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South African Journal of Sports Medicine

On-line version ISSN 2078-516X
Print version ISSN 1015-5163

SA J. Sports Med. vol.30 n.1 Bloemfontein  2018 



The transition of the South African Journal of Sports Medicine



The first editorial last year explained that the South African Journal of Sports Medicine was moving to a format where papers are published online immediately after being accepted, rather than waiting for a complete volume before the papers are published. A year later we can confirm the transition has been successful. The time from acceptance to publication has been reduced to under 3 weeks. We are still working on reducing the time it takes to review a paper, but this is an ongoing challenge that all journals are facing. Demands on reviewers are increasing, so we are prepared to accept that reviewers may take longer to review a paper than we would prefer; however, this is a compromise we are prepared to make if it results in good quality reviews. It is well known that the quality of any journal depends on the quality of reviewers.

A growing list of electronic databases index papers published in the South African Journal of Sports Medicine. Currently the list of databases includes; AJOL, Crossref, DHET, DOAJ, Open Archives Registry, PKP Index, SABINET, SciELO SA, SHERPA/RoMEO, University of Illinois OAI-PMH Data Provider Registry, Web of Knowledge (WoK) (links can be found on the journal website).

Another positive outcome of the new format of the journal is that published papers are freely available and permanently accessible online, without subscription charges or registration barriers. Authors are allowed to post the entire paper on a personal website, providing the original source is referenced and the DOI included as part of the citation.

We are also adjusting the editorial board to ensure we maintain an internationally competitive standard and also reflect the diversity of research we publish in the journal. The editorial board is a key factor in the status of a journal. Editorial board members are expected to have an advisory role and promote the journal wherever possible. They are also expected to source new submissions and occasionally review or assist in recruiting reviewers for submitted manuscripts. It gives me pleasure to announce that Dr Vincent Gouttebarge has joined our editorial board. He is based at the Academic Center for Evidence based Sports medicine (ACES), Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands and is the Chief Medical Officer of the International Federation of Professional Footballers (FIFPro). It goes without saying that his profile and experience will be an asset to the journal.

We are also trying to adapt to the international trends in sports medicine and exercise science. For example, topics on concussion, screening for injury, and translating research into practice are topics of international interest and relevance. Papers on these topics are in various stages of review in our journal. We are also particularly interested in research topics with a local interest and will be encouraging more of this research. The case study section will also be active and provides an opportunity for practitioners to be actively involved in research. The stimulus for innovative research ideas often begins at the level of the case study.

I would like to end by referring readers to a wonderful paper I have just read entitled "Living Like an Academic Athlete: How to Improve Clinical and Academic Productivity as a Gastroenterologist" I was drawn to the paper after listening to the podcast in which the two authors, both academic physicians were interviewed ( On the podcast the two authors of the paper, Drs Eric Benchimol and Richard Keijzer discuss strategies they have adopted to make themselves more successful in achieving their academic/clinical goals. They explain that academic clinicians have to manage their time to be able to look after patients, do research and teach while maintaining the mounting administrative load. A failure to manage time effectively results in a sub-optimal performance with increasing levels of stress.

The authors used the term "academic athlete" to define a state which makes one happier, more fulfilled and more productive. This concept was influenced by an article on becoming a "corporate athlete". [2] This paper suggested that corporate executives performing at high levels over the long periods would have to train/work in the same systematic, multilevel way as high-level athletes. Benchimol and Keijzer have transferred the concepts in this paper and applied them to the challenging job of being an academic clinician. They start by using the acronym S.M.A.R.T. to define goals (Specific, Measurable, Agreed upon (with mentor/supervisor), Realistic and Time-based). They offer a list of resources one can use to improve productivity. They discuss the importance of routines, avoiding distractions and blocking time for high level work. Importantly they make the point of self-care which involves adequate sleep, exercise, mindfulness and nutrition. There are many gems embedded in the article and anyone striving to improve their academic/clinical performance is advised to read this.



Mike Lambert




1. Benchimol, E. I., & Keijzer, R. (2018). Living like an academic athlete: How to improve clinical and academic productivity as a gastroenterologist. Gastroenterology, 154(1), 8-14.        [ Links ]

2. Loehr, J., & Schwartz, T. (2001). The making of a corporate athlete. Harvard Business Review, 79(1), 120-8- 176.         [ Links ]

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