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Periodically, I receive inquiries about the publication statistics for Health Care Management Review (HCMR). The wealth of information about the quality of journals, usually in the form of citation index scores, is only one aspect of any journal. HCMR now has a respectable ISI impact score, with room for improvement. However, current publication statistics about the journal also tell a story about the quality of the journal.

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During the past year, 121 manuscripts were submitted to HCMR, a 10% increase over the previous year. Of those 121 manuscripts, 32% were ultimately accepted for publication, all of which underwent at least one revision before final acceptance for publication. A full third of all manuscripts submitted were rejected without review. In general, these "desk" rejections were a result of the manuscript being a poor fit with HCMR or being of such overall poor quality that even a substantial revision would not likely result in an acceptable manuscript. The advice I offer here is for authors to carefully follow the instructions to authors and to read a few HCMR issues before submitting a manuscript. After being reviewed by two peer reviewers, 32% of the manuscripts are rejected, the most common reason being serious methodological problems with the study.


Each year, peer reviewers are listed in the last issue of each volume. A casual observer will notice that the reviewer list has grown considerably over the past few years, to over 95, with a wide range of academic and practice institutions represented. In addition, HCMR now has reviewers from several European countries. As editor in chief, one of my responsibilities is to ensure that reviewers provide the author with a thoughtful, developmental critique. When selecting reviewers, both their areas of expertise and the quality of their previous reviews are considered. Good reviewers are one of HCMR's main assets. As a guardian of this HCMR asset, I tend to protect reviewers from being overworked and given review assignments that are not the best use of their time. With the continued increase in the number of submissions to HCMR, the pool of good similarly needs to increase. I welcome authors and doctoral students under the guidance of authored faculty to register with HCMR as potential reviewers.


Another publication statistic of concern to authors, and publishers, is the length of time from submission to decision. For manuscripts rejected without review, authors were notified of that decision within an average of 3 days. For manuscripts sent for peer review, the average length of time to receive both peer reviews was 44 days. Unfortunately, for a few manuscripts, it took 90 days before the second review was received. Please be assured that we make every attempt to keep the time as short as possible. Once a manuscript was accepted, the time to publication was mostly influenced by the quarterly nature of HCMR.


Health Care Management Review has grown in international reputation as well. During the last year, HCMR received manuscripts from 19 countries and accepted 18 (35%) of 52 manuscripts from international authors. International submissions, although very welcome, tend to be purely descriptive, with little contribution to advancing health care administration science or practice. My advice to international authors is to use a solid, well-established theory as the basis for research and to develop more analytic research that has a greater potential to generate generalizable results.


The increase in submissions signals that HCMR is a valued outlet for quality health care administration research and scholarship. Building on this, I am working to increase the market share and name recognition of HCMR. The ever higher quality of submissions makes this work easier. In collaboration with the editorial board, I will be working to bring some innovations to HCMR within the near future, such as a special topics issue or book reviews. These may be tough times, but the future of HCMR looks bright thanks to the high quality of devoted reviewers, past and future authors, and HCMR readers.


L. Michele Issel, PhD, RN