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BMJ Open Respiratory Research is now entering its second year as an open access journal. Our aim when the journal was launched was to facilitate the rapid publication of high-quality research from all areas of respiratory medicine including respiratory science and critical care.1 As an open access periodical, we have the opportunity to limit publication bias by publishing studies that other journals may not favour due to a perceived lack of importance or impact. Our aspiration has been to focus on well-conducted studies that acknowledge and discuss potential limitations when they exist. Unfortunately, too many small-scale, preliminary, negative, repeat or observational studies, which could usefully contribute to the research landscape, fail to reach publication. Quality would be maintained by combining rigorous peer review with open access. We are delighted with the breadth and excellence of the published manuscripts that comprise the first volume of BMJ Open Respiratory Research and hope that this continues. One objective for the journal was that we would have a first decision for the majority of manuscripts within 30 days. Our average of 35 days to first decision approaches this; however, this figure is favourably distorted by the minority of manuscripts rejected without review. The reality with any new journal is that it is often challenging to obtain peer review within narrow timelines when this represents an additional burden on individuals’ existing academic or clinical commitments. To this end, we appreciate the efforts of all those individuals who have reviewed manuscripts http://bmjopenrespres.bmj.com/site/about/reviewers.xhtml and encourage others to consider accepting an invite from BMJ Open Respiratory Research to peer review should a manuscript arrive in your inbox!
BMJ Open Respiratory Research is a joint venture between the British Thoracic Society and BMJ publishing, and, as with many open access journals, our main audience is the authors who make the effort to submit their work. We hope that those authors who have published to date are satisfied with the publishing process and how the journal is taking shape. We are delighted that the contents are now listed on PubMed, and we hope this will increase the attractiveness for potential authors as well as increase visibility of the journal's content. Although much is rightly made of the advantages of open access publishing in terms of unrestricted ease of access to the medical and scientific community, an additional positive consequence is the widespread accessibility of medical research to patients. Indeed, the journal's most downloaded article to date is a qualitative study of caregivers’ experiences of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis,2 an insightful article that has been promoted in part by patient foundations, and which we hope has proven helpful to patients and their families. This article also illustrates the breadth of research we aim to publish, with examples ranging from basic science investigation of acute lung injury3 and sepsis metabolomics4 to large-scale epidemiology, for example, a study of airflow obstruction in more than 500 000 Chinese individuals.5
Over the next year, we hope to see an improvement in time to first decisions and publication. Our next major event will be the presence of an impact factor. Although this will be a significant step in the journal's progress, as editors we wish to adhere to the same principles of publishing that we set out to maintain at the beginning,1 rather than slavishly pursuing an increase in the impact factor. We believe that impact should primarily be a measure of individual research articles rather than a measure of a journal.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.