Free Access Articles
- 2017 was a very successful year for RBMOnline, most notably with the announcement of an Impact Factor of 3.249, the highest yet achieved by the journal since its inclusion in the ranking nearly 10 years ago, and matched by improvements in other ranking metrics such as CiteScore, Article Influence and SNIP. This outcome reflects the increased quality of the papers published in the journal and places it in sixth position in the ranking of reproductive biology titles. As part of the continuing development of the journal, we welcomed Richard Anderson to the team of editors (Anderson, 2017), joining Mina Alikani, Juan Garcia Velasco and Martin Johnson, and allowing the Chief Editor more time to focus on strategic considerations.
- One of the most contested debates in the field of reproductive donation concerns the question of how much information about gamete donors should be provided to gamete recipients. Part of what makes this question challenging is that there is only a limited pool of empirical research to draw from when making evidence-based arguments in favour of one policy or practice of information provision over another. Analysis of this evidence is further complicated by the fact that more evidence exists about recipients of sperm donation than recipients of oocyte donation.
- Amongst the mass of official published data on assisted reproduction treatment (ART) outcomes, there is one noticeable omission: the cumulative pregnancy/birth rate (often inappropriately called ‘success rate’) of women undergoing serial IVF/ICSI treatments. Thus, no recent publications from the UK Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA, 2012), National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE, 2013) or the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2012) provide such data for IVF (although data for donor insemination are presented; NICE, 2013, pp.
- While the regulatory role of the HFEA, its independence and its shortcomings are debated in the context of a fiscal economic crisis, the larger sociological importance of the Authority may be overlooked. Harder to calculate than its annual budget and more elusive than its technical remit as a licensing body, the cultural value of the HFEA as a historical and symbolic entity that was born out of a pioneering debate unique to the UK must be included in a discussion of its future role. Against its perceived shortcomings as an expensive and outdated quango is the importance of the Authority as a public instrument for enhancing the future of translational bioscience.