UTS ePress recently had a review of practices and services and is now in the process of implementing its recommendations. Most of the reforms refer to internal issues, such as keeping track of users or making it more difficult to lose manuscripts, but some have direct implications for authors of the journals. One is that we have started to use iThenticate to screen all submissions. iThenticate is a program for detecting plagiarism, and while one might think there should be no need for such a screening, in AJCEB’s very short trail period we have found three instances with unacceptably high levels of similarity with published work. In one case, 77 per cent of a submitted article seemed directly lifted from three papers with different authors, none of them appearing in the list of references.
A second new practice is that we will ensure that all new papers we publish will have a DOI and that the DOIs for all references are also listed. If we find the money we will extend this to all back issues of AJCEM as well.
Some statistics. We are approaching 900 registered users, we still publish everything accepted within six months with an average time between submission and publication of 78 days. The rate of acceptance is very low at just under 20 per cent, reflecting, I think, the increased pressure on academics and students to publish, even when they are not ready to do so. It increases the pressure also in particular, on reviewers.
I also have a request: If you are registered as a reviewer, could you please have a look and make sure that your areas of expertise are complete and up-to-date. We don’t want to disturb you with papers you are not interested in but on the other hand, we need and like to be able to use your expertise.
Thank you for continuing to support AJCEB.