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We have completed yet another exciting year at RBMO. Most importantly the broad scope of the journal's content and the close interaction between the editorial office staff and the editors and the authors remains a constant strength. In addition, we completely updated the layout of the journal: both the artwork and logo on the cover and also the layout of the papers themselves. We are very proud of the new look and feel of RBMO, which is now completely in line with the identity of the journal, the growth of the field and our level of ambition! During summer, the editorial office moved to Bourn Hall, Cambridge, UK, a most fitting location. After extensive discussions over the years, we also decided to introduce a structured abstract for all clinical articles.
RBMO represents a ‘research family’ initially brought together and guided by Professor Bob Edwards, not linked to any single society, so we can benefit from multiple affiliations. These circumstances have advantages, but also generate challenges in a highly competitive world. As an example, a strong relationship has been established with Controversies in Obstetrics and Gynecology (COGI) where the ‘Best of RBMO’ publications are presented annually. Moreover, we have strengthened our relationship with the global embryology society Alpha and established new relationships with the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS).
In January 2019 we were proud to welcome three new editors: Professor Felice Petraglia from Italy, Professor Chris Barrat from Scotland, and Professor Rene Eijkemans from The Netherlands. We all very much look forward working with them. Further details can be found in their individual Meet our new editor contribution (
Submissions: Over the years we have witnessed a steady increase in the number of submissions. The current rejection rate is running at just under 80%, with 50% of these rejections being decided by the editors within a week. We aim to increase the number of papers published to 200 per anum (Figure 1).
Response time: The average speed of papers being either rejected after external review or accepted and published is shown in Figure 2. The duration between submission and publication of the adjudicated and edited papers has slowly increased over the years to 41 weeks. We – in agreement with authors – considered this clearly too long, and have taken the following measures to address this, effective from November 2018:
Within 2 weeks after acceptance, a paper will be available on line in its unedited form. At this stage, the paper can be cited and referenced as ‘epub ahead of print’.
The subsequent adjudication, editing and publication in its final form will be within 4 additional weeks.
We aim for a maximum of 20 weeks between submission of the initial manuscript and the actual online publication of the accepted article.
We can assure the authors submitting their work to RBMO that we will continue to monitor this editorial process closely.
Impact factor: The impact factor of RBMO remains steady at around 3, resulting in a ranking in 2018 at position 14 out of 82 in the research category Obstetrics and Gynecology and position 8 out of 29 in Reproductive Biology. The most cited RBMO papers (Table 1) are in the research area of embryology, in keeping with the history of the journal.
Table 1Most cited RBMO publications (to October 2018)
No. of citations
Highly efficient vitrification method for cryopreservation of human oocytes
Kuwayama et al.
Over 900 oocyte cryopreservation babies born with no apparent increase in congenital anomalies
Noyes et al.
Modelling a risk classification of aneuploidy in human embryos using non-invasive morphokinetics
Campbell et al.
Male infertility: Role of genetic background
Ferlin et al.
Recurrent implantation failure: Definition and management
Coughlan et al.
Successful vitrification of bovine and human ovarian tissue
Kagawa et al.
Double stimulations during the follicular and luteal phases of poor responders in IVF/ICSI programmes (Shanghai protocol)
Kuang et al.
Live birth derived from oocyte spindle transfer to prevent mitochondrial disease
Zhang et al.
Oocyte cryopreservation for social reasons: Demographic profile and disposal intentions of UK users
Baldwin et al.
Time-lapse culture with morphokinetic embryo selection improves pregnancy and live birth chances and reduces early pregnancy loss: a meta-analysis
Source of submissions: We are happy to see that – after Europe – a very significant proportion of papers published in the journal continues to come from the Asian Pacific region (Figure 3a), and there is a good spread of manuscripts submitted in the different sections (Figure 3b), with the section ART, not surprisingly, as the biggest.
Author feedback: As in previous years, the feedback from authors (Figure 4) reflects appreciation of many characteristics of RBMO such as the quality of suppport provided by the editorial office, along with the scope, reputation and impact factor of the journal. On the negative side, the slow refereeing speed is noted and now hopefully addressed appropriately.
For a comparison of last year's RBMO perfomance with previous years, see
In 2019 we will focus on attracting more high-quality submissions from around the globe, improving our editorial process, publishing more papers and increasing our impact factor. We will monitor progress in these aspects closely. We also aim to expand the scope of the journal through partnerships and more prominent social media presence.
Finally, we wish to express our gratitude to our esteemed colleagues, willing to act as referees and to provide us with their evaluation in good time. Without your help we would not be able to maintain our current standards. In addition, we would like to urge authors to submit their revised manuscript within 4 weeks following provisional acceptance or a request to revise and resubmit for further consideration.
Please continue to provide us with your feedback.
Meet our new editor: Professor Christopher Barratt.