Letter From the JCTS Editor: An Eventful Year
As we are getting close to the end of the year, it seems like an appropriate time to reflect on what the current year has brought. Although there have been a fair share of disasters, both due to environmental and more direct man-made factors, there have also been glimmers of hope with advances in dealing with the pandemic as well as plans to address climate change. The Ukrainian people have suffered horrendous losses and pain for most of the year with seemingly no clear end in sight. Although there is surely more pain to come there is also hope of retaining their culture and freedom. At home, many of our fellow citizens have suffered losses and destruction due to hurricanes and other weather-related events, showing the fragility of many systems we depend on in our daily lives, including the safe provision of health care. Although much has improved regarding the pandemic, many lives are still being lost. In our future management of COVID and perhaps other pandemics to come, we have much to learn from the HIV situation. Both conditions represent situations where rapid advances in research brought treatments, changing an acute, life-threatening disease into a more manageable chronic condition. As societal attitudes have changed with regard to HIV, it still remains to be seen whether the current divide in attitudes regarding COVID will change as well. Health is a fundamental concept that affect us on a daily basis and it is increasingly clear that better health at a population level will be hard to achieve without taking broader societal factors into account. The increasing focus on diversity, equity and inclusion throughout society reflects this growing awareness as well as the many ongoing efforts to address health disparities. We are very pleased and grateful to our colleagues who responded to the call for a thematic issue on this subject, which received a record number of submissions. This strong interest is very encouraging. As the issue is being finalized in the coming months, we hope that the contributions collectively will provide a portfolio of best practices as well as to serve as inspiration for additional studies that hopefully could help frame future policy initiatives.
Overall, the year has been a successful one for JCTS. In addition to the above-mentioned thematic issue on diversity, equity and inclusion, we are in the process of completing thematic issues on the criminal justice system and on adaptive capacity in clinical and translational science. In addition, we have launched four more calls for thematic issues, of which several address new and innovative ways to conduct clinical trials. We very much look forward to receiving submissions in these areas. In addition, submissions beyond the thematic issues have also increased substantially. In all, although the statistics are not yet finalized, the number of JCTS submissions has already increased by 30% compared to 2021. There are also advances with regard to the visibility of the journal. It is very exciting that JCTS will receive an Impact Factor in 2023 and the journal is clearly coming of age, an attestation to the quality of the published manuscripts.
As we are getting closer to the holiday break, I am speaking for all of us at JCTS when I express our deep gratitude to all our colleagues who have chosen to submit papers to the journal and to our many reviewers for their hard work and their high-quality assessments, which have been very helpful to authors. I also want to thank our Editorial Board members and our junior editors for working expeditiously to ensure a rapid turnaround and a prompt response to our authors. It is noteworthy that in spite of the increase in submissions, we have been able to maintain a steady timeline from submission to decision. I also want to thank the journal staff and our publisher, Cambridge University Press, for their many efforts to facilitate the submission process as well as the ACTS Board and the Clinical Research Forum who have provided strong encouragement and support for JCTS. As noted in the November letter, there will now for the first time be a JCTS Publication Award and we look forward to acknowledging an author team at the upcoming TS23 meeting. With all these advances, I am very pleased to wish everyone a very happy and healthy holiday season and we all look forward to the coming year with optimism and excitement.
Lars Berglund, M.D., Ph.D., FAHA
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Clinical and Translational Science (JCTS)
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News From the Hill: December 23, 2022
Following protracted negotiations, lawmakers on Capitol Hill reached a bipartisan and bicameral deal to finalize the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 appropriations process. While not as generous toward medical research and public health as prior proposals, the final omnibus package still provides meaningful funding increases for many key agencies and programs. Lawmakers were also working to dispense with critical and timely health policy items and used the omnibus as a comprehensive vehicle to advance legislative provisions, in addition to providing funding.
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Translational Science Today
UAMS Researchers See 14.5% Increase in Grant Funding for FY2022
LITTLE ROCK - The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and its affiliate research institutions saw research funding grow by 14.5% this past year, with $203.1 million in grants by June 30, 2022, the end of the state's fiscal year. It is the third consecutive year with double-digit increases in research funding that comes from outside the institution.