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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 93-94

Indian journal of social psychiatry – The show will go on!

Gupta Mind Healing and Counselling Centre, Chandigarh, India

Date of Submission13-Jun-2020
Date of Acceptance13-Jun-2020
Date of Web Publication27-Jun-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Nitin Gupta
Gupta Mind Healing and Counselling Centre, Chandigarh - 160 009
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijsp.ijsp_163_20

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How to cite this article:
Gupta N. Indian journal of social psychiatry – The show will go on!. Indian J Soc Psychiatry 2020;36:93-4

How to cite this URL:
Gupta N. Indian journal of social psychiatry – The show will go on!. Indian J Soc Psychiatry [serial online] 2020 [cited 2022 Dec 7];36:93-4. Available from: https://www.indjsp.org/text.asp?2020/36/2/93/288104

“Indian Journal of Social Psychiatry (IndJSP) – The Show Must Go On!” This was the title of the write-up in the previous issue[1] by my erstwhile predecessor Professor Debasish Basu, who was not only the Editor of the IndJSP from 2012 to 2019, but also my mentor in a manner of speaking.

I have been associated with the IndJSP since 2013 when Professor Basu invited me to be part of the core Editorial team. He had outlined the vision for the Journal in the Editorial of 2015,[2] and it can be easily re-affirmed by me that the most heartening aspect has been about the IndJSP making tremendous strides, as enumerated in the progress update provided in his most recent write-up.[1]

Assuming responsibility as the new Editor from December 2019 onwards is, in my personal opinion, not going to be an easy task; in fact, it will be a monumental one, to say the least! This is because of not only trying to maintain the exceptional standards so already achieved,[1] but to enhance them further!

So-the questions before me were-What is envisaged for the Journal in the time to come? How will the show go on? A slew of changes and proposals are in the pipeline as we speak. Some have been implemented, while the rest will hopefully see the light of the day over a period of time. Of these, let me mention a few here!

Speciality Sections: It may be said that the Heart and Soul of any Journal lies with its 'Readers', whereas the Editorial Team, Editorial Board, Advisory Board are its Wheels! Although, the Editorial Team, Editorial Board, and Advisory Board undergoes an expected (and necessary) revamp with a change of the guard (i.e., Editor), but for our readers, a special change is being implemented. Keeping in perspective the broad scope of the IndJSP (http://www.indjsp.org/aboutus.asp) and its essential readership (i.e., membership of the Indian Association of Social Psychiatry), we will be looking toward developing Speciality Sections and trying to devote Theme-based Issues on these Specialities; these specialities being Community and Social Psychiatry, Rehabilitation Psychiatry, Psychiatric Social Work, and Clinical and Social Psychology, etc.

“Ahead of Print” (AOP) publication helps in ensuring wider visibility and chances of more citations and downloads for both author and the Journal alike. This is one area in which the Journal has lagged behind, and we hope to have this rectified as soon as possible. This will help in the Indexing Process, details of which had been alluded to in the previous Guest Editorial by Professor Basu.[1]

The Publication Process: Over the last 4 years, the time taken from article submission to publication in the Journal has reduced significantly; currently stands at 5 months in 2019.[1] In the current scientific world of a high number of open access, online (and to some extent, print) journals where different kinds of indexing are available; young, aspiring students, and researchers are generally in search of fast-tracking of their publications. In addition, it is also important that we are able to be efficient and more fast in our publication process, as that will contribute to achieving the goal of getting Indexed (which is already underway). Hence, we have set for ourselves, the ambitious aim of reducing the time for print publication down to 3 months, and for online (AOP) publication down to 1 month by end-2021.

Enhancement and Modification of the Review Process: To achieve the above-mentioned target, a “smart,” “transparent,” and “innovative” review strategy will be integral to the whole process. Understandably, this may appear a bit complex, but a few key “nuts” and “bolts” are enumerated here. There will be strict adherence to the “Scope of the Journal,” i.e., covering technical and clinical studies related to health, ethical, and social issues in the field of Social and Community Psychiatry and related areas; wherein articles with clinical interest and implications will be given preference (http://www.indjsp.org/contributors.asp). Articles that DO NOT represent SOCIAL PSYCHIATRY, i.e., exclusively in domain of Clinical Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology will, in principle, not be considered or deemed appropriate for further processing in the review process, and will be subjected to immediate editorial desk rejection. Subsequent to this, each new manuscript (MS) will be read by a Deputy Editor and those that are considered clearly uncompetitive or unsuited to this journal for various reasons will be declined without going to full review. Thereafter, with input from an Associate Editor, the MS will be reviewed (by this, we hope to reduce the burden on our pool of excellent and dedicated reviewers). On the basis of these reviews, a recommendation will be made to the Editor. In addition, if the recommendation is to continue with the review process, the Editor will be sending selected manuscripts for a methods/statistics review to the “Statistical Editor.”

Dealing with Ethical Violations: A matter of increasing concern for the Journal has been the gradually increasing trend for researchers to submit their MS to the IndJSP, and simultaneously elsewhere while it is under the peer-review process or in the article publication phase. While it is appreciated that we are in a world of ever-increasing competitiveness and numerous factors tend to operate wherein such a phenomena can occur, yet such serious violation of ethical standards are not acceptable. This is especially so when the authors submit their MS based upon the explicit agreement about this aspect being stated under “Instructions to Authors” (http://www.indjsp.org/contributors.asp). This, in my opinion, is a clear responsibility of the authors, and they cannot absolve themselves of the same. Henceforth, if serious violation of ethical standards will have been found to occur (e.g., fraud, attempts at duplicate submission/publication or failure to declare obvious and major conflicts of interest), IndJSP may take action beyond rejecting the MS, including barring authors from submitting to the journal or reporting authors to appropriate authorities.

I had earlier mentioned about the changes and proposals, and alluded to some of them as above. Nevertheless, life is a dynamic process, and it is not easy to set things in stone. The initial vision in December 2019 had been of having “Speciality/Theme” based Supplements that were planned with some degree of foresight. One such example of the “best laid plans going awry” is mentioned below:

Special Supplement on COVID-19: The COVID-19 pandemic has swept and shaken the world in a manner that has been unprecedented and unheard over the past 100 years or so. This public health pandemic is bringing with it presently, and in the future too, mental health, economic and psychosocial challenges from micro to macro levels across the world, including India. The Indian Association for Social Psychiatry (IASP) is a long-standing organization of National importance dealing primarily with psychosocial aspects related to mental health, with the IndJSP being its official publication. Hence, it is imperative that the leadership shows the way not only to its ever-expanding membership, but also to other colleagues across the Nation by highlighting the SOCIAL PSYCHIATRIC ASPECTS of the COVID-19 PANDEMIC.” In consonance with the above, it has been agreed with the Executive Committee of the IASP to bring out a Special Issue on this. It will comprise of various invited scholarly contributions from Distinguished Experts in the fields of Mental Health and other disciplines. Hence, while going to print with this Issue, it is my pleasant duty to share with the readers that the first supplement of 2020 tentatively titled as “Psychosocial and Emotional Aspects related to COVID-19” will be available as an online issue in the month of July 2020.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the EC of the IASP for entrusting me with this responsibility. Finally, the new editorial team (Deputy Editors, Associate Editors, Ombudsman) are turning out to be what they are supposed to be! A TEAM! They have already effortlessly taken on their responsibilities; are easing into their roles; and provide constant and consistent inputs, support, assistance, and guidance with seamless team working and coordination. My worthy predecessor, Prof Basu, had written “….would be proud to be associated with it in future;”[1] he is indeed still associated as his pragmatism, wisdom, and experience gained over the 8 years at the helm of IndJSP is now available in his new role as Advisor. “I promise my inputs whenever I am felt to be needed”[1] was another assertion by him, and I am trying my best to have his inputs on a regular periodic basis; hopefully, this trend will develop a more positive slope in future.

The orientation of the Editorial's content may appear “clinical,” but the disposition of its tone is definitely “social” (and from the heart)! This editorial, by any means, should be construed as a sequel and not a rejoinder to the previous one.[1]

The Show Will Go On!

  References Top

Basu D. Indian Journal of Social Psychiatry – The Show Must Go On! Indian J Soc Psychiatry 2020;36:1-4.  Back to cited text no. 1
Basu D. The times they are a-changin'. Indian J Soc Psychiatry 2015;31:1-3.  Back to cited text no. 2
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