For Journal of Surgical Sciences, the year 2018 (its 5th year of existence) was one full of milestones and challenges which we managed to overcome successfully. At the end of the year, we have to draw a line and ask ourselves what we did good, what we did wrong, and especially what we can do better from now on. Among the negative things we had to overcome in 2018, the most difficult was the attack on the journal's website, which led to a long period of inactivity or limited activity. However, we have succeeded in transforming a very big problem, in a great deal of progress, by moving from a primitive and empirical workflow to a professional one that meets all the standards of current scientific publication. Thus, starting in 2019, the process of submission, peer-review, and communication between publishers, authors and reviewers will be accomplished through the OJS platform, that the new site relies on. In this way, we will be able to increase the quality and transparency of the peer-review process, which will move from an empirically to an authentic double-blind peer-review guaranteed by the platform's specifications.
Another aspect that we want to improve is plagiarism and redundancy. As early as 2017, we were able to scan all articles, using PlagScan, in order to detect plagiarism and dismiss articles that did not meet the mandatory criteria for research integrity. The experience of recent years determined us to believe that a percent of 5% for review articles and 2% for original papers is the maximum that we can accept under certain conditions.
Achieving the proposed threshold of 40 quality items per volume has sometimes made it difficult to launch a new number. Therefore, in order to maintain unnecessary delays and at the same time to maintain and even increase the rigor and requirements necessary to reach the current standards, there will no longer be a fixed predetermined number of articles per volume or per number.
Among the goals proposed for 2019, the most important is the indexation of the journal and the articles in new international databases, a process already started with the launch of the new site. In conclusion, we invite you to help increase the quality of the first European journal dedicated to students and young doctors, by sending high-quality articles and by actively participating in the peer-review process.