The new Impact Factor for JHND is…

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At this time every year, journal editors scan the newly published tables of journal impact factors published by Thomson ISI in their Journal Citation Reports. The impact factor (a measure reflecting the average number of citations to a journal over two years) is widely hated by researchers and editors alike, but is also widely used as the main indicator of the quality of a journal. My personal view of the impact factor is that it is a flawed measure that gives no true indication of the quality of the work published by a journal and that there must be better ways of doing this now that on-line publishing enables the monitoring of how often a paper is read or downloaded. There are many excellent blogs and articles on the internet arguing the pros and cons of impact factors, so I won’t digress too far by repeating their content. Let’s just say, that I am not alone in considering impact factor to be outmoded and unfit for purpose.

 Nonetheless I was just a eager to look at the most recent impact factor for JHND when it was published last week. The Journal has a strategy to increase it’s overall ranking in the world of Nutrition and Dietetics publishing, with bold targets for impact factor and league table position over the next three years. Achieving our targets will take some time. Impact factors are calculated over a two year period and published half way through the year after the year to which they apply. Thus the figures published last week reflect citation of papers that we published in 2011 and 2012. The significance of this is that anything the new JHND editorial team does now to improve quality of published material, will not appear on the impact factor until June 2015.
 Like editorial boards everywhere, we have plans to boost impact factor partly through a more stringent peer-review to ensure that only the best papers get through to publication, but also through targeting review articles that will attract a lot of citations and boosting awareness of the journal across the world by forming a larger international network of editorial board members. Quality is key though, and my expectation is that over the next year we will be accepting only the top quartile of papers submitted to the journal. There are rules that cannot be broken though, for example “coercive citation”. Some journals are kicked off the JCR list and condemned to academic publishing hell, for effectively making citation of articles to contribute to impact factor a condition of publication.
 So, the news came in last week and for JHND the impact factor had increased from 1.8 something to 1.972. Good news for us as it means that the journal is on an upward trajectory towards impact factor-based greatness. However, the bad news was that the other journals that cluster around JHND in the JCR rankings had also moved upwards so JHND remained ranked as 43/76 journals in Nutrition and Dietetics. This means that there is a lot of work to be done. We are in the process of commissioning reviews from high-profile authors, quality sifting of submitted manuscripts is ongoing and we are promoting the journal and all it’s activities and achievements as widely as we can. If you have stuck with me to the end of this blog post, then please pass it on to others. Spread the word and when you next write an article, please cite a recent JHND paper but only if it is appropriate to do so, of course 😉 .
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Meet the senior editors-part 1: Prof Kevin Whelan

Meet the senior editors-part 1: Prof Kevin Whelan

Professor of Dietetics at King’s College London

Area of research interest
The interaction between the gastrointestinal microbiota, dietary composition and health and disease. Kevin performs clinical trials in probiotics, prebiotics, fibre and fermentable carbohydrates, with molecular microbiology to measure their impact on the microbiota.

Role with JHND
Associate Editor in Chief with responsibility for Reviews

What Kevin feels is good about the journal
The breadth of the journal in terms of the four key strategic themes: nutritional science, clinical nutrition, public health nutrition and epidemiology and professional practice. The journal has a very large and wide readership throughout the world including in Europe, United States and Australia.

Priorities for submissions within Kevin’s area of responsibility
We are particularly interested in publishing systematic reviews and meta-analyses related to the four main themes of the journal. It is essential that these follow the strict methodological and reporting criteria for systematic reviews described by PRISMA. Therefore all systematic reviews and meta-analyses should be submitted along with a completed PRISMA checklist . In addition, we are happy to consider world class narrative review papers, but it is recommended that those interested contact me first. Finally, clinical guidelines that have undergone robust guideline development process and that are endorsed by a learned society are also welcomed.

Early View- Current practice in relation to nutritional assessment and dietary management of enteral nutrition in adults with Crohn’s disease

Current practice in relation to nutritional assessment and dietary management of enteral nutrition in adults with Crohn’s disease

 

Lomer, Gourgey and Whelan

Background

Nutritional assessment and dietary intervention, particularly enteral nutrition, are important in the management of Crohn’s disease (CD). National audits have reported that dietetic resourcing in gastroenterology is inadequate. The present study aimed to identify current practice in the nutritional assessment and dietary management of enteral nutrition in CD, as well as investigate the factors that influenced it.

Methods

A nationwide questionnaire survey adopting complete population sampling of all 296 UK acute hospitals was undertaken aiming to determine dietetic resourcing for gastroenterology. In addition, the case-note review method was used to investigate approaches to nutritional assessment and dietary management of enteral nutrition as treatment for active CD.

Results

Data were returned from 149 (56%) hospitals, providing assessment and management information on 190 patients. The median number of dietetic sessions dedicated to gastroenterology was 2 per week (interquartile range 4). Hospitals with five or more sessions per week dedicated to gastroenterology used a greater number of components in their nutritional assessment [mean (SD) 21.5 ( 5.0)] than those with fewer sessions [mean (SD) 19.6 (SD) 6.1, P = 0.05]. Enteral nutrition was perceived to be effective in 100 (55%) of 182 patients. The major reasons for limited success were poor compliance and inadequate volumes consumed, as well as insufficient treatment duration.

Conclusions

The components included in a nutritional assessment of CD patients are significantly lower in hospitals with fewer dietetic gastroenterology sessions. Focus on improving compliance and duration of enteral nutrition is urgently required to maximise the success of enteral nutrition in the treatment of CD.

Early view- The effect of posture on body circumferences in older adults

The effect of posture on body circumferences in older adults

Sousa, de Sousa and Amaral

Background

Standards for anthropometrical assessment define that measurements must be carried out with the subject in the standing position, although this is not always possible. The effect of body position on girth measurement has not been evaluated, even though this issue is clinically relevant because it may bias nutritional assessment results. The present study aimed to evaluate the effect of body position and symmetry on girth measurement.

Methods

A cross-sectional study was conducted on 102 older adults aged ≥65 years from care homes and tertiary hospitals. Right and left arm, waist, hip mid-thigh and calf girths were obtained with the subject standing or in the supine position. Mini-Nutritional Assessment Short-Form (MNA-SF) score and reference data percentiles (NHANES IV) misclassification according to girths assessed in the supine position was evaluated.

Results

A high intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC > 0.97) and quartiles agreement (k > 0.89) were found between girth measurements conducted on participants in the standing and supine positions. According to MNA-SF, 23.5% of the participants were undernourished and 51% were at risk of undernutrition. A high agreement between MNA-SF score using calf circumference measured on standing or supine position was found (k = 0.96). A relevant agreement for NHANES IV girth percentiles by sex and age was also found (ICC > 0.89).

Conclusions

Agreement between girth measurements on standing and supine positions among older adults is high and differences do not have any clinically relevant impact on MNA–SF classification and reference data percentiles.

Further Editorial Board appointments

We are pleased to announce further additions to the JHND Editorial Board with two confirmed appointments today. 

Dr Mairead Kieley of the University of Cork, Ireland, has interests in vitamin D status, requirements and role in health, alongside pregnancy and infant nutrition. 

Prof. Caryl Nowson of Deakin University, Australia, is Chair in Nutrition and Ageing. Her research has a specific focus on reducing risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis through preventive strategies that extend throughout the lifespan. 

 

Early View- A text message based weight management intervention for overweight adults

 Background

Weight management interventions can be extended using mobile telephone technology to deliver support in real-time, real-world settings. The present study aimed to determine whether text messaging helped patients maintain or lose weight following a weight-loss programme.

Methods

In this controlled study, overweight and obese [body mass index (BMI) >30 kg m–2 or >28 kg m–2 with co-morbidities] adults who completed a weight-loss programme participated in an additional 12-week text message intervention [Lifestyle, Eating and Activity Programme (LEAP) Beep]. Patients were allocated goals for steps, fruit, vegetable and breakfast consumption. Patients regularly ‘texted’ their progress and received tailored practitioner feedback. Pre/post-intervention body weight, waist circumference (WC), BMI, quality of life (QOL), anxiety and depression measurements were compared retrospectively with a control group offered weight checks only.

Results

Compared to control (= 17), the intervention group’s (= 17) body weight, WC and BMI reduced significantly (−1.6 versus 0.7 kg,= 0.006; −2.2 versus 1.5 cm, = 0.0005; −0.6 versus 0.7 kg m–2= 0.03, respectively). QOL and depression scores also improved (−6.8 versus 1 point, = 0.134; −0.2 versus 0.2 points, = 0.228). No difference was observed in anxiety scores between the groups. Intervention versus control group follow-up attendance improved significantly (4.4 versus 1.7 attendances, = 0.0005).

Conclusions

LEAP Beep promoted losses in weight, WC and BMI, and improved QOL parameters and follow-up attendance. Text messaging is a cheap, portable, convenient and innovative medium facilitating goal setting, self-monitoring and information exchange. Further improvements to automation at the same time as maintaining individual support are necessary to ease practitioner burden. Text messaging offers cost-efficient dietetic input, opening up possibilities for practitioner-to-patient support and yields positive weight outcomes following initial weight loss.

 

New Editorial Board members

We are pleased to announce three new Australian members of the Editorial Board.

Professor Clare Collins of the University of Newcastle, School of Health Sciences, is the co-Director of the Priority Research Centre in Physical Activity and Nutrition. Prof. Collins focuses on dietary approaches to manage weight and the development of novel tools for assessment of dietary intake.

Dr Lisa Wood, University of Newcastle, School of Biomedical Science and Pharmacy has expertise the area of oxidative stress and respiratory disorders. She has worked extensively on asthma and cystic fibrosis.

Dr Jonathan Hodgson, University of Western Australia has expertise in in the area of human nutrition intervention trials, particularly focused on cardiovascular disease.