Journal of Forensic Sciences Update


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the articles contained in the Academy News are those of the identified authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Academy.

Source: Michael A. Peat, PhD, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Forensic Sciences

Thanks to the efforts of the Journal of Forensic Sciences (JFS) leadership team, we continue to grow our scientific recognition and improve our performance metrics. Included below are summaries of the key achievements during 2018 and 2019 to-date. Thank you to all who have contributed, especially the JFS Associate Editors and the JFS Managing Editor.

 

  • JFS Impact Factor – The 2018 Impact Factor for JFS increased to 1.438 (from 1.184 for 2017). This is a 21.5% increase, which in today’s competitive market is a considerable achievement.

 

Year JFS Impact Factor
2016 1.127
2017 1.184
2018 1.438

 

  • JFS App – The JFS App had a very successful first year with over 2,600 downloads from February 2018 thru February 2019 (see data below). As a point of comparison, Wiley’s data reflects that a journal app receives approximately 500 downloads per year (on average). For those who have not yet downloaded the JFS App, download instructions are available here.

 

Operating System JFS Page Views JFS App Downloads
IOS 12,623 1,240
Android 20,499 1,364
TOTAL 33,122 2,604

 

  • JFS Strategic Plan – Based on the feedback received from the JFS Strategic Plan Survey (that was distributed to a subset of the AAFS membership), the JFS Strategic Planning Committee has developed a strategic plan for JFS, which was approved by the AAFS Board of Directors and is available here.

 

  • Usage and Engagement – JFS is growing in both non-AAFS subscriptions and content usage. For example, JFS downloads increased by 3% from 2017 to 2018. A 25% increase in circulation also occurred over the past three years (see table below for data).

 

    JFS Circulation 2016 2017 2018
    Reach (Number of Institutions with Access to JFS Content) 5,571 6,282 6,945

 

  • TAT Performance Metrics – The appointment of a full-time Managing Editor in 2017, as well as the implementation of accelerated JFS peer review timelines and other process enhancements, have resulted in substantial improvements in turnaround time (TAT) for JFS submissions. Tables providing various performance metrics are provided below. Efforts to continue to improve TAT are ongoing. (Note: Weekend days ARE included in TAT stats.)

 

    JFS Metrics: Submission to Decision   2016  (Average) 2017  (Average) 2018  (Average)
    Average Days from Submission to First Decision 83 29 27
    Average Time to Assign Reviewers (days) – Original Submission   19*   3*   3*
    Average Time to Assign Reviewers (days) – Revision   12*   3*   4*
    Average Reviewer Turnaround Time (days) – Original Submission 21 13 13
    Average Reviewer Turnaround Time (days) – Revision 22 13 13
    Average Days from Original Submission to Final Decision 103 40 42

*Data is the number of days it took an invited reviewer to accept their invitation.

  

    JFS Metrics: Final Decision to Early View Publication   Average (mean) Average (median) Range
    January 1, 2016 thru December 31, 2016 161 168 41-320
    January 1, 2017 thru December 31, 2017 40 31 10-164
    January 1, 2018 thru December 31, 2018 25 24 9-80
    JFS Metrics: Manuscript Export to Early View Publication Average (mean) Average (median) Range
    January 1, 2016 thru December 31, 2016 50 34 16-210
    January 1, 2017 thru December 31, 2017 37 28 10-164
    January 1, 2018 thru December 31, 2018 23 21 9-78

 

  • JFS Submissions – A total of 770 original submissions were received in 2018 (1,129 inclusive with revisions), which were records for JFS. Submissions continue to be strong in 2019. As of June 30, 409 items were received for consideration, surpassing last year’s number for the mid-year point. The breakdown is provided below.

 

    Category 2015 2016 2017 2018     2019
    Critical Reviews   0    0 11 17 9
    Papers 183 206 195 196 238
    Technical Notes 64 65 68 66 64
    Case Reports 79 69 86 98 74
    Letters to the Editor 10 16 19 10 18
    Book Reviews 3 2 5  4 5
    Other (Guest Reviewers) 1 1  1 1 1
    TOTAL 340 359 385 392 409

 

  • Noteworthy Articles – A new initiative implemented by the JFS leadership is to compile a collection of noteworthy articles. The 2018 JFS Noteworthy Articles are available here.

 

  • POD Subscription – As a result of the JFS e-migration launch in 2018, a Print-on-Demand (POD) Subscription was offered for a nominal fee to AAFS Members who wanted to continue to receive a hard copy version. An analysis is currently being performed as to whether to continue to offer the POD Subscription going forward.

 

  • JFS Book Review Editor – Heather M. Garvin, PhD, has been appointed JFS Book Review Editor, replacing Gregory G. Davis, MD. Congratulations, Dr. Garvin, and a tremendous thank you to Dr. Davis for his service to JFS in this role.

 

  • JFS Associate Editor – Ruth Waddell Smith, PhD, has been appointed JFS Associate Editor (Forensic Chemistry), replacing Suzanne Bell, PhD. Congratulations, Dr. Waddell Smith, and a tremendous thank you to Dr. Bell for her service to JFS in this role.