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Journal of Korean Neurosurgical Society > Volume 62(2); 2019 > Article
Yang: Journal of Korean Neurosurgical Society from 2001 to 2006, the Pivotal Period of Transition and Preparation for Making Great Stride


In the circumstances of overflowing numbers of medical journals, progress of their own medical journal is one of the primary concerns of many medical societies. Among the 46-year-history of Journal of Korean Neurosurgical Society (JKNS), it undertook a period of important transition and preparation to take off for journal with international reputation during the period from 2001 to 2006. The overall process of manuscript handling, peer review, and editorial work has undergone systematic improvement. Workshops for authors, reviewer and editors were held, which were very helpful to improve the quality of submitted manuscript, peer review and editorial processing. Articles on the history, current status of the JKNS, citations and the change of proportion of types of articles were published, which provided insight about present condition and direction for further progress. It was changed into English journal in 2005. These efforts resulted in registration of the journal Chemical Abstract Service in 2005 and Science Citation Index Expanded in 2008 and SCOPUS in 2009. Now JKNS has become international journal, with about half of the submitted manuscripts from abroad, with increasing impact factor. Along with the effort of Korean Neurosurgical Society (KNS) members and support of KNS, dedication of Professor Dong Gyu Kim for the progress of JKNS is worth remembering, who served as Editor-in-Chief of JKNS during this period.


Since the publication of Philosophical Transactions by the Royal Society in 1665, many academic journals have been founded. Now a Journal has been regarded as lasting, tangible assets of academic society. The first English medical journal, Medicina Curiosa, was founded in 1684. Since then, there has been exponential growth in the numbers of medical journals. In the circumstances of overf lowing numbers of medical journals, progress of their own medical journal is one of the primary concerns of many medical societies and their members.
Journal of Korean Neurosurgical Society (JKNS), the official journal of the Korean Neurosurgical Society (KNS), made its first appearance in 1972. Started as domestic medical journal published in Korean, it has got global standing as a Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE) and SCOPUS registered journal. Progress of JKNS is result of incessant efforts of members of KNS.
Among the 46-year-history of JKNS, it undertook a period of important transition and preparation to take off for journal with international reputation during the period from 2001 to 2006. In this article, the events during this period and passion and innovation of Professor Dong Gyu Kim for the progress of JKNS, who served as Editor-in-Chief of JKNS have been reflected on.


JKNS is published bimonthly with about 100 to 110 articles per year. It is also published in online, the JKNS homepage displays articles of current and previous issues, along with other useful information for authors. It is also provided with on-line submission system. It is registered in SCIE, SCOPUS, PubMed and Excerpta Medica database (EMBASE).
About 260 articles were submitted to the journal, about half of which is from abroad including China, USA, Turkey, and Germany. About 40% of submitted manuscripts passed peer review for publication. About 15% of published articles of 2018 are from abroad researchers.
Journal impact factor in Web of Science increased from 0.155 in 2009 to 0.860 in 2017. Scimago Journal and Country Rank by SCOPUS remains at about 0.4 after initial rise from 2009 to 2001 (Fig. 1).


At the general assembly of KNS held on October 2001, there was a consensus for the progress of JKNS. The Editor-in-Chief of JKNS had been a 2-year-position accompanying the term of the president of the KNS. It was decided to choose a person to concentrate for the progress of the JKNS, with independent term, ensuring and respecting the specialty as journal editor. At the same time, the KNS decided to provide unwavering administrative and financial support for progress of JKNS. Professor Dong Gyu Kim was the first Editor-in-Chief with security of tenure, and the tradition has been kept till this day.
When the take-over of Editor-in-Chief of JKNS was done, there were several problems exposed. The journal was published behind the schedule. Administrative work was done by part-time worker, manual record was kept about the incoming submission and request for review. There were manuscripts in suspension during review process because of non-response of authors to the reviewers’ comment. Considering the continuity and specialty of manuscript management, it was decided to hire an editorial secretory, who had an experience of related field, as a full time job. Personal computer based data base was built for managing the manuscript submission and request for review. Modifications of various regulations and document forms were also done. Examination of the submitted manuscript before peer review, whether it was made in accordance with instructions for authors was started. The members of editorial board were composed of those with interest and experience in publishing medical journal. In order to ensure rapid dispatch of the pending issues, it was decided to have weeklybase-meeting of Editor-in-Chief, editorial secretary and two associate administrators of the editorial board, while editorial committee to have meeting bimonthly for final confirmation of manuscripts to be published and for decision on major issues requiring consensus of editorial board.
After the establishment of the system, pending issues were managed successfully. Editorial work by editorial secretary and administrative works done on database improved the efficiency and reduced time from submission to publish. The journal recovered its timeliness in 2002, and it was kept thereafter. Another problem of unpublished manuscript due to neglect of the authors was revised by request of the editorial office and published as supplements.
Improvement of journal was performed also in the appearance. Cover design, which was maintained for long time, was changed from the first issue of 2002, with illustrations of noticeable articles of that issue. The format was changed into full-size illustrations in the cover, a more up-to-date style, since 2003 (Fig. 2). Editing of the articles was also modified. With more compact editing and adjustment of size of illustrations and tables, the pages per articles were reduced, with enhanced readability. Commercials from medical devices and pharmaceutical companies were added. The improvement of edition and addition of commercials were helpful for financial affairs, reducing the burden of the society for publishing the journal and providing sources for various activities for improvement of the journal.
The progress of academic journal can be done by cooperation of three principal agents. The authors are to submit manuscript with novel findings with high quality; the reviewers perform fair and prompt comments to enhance the strong points and complement weak points; the editorial board provides and maintains system for efficient processing of manuscript and publishing. Education for authors, reviewers, and editors are very useful for improving the quality of submitted manuscript, the review process, the editorial work. Since the first editorial workshop in March 13th 2002, a number of workshops for authors, peer reviewers and editorial workers was took place (Fig. 3). These workshops, including useful and up-to-date lectures by experts in relevant fields, were very helpful for three principal agents. Review of statistical analysis described in JKNS, one of the topic of the workshop, was published as an original article in JKNS, to announce the KNS members about the selection of appropriate statistical modality and avoidance of pitfalls of statistics in preparing the manuscript [3].
Another effort for improvement of the journal is publishing articles on the current status of the JKNS. In 2002, as the thirtieth anniversary of the publication of the journal, an article was published on the history and progress of the JKNS and presented directions for the future [2]. Since the first article on the citation of JKNS in 2002, serial articles on that subject was published in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006. In these articles, analysis on the number of citations JKNS received and comparison with other Korean journals was done, to promote the KNS members to consider strategy to improved citation [5-8]. Article analyzing the change of proportion of types of articles, number of institutes which published papers on JKNS provides insight into the process of journal change [1]. Article on the result of survey about opinion on JKNS provided insight to views of KNS members as authors and readers of JKNS [4].
Considering the international accessibility for both manuscript submission and citation, transition into English journal was inevitable. After decision in editorial committee and approval by KNS board of directors, announcement to the members of KNS about transition into English journal was made. Newly submitted manuscript thereafter was accepted only in English format. The proportion of English manuscript increased gradually, and the first issue with all articles in English was published in 2005. Another key for international accessibility was installation of on-line submission system. Consideration for launching on-line submission system was started as early as 2002. However, there were several factors to be considered, such as financial burden, selection of appropriate vendor and consensus of the KNS members. After approval of board of directors of KNS, consultation and presentation from vendors was done. It was 2007, when the system was installed and all of the manuscript was submitted via on-line submission system.
Improving of citation is of utmost importance for a journal to be a place for exchange of useful information rather a place for repository of unused information. The basic requirement for a journal to be cited is creating searchable indexes of information. Searching articles of JKNS had been possible only at the JKNS home page. Enforcement for users to visit different home page for searching information of different journals is not efficient. Searching of relevant information in one site is far more efficient and increase change to be searched and to be cited. The first step is registration in KoreaMed. It was a database run by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors (KAMJE), which enables search of Korean medical journal in PubMed format. It was the first milestone for enabling systemic search of JKNS articles along with other Korean journals, providing feasible search for data. In order to further enhancing the chance of citation, full-text service was launched via LinkOut of KoreaMed and reformation of the journal home page. KAMJE also provided Korean Medical Journal Citation Index (KoMCI), a data base showing the citations between KoreaMed journals with similar format that of web of science. It was very useful for assessing the trend and changes of citations JKNS received. It was possible to publish articles on citations of JKNS by KoMCI service. CD-ROM including all the articles of JKNS was also published and distributed to all of the members of the Korean Neurosurgical Society. Famous neurosurgeons abroad were invited as international advisory board. Invited articles, from authors with reputation from home and abroad was also helpful for enhancing the status of the journal and chance of citation.
The various efforts resulted in improvement in international reputation of JKNS. It was registered in Chemical Abstract Service in 2005, it was the first appearance of the journal in the international database. It was registered in EMBASE in 2007, SCIE in 2008, and SCOPUS in 2009. Its impact factor is increasing, although there is still way to go, and many manuscripts from abroad are being submitted for publication in JKNS.


As we are climbing of steps one by one, a better perspective with widened field of vision will be available step by step. Better view will provide better direction for further progress. The step we are standing on is the fruit of someone’s labor. The current status of JKNS is the result of continuous efforts of every member of KNS. Recognition of importance of journal and support of KNS were also greatly helpful. Along with the effort of KNS members and support of KNS, dedication of Professor Dong Gyu Kim and the members of editorial board for the progress of JKNS, who served during the important period of transition, is worth remembering.


No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.


The author would like acknowledge Prof. Hyun-Tai Chung, Ph.D. and Prof. Chul-Kee Park, M.D. Ph.D., department of neurosurgery, Seoul National University College of Medicine for their support in preparation and revision of the manuscript.

Fig. 1.
Changes of journal impact factor (JIF) and Scimago Journal and Country Rank (SJR) after registration in Science Citation Index Expanded and SCOPUS.
Fig. 2.
Changes of cover of the Journal of Korean Neurosurgical Society. Cover of the journal before change (A), new cover design with illustration since 2002 (B), cover with full-size illustrations (C) since 2003. D shows assorted covers in one page.
Fig. 3.
Covers of course materials of workshops. Editorial board workshop on March 13th, 2002 (A), peer review workshop on March 15th, 2003 (B), and peer review workshop on March 15th, 2003 (C).


1. Chung HT, Yang HJ, Yi MA, Kim DG : Analysis of papers published on Journal of Korean Neurosurgical Society in 2006. J Korean Neurosurg Soc 40 : 476-480, 2006

2. Hwang SN, Kim DG : Journal of Korean Neurosurgical Society for 30 years. J Korean Neurosurg Soc 32 : 371-375, 2002

3. Kang W : A review of the statistical analysis used in clinical articles published on Journal of Korean Neurosurgical Society. J Korean Neurosurg Soc 40 : 304-308, 2006

4. Park CK, Yi MA, Yang HJ, Chung HT, Kim DG : What do you think about the Journal of Korean Neurosurgical Society?: survey of Korean Neurosurgical Society members. J Korean Neurosurg Soc 40 : 309-313, 2006

5. Yang HJ, Chung HT, Choi JS, Kim DG : Citation of Journal of Korean Neurosurgical Society. J Korean Neurosurg Soc 33 : 226-229, 2003

6. Yang HJ, Chung HT, Choi JS, Kim DG : Citations of Journal of Korean Neurosurgical Society 2003: analysis by KoMCI. J Korean Neurosurg Soc 36 : 264-266, 2004

7. Yang HJ, Chung HT, Park CK, Yi MA, Kim DG : Korean Medical Citation Index(KoMCI) and Journal of Korean Neurosurgical Society. J Korean Neurosurg Soc 40 : 300-303, 2006

8. Yang HJ, Chung HT, Yi MA, Kim DG : Citations of Journal of Korean Neurosurgical Society assessed by KoMCI-trends in recent five years. J Korean Neurosurg Soc 38 : 403-405, 2005

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