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Copyright: © Singapore Medical Association
The year 2020 has finally drawn to a close as we look forward to a new year ahead. COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on all aspects of our lives. Significant adjustments were made to both work-related activities and our personal spheres. During this challenging period, the important work at the editorial office of the Singapore Medical Journal (SMJ) continued unbated, albeit with necessary adjustments in line with health directives. We would like to express our sincere appreciation and thanks to all editorial staff, reviewers and Editorial Board members for their continued hard work and support throughout this period of time. We see light at the end of the tunnel, with the local COVID-19 situation under control and the availability of vaccines. We must, however, be vigilant, as the global situation remains a cause for concern.
Last year, the SMJ called for academic papers related to COVID-19 (
As the pandemic continues, the SMJ has launched a new time-limited category for article submissions, the COVID-19 Case Files. We are calling for papers that discuss one COVID-19 case or up to a maximum of three cases. These cases should be novel or complex and present diagnostic, therapeutic or management challenges. Details on the article format can be found on the SMJ website. Your contributions will enrich scholarship on this ongoing topic and serve as a reference for local and global researchers.
The SMJ continuously seeks to serve our readership better both in terms of providing quality academic articles and by improving the means of communications with the wider community. With the advent of social media for dissemination of information, including scientific knowledge, it was timely for the SMJ to explore its use to disseminate research works published in our journal, engage readers more actively, and promote authors who chose to publish with us.(7) We now have a presence on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. We have also started recording podcasts for selected articles (
For the new year, the SMJ is improving its manuscript submission system to better meet international standards. During submission, authors now need to provide the email addresses of all co-authors and select their contributor role, such as ‘writing’ or ‘conceptualisation’. Each co-author then receives an email and have to confirm that they contributed to the article. This allows the journal to meet the ICMJE (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors) criteria for authorship and helps to protect our authors from potential authorship disputes and scientific fraud.
Another new initiative is the publishing of author profiles in the SMJ for original research and review articles. Authors of these article types will be invited to submit a short write-up about themselves with an optional photograph, highlighting their research and achievements. With this, we hope to provide an opportunity for junior doctors to raise their profile and showcase their work.
Over the years, our journal impact factor (IF) has steadily increased.(10,11) The 2019 IF was 1.359, with a five-year IF of 1.442. This is a testament to the hard work of the Editorial Board members, editorial staff and the authors who have chosen to publish with us. We will not rest on our laurels and will seek to constantly improve and be relevant to our community. We hope to count on your continued support as we start this new year.
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2. Koo CY, Chan SP, Tung BW, et al. ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction hospitalisations remain unchanged during COVID-19. Singapore Med J 2020 Nov 30. https://doi.org/10.11622/smedj.2020157. [Epub ahead of print]
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4. Lee ES, Tan SY, Lee PSS, et al. Perceived stress and associated factors among healthcare workers in a primary healthcare setting: the Psychological Readiness and Occupational Training Enhancement during COVID-19 Time (PROTECT) study. Singapore Med J 2020 Dec 2. https://doi.org/10.11622/smedj.2020163. [Epub ahead of print]
5. Poh KC, Tay VYJ, Lin SH, Chee HL, Suhitharan T. A review of COVID-19-related thrombosis and anticoagulation strategies specific to the Asian population. Singapore Med J 2020 Dec 2. https://doi.org/10.11622/smedj.2020174. [Epub ahead of print]
6. Ang TL, Li JW, Vu CKF, et al. Chapter of Gastroenterologists professional guidance on risk mitigation for gastrointestinal endoscopy during COVID-19 pandemic in Singapore. Singapore Med J 2020; 61:345-9.
7. Ng CL, Poh KK. Singapore Medical Journal in the age of social media. Singapore Med J 2020; 61:501-2.
8. Lee RWK, Khin LW, Hendricks MS, et al. Ovarian biomarkers predict controlled ovarian stimulation for in vitro fertilisation treatment in Singapore. Singapore Med J 2020; 61:463-8.
9. Koh KH, Goh CC, Goh SCP, Koh YLE, Tan NC. Blood pressure goal attainment in multi-ethnic Asian patients with hypertension and dyslipidaemia in primary care. Singapore Med J 2020; 61:469-75.
10. Poh KK. Doing our part for medical education. Singapore Med J 2020; 61:1. 11. Poh KK. Journal publishing in our connected world. Singapore Med J 2019; 60:1-2.