Editorial Open Access
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2020. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Hepatol. Jan 27, 2020; 12(1): 1-5
Published online Jan 27, 2020. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v12.i1.1
Meeting report of the editorial board meeting for World Journal of Hepatology 2019
Ruo-Yu Ma, Editing and Publishing Development Department, Editorial Office, Baishideng Publishing Group Inc, Pleasanton, CA 94566, United States
ORCID number: Ruo-Yu Ma (0000-0002-2805-070X).
Author contributions: Ma RY contributed to organizing the editorial board meeting, making the meeting minutes, drafting and revising this manuscript.
Conflict-of-interest statement: Ma RY has nothing to disclose.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Corresponding author: Ruo-Yu Ma, MSc, Director, Editing and Publishing Development Department, Editorial Office, Baishideng Publishing Group Inc, 7041 Koll Center Parkway, Suite 160, Pleasanton, CA 94566, United States. r.y.ma@wjgnet.com
Received: December 10, 2019
Peer-review started: December 10, 2019
First decision: December 17, 2019
Revised: December 17, 2019
Accepted: December 19, 2019
Article in press: December 19, 2019
Published online: January 27, 2020


The first editorial board meeting of the World Journal of Hepatology (WJH) was held on November 8, 2019 at the Side Bar Grille, Sheraton Boston Hotel, Boston, MA, United States. Ruo-Yu Ma, Director of Editorial Office, on behalf of the Baishideng Publishing Group (BPG), organized the meeting with the great help of Professor Ke-Qin Hu, Journal Editor-in-Chief. There were six editorial board members, including two Editors-in-Chief and one administrative director of the editorial office at the meeting, discussing future strategies of the journal’s development. The editorial board provided BPG a number of suggestions in regard to the business plan and quality control of the WJH. Regarding the business aspect, the editorial board suggested that BPG should advertise the WJH at the international Hepatology and Gastroenterology conferences and promote the WJH via social media. On the scientific aspect, the editorial board suggested that the assessment systems for managing the reviewers and the editorial board members are necessary, and that the BPG should make efforts to attract more high-quality manuscript submissions. An additional comment was to continue to foster a scientific culture for the journal. In conclusion, it was noted that these new ideas expressed during the meeting will bring the WJH to the next level. In the future, the BPG and the editorial board will increase communication and collaboration in order to further the development of the WJH.

Key Words: Editorial board meeting, World Journal of Hepatology, Baishideng Publishing Group, Journal development, Quality control, Business plan

Core tip: The first editorial board meeting of the World Journal of Hepatology (WJH) was held on November 8, 2019 in Boston, MA, United States. During the meeting, the attendees discussed about the future strategy of the development of the WJH. Many new ideas, including for the business aspect and the scientific aspect, were proposed. Both the editorial office and the editorial board will make efforts based on this discussion to bring the WJH to the next level.


The first editorial board meeting of the World Journal of Hepatology (WJH) was called to order on November 8, 2019 at the Side Bar Grille, Sheraton Boston Hotel. It began at 19:00 and was presided over by Dr. Ke-Qin Hu, Journal Editor-in-Chief, with Ruo-Yu Ma, Director of Editorial Office, on behalf of Baishideng Publishing Group (BPG) as the organizer. The attendees discussed about how to develop the WJH and had a wonderful dinner.


There were seven attendees in total, including six editorial board members and one director of the editorial office. The editorial board members are: Dr. Ke-Qin Hu, Journal Editor-in-Chief; Dr. Nikolaos T Pyrsopoulos, Journal Editor-in-Chief; Dr. Calvin Pan, Associate Editor; and Dr. Astrid Ruiz-Margáin, Dr. Mohamed AS Kohla and Dr. Tatehiro Kagawa, Editorial Board. Ruo-Yu Ma, Director of Editorial Office, attended the meeting on behalf of the editorial office of BPG. Lian-Sheng Ma, CEO and Founder of BPG gave strong support for this meeting.


The meeting agenda was unanimously approved as distributed.


After checking in, all the attendees briefly introduced their educational background, research field and their current work.


Dr. Hu explained that it was important for the WJH to hold an editorial board meeting, which would be very beneficial for the journal development. He was surprised that the journal had never held an editorial board meeting before, and thus he suggested Dr. Ma, the CEO of BPG, to organize this meeting during The Liver Meeting® 2019. With the great support from Dr. Ma and the BPG company, the editorial board meeting was called to order and held by Ruo-Yu Ma. He appreciated that the attendees could come to the meeting to follow the current situation of the WJH and to provide better support for the journal.

Overview of the WJH and BPG update

Ruo-Yu Ma summarized the current situation of the WJH and the BPG:

One hundred and seventy-six editorial board members from myriad countries across the globe contribute to the development of the journal. From its launch in 2009 to today in 2019, the WJH has published 1081 articles. Among these, the total cites is 13040 and the average cites per article is 12.1. The current number of total visits to the WJH homepage is about 1.6 million, of which 23% of those visits are from the United States and 21.4% from China. The WJH is now abstracted and indexed in PubMed, PubMed Central, ESCI, and major academic databases in China. BPG will submit an application to Clarivate Analytics in 2019, with anticipation of its being abstracted and indexed in SCIE.

BPG itself has 27 years of experience in editing and publishing medical journals. BPG currently publishes 43 clinical medical journals covering a wide range of topics, 7 of which are indexed in SCIE, 6 in ESCI (including the WJH), and 23 in PubMed and PubMed Central.

At the end of her presentation, Ruo-Yu Ma introduced her working experience in BPG, welcomed the attendees and expressed her hope that new ideas would be proposed to bring the journal to the next level.

Open discussion

The attendees asked questions based on Ruo-Yu Ma’s presentation, e.g., the acceptance rate of the manuscript submitted, the time for peer reviewing and the indexing situation, and described their impression of the journal and their own experience of submitting and publishing manuscripts in the WJH. They proposed many good ideas on how to improve the scientific quality of the journal and how to enhance the impact and visibility. Dr. Pan pointed out that one of the major purposes of the meeting was to make the WJH abstracted and indexed in SCIE and gain a good impact factor (commonly known as the IF). The discussion was based mainly on the two aspects of developing a good journal: the business aspect and the academic aspect.

Editorial board’s impression of the WJH: The editorial board thought that the WJH had been doing a good job but still had a long way to go. Dr. Ruiz-Margáin had submitted a manuscript to the WJH, and she said the software service was easy in general. The response from the reviewers was fast as well, which made her always like to submit manuscripts to the BPG journal series. According to Dr. Hu’s experience, he thought that the submission process was a little cumbersome, because he spent more than an hour to deal with the guidelines and the files required. For clinicians who have very busy work, they would not like to spend plenty of time on the submission process. Dr. Pyrsopoulos also mentioned the importance of a user-friendly software.

Business plan of journal development: Dr. Pan first suggested that the major business of the WJH should be moved from China to the United States, because a majority of the Chinese scientists choose to publish in journals with IFs, while in the United States, scientists care more about whether the journal is indexed in PubMed. The shift of the focus may help to involve more active researchers.

Dr. Pyrsopoulos gave some good suggestions on how to advertise the journal and increase visibility based on his MBA background: (1) Advertisement in the conferences held in the United States, Europe and the Pacific, e.g., to set a booth in the exhibition hall and the editorial board members who attend the meeting can help advertise. The editorial board suggested that BPG should attend the APASL2020 in March 2020. (2) Promoting the journal (e.g., good manuscripts, editorial events) via social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Dr. Pyrsopoulos pointed out that BPG will attract plenty of followers through social networks. Dr. Ruiz-Margáin suggested that BPG can send a link of the manuscript to the author once the it is published so that the authors can share the link through social media. This will increase the cites of the published article as well.

Scientific aspect of journal development: The editorial board was very concerned about the quality control of the WJH. Based on the concern, Ruo-Yu Ma introduced the current tracking system for the assessment of the peer reviewers. Dr. Pan stressed the importance of the database to track the reviewers’ performance. The quality of the journal is associated with the quality of the peer reviewers. The reviewers can neither be too picky nor too easy, actually, they should screen the manuscripts that meet the level of the WJH. The reviewers should write the peer-review report seriously and send the feedback timely. BPG can rate the peer reviewers according to their reviewing quality and only leave the high-quality reviewers in the database. The editorial board also suggested that 2-3 reviewers would be enough for reviewing a manuscript. The more reviewers are involved, the harder the decision will be made, and the authors will be confused as well.

Dr. Ruiz-Margáin noticed that many good reviews were published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology (WJG), and the WJH should invite highly influential reviews as well. For manuscript invitations, the editorial board suggested that BPG should raise the invitation threshold and should not reject the invited manuscripts. The list of the invited scientists should be previewed by the editors-in-chief and the associate editors, and the invited manuscript can be directly reviewed by the editorial board members for good quality control.

In order to expand the manuscript sources, BPG should “bend down” to pay for good manuscripts submitted to WJH, e.g., to pay for language editing of the manuscripts with important scientific or clinical value. The journal should maintain a balance between making money to feed itself and improving the quality. Some manuscripts may not meet the level of the WJG; however, they may be good enough to be published in the WJH. These manuscripts should be transferred directly to the WJH for free. In this way, the WJH obtains good manuscripts while the authors will be satisfied.

The attendees believed that 176 members are too many for the editorial board of the WJH. Therefore, it is very import to develop an assessment system for the editorial board performance. An annual report of the assessment should be sent to every editorial board member so that they will be encouraged by what they have done and will contribute more actively in the future. BPG can also award the board members for their contribution. Besides, BPG can launch a newspaper for the editorial board members, to let them know the updates of the WJH and BPG. The scale of the editorial board should be downsized to around 50 people for a better management and quality control. Those who neither review the manuscripts nor publish their work in the WJH should be removed from the editorial board.

Culture of the journal: The minor comment from the editorial board is to cultivate a culture for the WJH. Since there is an article processing charge for publishing in the WJH, the editorial board suggested that the fee should be discounted for authors from low-income countries and young fellows without financial support. These young fellows will appreciate the journal for helping them publish their articles and will contribute more good work to the journal in the future. Encouraging the young fellows to publish their good work can form a good culture of the WJH.

At the end of the discussion, Dr. Pan summarized the efforts that should be made for the development of the WJH: (1) Quality assessment of the reviewers and the editorial board members; (2) A more user-friendly online system; and (3) Successful marketing. Dr. Pan expressed his hope that the WJH should receive the first IF within 2 years.

Wrap up

Dr. Hu summarized the editorial board meeting and expressed his gratitude to all the attendees for presenting new ideas for journal development. All the attendees took a group photo before leaving (Figure 1). The photo has been posted on the Twitter of BPG.

Figure 1
Figure 1 Group photo of the editorial board meeting for World Journal of Hepatology 2019. From left to right: Ruo-Yu Ma, Dr. Tatehiro Kagawa, Dr. Mohamed AS Kohla, Dr. Ke-Qin Hu, Dr. Nikolaos T Pyrsopoulos, Dr. Astrid Ruiz-Margáin, and Dr. Calvin Pan.

This was the first editorial meeting of the WJH, during which many good ideas were proposed. The BPG office has already made some attempts based on this meeting: (1) An official BPG Twitter account has been registered, which will be an advertising platform for the “World Journal” series in the future; and (2) From January 1, 2020, the publication fee will be discounted by 25% for the manuscripts supported by national/international funds and those contributed by current national/international association/society members. The editorial office will hold an internal meeting in regard to the detailed plan and timeline to roll out the new initiatives. The BPG and the editorial board should work more closely to improve both the business and the scientific quality of the WJH. In the future, the editorial board meeting should be organized regularly and, hopefully, more BPG staff as well as the editorial board members will be involved in the communication.


The BPG wants to express our sincere gratitude to the editorial board members who attended the first editorial board meeting as well as all the other members who have made efforts for the development of the WJH.


Manuscript source: Unsolicited manuscript

Specialty type: Gastroenterology and hepatology

Country of origin: United States

Peer-review report classification

Grade A (Excellent): A, A, A, A

Grade B (Very good): B

Grade C (Good): 0

Grade D (Fair): 0

Grade E (Poor): 0

P-Reviewer: Citores MJ, Kagawa T, Kapoor S, Xiao J, Yuan YS S-Editor: Yan JP L-Editor: Filipodia E-Editor: Wu YXJ