Potential factors of specialists' willingness to write editorial and commentary: a retrospective study based on 5,091 invitations

Hengrui Liang, Lujiao Ye, Wenhua Liang, Runchen Wang, Fan Ge, Lihua Fan, Yao Zhu, Grace S. Li, Stephen D. Wang, Kevin Phan, Alan Sihoe, Kaiping Zhang, Jianxing He*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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    Background: Editorials and commentaries (E/C) are common article categories and usually solicited by editors in many journals. However, not all experts accept invitation for an E/C essay for a variety of reasons. We conducted this study to explore the potential influence factors contributing whether an invitation to write E/C is accepted by a specialist.

    Methods: Data of invited E/C from all journals of AME Publishing Company between January 1st, 2018 and December 31st, 2018 were retrospectively identified and consecutively collected. Acceptance of writing E/C from experts was recorded as "positive", while acceptance without submission, refusal, or no response, were all recorded as "negative". Factors that could potentially affect invitation acceptance were generally categorized as being related to three areas: original studies, inviting journals, and experts.

    Results: A total of 5,091 invitations were sent to 4,788 experts from 79 different countries or areas to write E/C on 695 research papers from 43 journals, with a total positive acceptance rate of 18.88%. Greece (40.54%), India (36.8%), and Brazil (35.42%) were the top three countries for acceptance rate. Surgeons (surgeons 23.80% vs. non-surgeons 17.05%; P<0.001) and oncologists (oncologists 22.57% vs. non-oncologists 17.58%; P=0.029) were more likely to accept the E/C invitations. The acceptance rate decreased with the increasing number of published articles of an expert (P=0.005). The acceptance rate was the highest (28.03%) when an inviting journal was indexed in both SCIE and PubMed. ABS, VATS and JTD ranked as the top three journals with the highest invitation acceptance rate. The impact factor of journals on which original papers were published had a negative correlation with the invitation acceptance rate (P=0.015). Database-related studies had the highest acceptance rate (21.66%), while translational (16.49%) and basic studies (16.56%) had a significantly lower acceptance rate among all study types.

    Conclusion: Original studies, inviting journals, and expert-related factors were all influence factors on the acceptance rate/willingness to write of E/C from invitations.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number805
    Pages (from-to)1-9
    Number of pages9
    JournalAnnals of Translational Medicine
    Issue number24
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright the Publisher. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


    • Editorials
    • commentary
    • AME Publishing Company
    • academic communication


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