The Editor-in-Chief, Prof. Hassan Saidi, and Associate Editor, Dr. James Kigera, visited Jimma between 17th and 19th November to meet with Prof. Abraham and his team at the Ethiopian Journal of Health Sciences at Jimma University.
Prof. Abraham looked relaxed, having just relinquished deanship at the University’s medical school. Together with his managing editor Tekle Ferede, the two took us through the history and tribulations of the journal, his appointment as Editor-in-Chief when the journal was down and the recent success story closely linked with membership of AJPP.
The journal beginnings were humble. From the first issue in 1990, the journal was published twice a year under the name “Bulletin of the Jimma Institute of Health Sciences”. The period 1996-2007 was a bad one for the journal and saw publications dwindle. 2008-2013 heralded a period of rapid development for the journal. A number of factors played a role, key among them the appointment of Prof. Abraham as Editor-in-Chief, membership of AJPP from 2008, an automated submission system and the journal website.
Like the Annals of African Surgery, EJHS was twinned with the Annals of Internal Medicine as mentor journal. Through the AJPP, EJHS was supported to equip the journal office, recruit a managing editor, automate the peer review submission system and conduct trainings. This saw a jump in total submissions. To date submissions have soared, and the publication frequency increased to an issue every two months.
The University supports the EJHS by printing all issues for distribution to sites in Ethiopia that may not be well served by internet. The IT department is supports the website maintenance. The EiC is supported by three associate editors handling clinical, public health & biomedical dockets.
On the way back, the editors met with one of the journal editorial advisor based in Addis Ababa, Dr. Abebe Bekele and reviewed the forthcoming pre-conference workshop for authors in Mombasa and strategies for journal growth.