Original Communication| Volume 147, ISSUE 4, P475-480, April 2010

Global survey of factors influencing choice of surgical journal for manuscript submission

  • Kjetil Søreide
    Reprint requests: Kjetil Søreide, MD, PhD, Department of Surgery, Stavanger University Hospital, P.O. Box 8100, N-4068 Stavanger, Norway.
    Department of Surgery, Stavanger University Hospital, Stavanger, Norway

    Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
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  • Desmond C. Winter
    Institute for Clinical Outcomes Research and Education (iCORE), University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

    Department of Surgery, St Vincent's University Hospital, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
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Published:December 11, 2009DOI:


      An increasing number of general and affiliated specialty society journals make finding the right place for manuscript submission of an article challenging. Little is known about what factors surgeons hold important when choosing a journal for article submission.


      A global e-mail survey of authors publishing in 5 general surgery journals (Annals of Surgery, British Journal of Surgery, World Journal of Surgery, Archives of Surgery, and Surgery) from January 1, 2007, to December 31, 2008. Demographic data were collected. 15 arbitrarily chosen factors associated with submission strategy were rated for importance on a 5-point modified Likert scale (ranging from 1 representing “unimportant” and 5 representing “very important”).


      Of 1,855 authors, 250 (14%) responded. Representing 41 countries, 23 (10%) of the respondents were female and 250 (90%) were male. About two thirds of the authors had less than 10 years of clinical practice, with general surgery or gastrointestinal surgery as the major fields of interest represented. Of the 15 factors, the journal “reputation” was rated “very important” (5 points) by 62% of the respondents, followed by the journal “impact factor,” which was rated “very important” by 61%, although some geographic differences were noted in this rating. Grouping several factors together in categories, the journal “prestige” and “turnaround time” category was held to be most important based on the average scores received. Age correlated with valued importance of the journal reputation (Spearman rho=0.141; P=.033). The factors considered the least important included the journal's acceptance/rejection rate, the option to suggest peer reviewers, and open access.


      The majority of seasoned surgeons held the overall reputation of the journal as the most important factor followed by the impact factor when choosing a journal for manuscript submission.
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