed Ahmed MD, FACP, FACE, FRCP

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