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The Last Note

Correspondence to
Farrokh Habibzadeh, MD, The IJOEM

E-mail: Farrokh.Habibzadeh@theijoem.com

Received: Oct 20, 2020

Accepted: Oct 20, 2020

“What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight; build it anyway."

Mother Teresa

This editorial is the last I will write as the Editor-in-Chief of The IJOEM. The Deputy Editor, the Executive Editor, and I are stepping down effective November 2020, when another editorial group will take over production of the Journal.

Twelve years ago, when I founded the Journal, I set out to publish a quality journal to provide an international forum for scientists interested in occupational and environmental medicine. Several people have been important in establishing the Journal, but two of them—the Deputy Editor, and the Executive Editor of the Journal, Dr. Mahboobeh Yadollahie, and Ms. Ashraf Simi, respectively—were crucial in the development and growth of the Journal. They worked enthusiastically for more than a decade to make The IJOEM what it has become.

Publishing a quality journal is not easy. It requires the sacrifices and dedication of many people. During these first 12 years of publication, we helped authors who had something important to say, especially those less-proficient in English and scientific writing, to find their voice and present their work without charge. Often, we asked them to send us their raw data so we could help them analyze their data and report them in tables and graphs.

As a result of these efforts, The IJOEM has been well received. Soon after publication of its very first issue in January 2010, the Journal was accepted for indexing by MEDLINE® (Index Medicus), Scopus, and EMBASE (Excerpta Medica), to mention just a few indexing services. All the articles we have published are included in these indexing systems. Articles published since January 2015 are also available from the Web of Knowledge and Web of Science. According to Scopus, The IJOEM is now a Q2-journal (ranked in the second quartile of its market), and its CiteScore has increased by almost 40% over the last year, from 2.4 in 2019 to at least 3.3 in 2020. The IJOEM is the only biomedical journal published in the region to be awarded the DOAJ seal, a mark reflecting a high level of openness and adherence to best practices and high publishing standards awarded by the Directory of Open Access Journals.

Appreciating the high penetration of the Internet throughout the world, beginning in 2019, we decided to publish the Journal online only. This decision required us to preserve all the contents published since January 2019 in a reliable repository. We chose the US National Library of Medicine repository—PubMed Central—and have so far stored the articles published since January 2015. Eventually, all articles published since 2010 will be available there.

Considering the proliferation of new journals and easy access to large amounts of unvetted information over the past decade, we decided to be very selective in accepting manuscripts and to publish only a handful of important articles in each issue. We carefully reviewed all submissions in-house and sent only a third for external peer review. Publishing only those manuscripts with sound methodology and of most interest to health care professionals means that the Journal now publishes only 1 of every 15 submitted manuscripts.

Although quarterly journals are not generally expected to react quickly to emerging events, The IJOEM was among the first journals that responded to COVID-19 pandemic by publishing a review of what was known about the virus as of early February 2020, during the early days of the outbreak.1 The review was well received and became a trending article in PubMed. In this issue of the Journal, we are publishing and updated review, accompanied by a podcast providing a more comprehensive overview of the disease.2

As I leave my post, I am deeply grateful to all the authors who let us review their work for possible publication; to reviewers for their help in selecting the most appropriate articles and in presenting them more effectively; to the Editorial Board Members for their constant support and guidance; and to our readers for encouraging us to become better and better through their comments. Without your submissions, your support, and your help, The IJOEM could not have achieved its successes over the past years. Finally, I have to acknowledge the loyal support of those who helped me establish the Journal, particularly, Dr. Kian, Dr. Rafeie, Dr. Ghassemzadeh, and Dr. Sami. I would also like to express my gratitude to Shiraz Petroleum Industry Health Organization officials, who have provided the Journal with office space since its inception.

I hope the Journal will continue to thrive and remain a reliable source of evidence under the new editorial team.


  1. Habibzadeh P, Stoneman EK. The novel coronavirus: a bird's eye view. Int J Occup Environ Med 2020;11:65-71.
  2. Maveddat A, Mallah H, Rao S, et al. Severe acute respiratory distress syndrome secondary to coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Int J Occup Environ Med 2020;11:157-78.

Farrokh Habibzadeh, MD,
Editor and Founder,

Cite this article as: Habibzadeh F. The last note. Int J Occup Environ Med 2020;11:155-156. doi: 10.34172/ijoem.2020.2256

 pISSN: 2008-6520
 eISSN: 2008-6814

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