Marzo Aprile 2021

Flying at high altitude

Dear all,

After more than two years at the head of the GIN I think it is useful to present some data on the work we have done. The journal already had a clear direction and, together with Biagio Di Iorio and Bianca Gualandi, I have tried to go further and make it an even more detailed and faithful representation of the Nephrology we are, and the one we need to become.

You all know the problems of this field that, although fascinating for us and extremely important for our patients, risks losing its competitiveness and ability to attract younger doctors. The extreme complexity of the discipline, in which genetic research, peculiar histological findings and interaction with many other medical fields come together with the application of new technologies and biomaterials in patients’ therapies, risks being undervalued in our hospitals and clinics. Our patients, nephropathic, transplanted and dialyzed, risk losing their reference point in the broader clinical context. It is our common responsibility to work as hard as possible, each in their own specific areas of interest, to make clear and self-evident the invaluable role of Nephrology within the medical field.

Our Giornale Italiano di Nefrologia wants to be a means to inform all nephrologists but also a vehicle through with each of us, either younger or at the end of their career, working in a big renowned institution or in a more local dimension, can feel an important and active part of a community of practice. I hope you will see the GIN as a place where you can share your experience and find help, through discussion and debate with others, to do it in the best way possible. Lastly, we have tried to make this publication as open as possible to the international community and to the broader public on social media, and to ensure it is recognized and included in existing academic infrastructure.

In the following sections we present some data, and we report on what we have done and what we plan for the months to come.

 

Some recent developments

In 2020 the GIN got a newly designed cover, complete of an inside cover listing essential information (editorial team, ISSN, web address). We have also enriched our website by adding:

  • A short bio and a picture of the main Editorial Board members
  • Explicit reference to the Ethical code of the Society of Nephrology and to the documentation necessary to publish with us;
  • A more detailed description of the publication process, from plagiarism checks to proof-reading and formatting;
  • New instructions for perspective authors, in English and Italian.

The publishing process most importantly includes a double-blind peer review aimed at improving the submitted articles that are of interest to the journal (with an explicit educational aim) and a plagiarism check performed using the Compilatio platform (https://www.compilatio.net/).

The creation of an English version of the website is also aimed at attracting foreign authors and increase the journal visibility.

Figure 1: The new cover and a screenshot from our website
Figure 1: The new cover and a screenshot from our website

In February 2020 we have created a new section titled “Covid-19 epidemic: logbook from the emergency” to respond to the need of a space in which to describe the management of Covid-positive nephropathic patients. With extreme competency, some colleagues from the worst-hit areas have shared with all of us their decision-making process and the solutions adopted on the field. These “logbooks”, together with case reports, form the bulk of this section appearing in issue 2, 3, 5 and 6 of 2020 and in this very issue you are reading. Going forward, however, this section will reflect the evolving reality and will move on from the simple description of solutions adopted locally to face the pandemic to hosting papers that elaborate further on this experience and on the collected data.

 

Outreach: data 2019-2021

The number of visitors to the journal’s website (https://giornaleitalianodinefrologia.it) is growing: we counted almost 180,000 visitors from January to December 2020 (179,209 to be exact), while we had counted 119,996 the year before. In the first trimester of 2021 we have reached 53,073 people and, if the trend stays the same, we should pass 200.000 users by the end of the year.

Figure 2: Total website users in 2019, 2020 and 2021 (the estimate for 2021 is based on the data available for January-March). Data: Google Analytics
Figure 2: Total website users in 2019, 2020 and 2021 (the estimate for 2021 is based on the data available for January-March). Data: Google Analytics

2019

2020

2021 (Jan-Mar)

Total users GIN website

119,996

179,209

53,073

Of which new

117,854

118,961

49,787

New users as % of the total

86.9%

87.4%

87.1%

Table I: Total users and new users in 2019, 2020 and in the first trimester of 2021

The top ten countries from which people have visited the website between January 2019 and March 2021 are listed in Table II. The journal is of course strongly rooted in the Italian nephrological community but there are visits from abroad, mostly from anglophone countries. As shown by the map below, which is of course not limited to the top ten countries but aggregates all the geographical data available on Google Analytics, we have received at least one visits from most countries in the world, and from all continents.

Users

New users

Italy

317997

322112

United States

9459

9409

Switzerland

2165

2135

India

1809

1806

United Kingdom

1705

1682

Germany

1076

1056

Spain

862

845

France

835

810

China

673

666

Canada

595

593

Table II: Top 10 countries from which people have visited the website between Jan 2019 and March 2021
Figure 3: Geographical data on website visits from January 2019 to the end of March 2021. Source and images: Google Analytics
Figure 3: Geographical data on website visits from January 2019 to the end of March 2021. Source and images: Google Analytics

As of 7th April 2021, the GIN’s Facebook page has 2,438 followers. Here, too, we notice a growing interest towards the journal. Every new issue is announced on Facebook and, upon publication, each article is presented in a dedicated post, with a representative image and a link. The most popular of these posts reach around 1,500 people each.

figura 4
Figure 4: Followers of the Facebook page at the end of 2019, end of 2020 and end of March 2021. Data: Facebook Insight
Figure 5: Screenshot of a post we published in October 2020 and that reached 1,584 people
Figure 5: Screenshot of a post we published in October 2020 and that reached 1,584 people

Moving on to different, but no less important, distribution channels, we know that data relating to all GIN’s articles are published on PubMed. For English articles, PubMed also offers a link to the full-text version on our website. In 2020 these links have been clicked on 5,790 times, with an average of 482 monthly visits coming from PubMed. Again, the numbers seem to be growing.

Figure 6: Website visits coming from PubMed divided by month, comparison 2019-2021
Figure 6: Website visits coming from PubMed divided by month, comparison 2019-2021

 

Conclusions

We have sent the journal to Web of Science, to start the evaluation process: if the outcome is positive, the GIN will be included in the Science Citation Index and will eventually be given an impact factor. We also hope to see the publication added to EBSCO research database.

We are working to make this journal a place of productive discussion within the Italian Society of Nephrology, a tool for scientific communication at the national level, a collector of experiences and clinical cases of general interest and a way to raise awareness of official guidelines of the Society. But also, a place for young nephrologists to practice their scientific writing skills, a place open to contributions and editorials on novel developments and challenges, in dialogue with other institution and other specialties in the healthcare sector. Our next challenge is a new collaboration with the Journal of Nephrology: a column called “Young Nephrologists’ Arena” that we present in more detail in this same number.

The GIN is growing and becoming more international but is still true to its number one vocation: being the “microwave background radiation” of the Society of Nephrology and of the many nephrologists that wish to debate and collaborate with our scientific and professional community.

 

Gaetano La Manna