How time flies! It seems like only yesterday that I was appointed the 10th Editor‐in‐Chief of a 90‐year old major surgical journal. We assembled a dynamic team with a clear, modern vision and strategy. As we say goodbye, it is time to reflect fondly on our achievements.
The most read surgical journal on the web?
Of the many ways to measure this, one is the number of downloads of BJUI articles from our publisher Wiley Online Library. This has increased steadily every year, reaching 3 million downloads in 2019 alone. In addition to this we are regarded as pioneers of web‐based publishing and social media. The BJUI itself and its editorial team have a large, devoted following especially on Twitter. Our infographics, podcasts, picture quizzes, polls and videos were deliberately designed to grab an audience with limited time and short attention spans. The BJUI blogs have often been read more than the articles themselves, bringing immediacy, wider engagement and sensible debate. The most visited blog on the death of Nobel Laureate Tagore from prostatic enlargement was read nearly 110 000 times.
To increase the impact of the BJUI
Our impact factor has steadily increased since 2012, reaching the highest in its history and is as close to 5 as it ever has been. This has been achieved by decreasing the acceptance rate to 10% without any form of manipulation. This means that the BJUI papers are now “returnable” to any research excellence exercise of which many exist worldwide. As a clinician–scientist I could not accept anything else in academic circles. The BJUI is the only surgical journal to be rated in the Altmetric top 50 reaching a score of 1469 , compared to an average Altmetric score of 3. It is a testament to the hard work of our team above and beyond the impact factor. I suspect that with more fully open access journals such as the BJUI Compass , driven by Plan S, the importance of the impact factor as it now stands, may gradually diminish over time. We have also led on bringing innovation such as Artificial Intelligence  into our journal and making science accessible to a clinical audience through our “science made simple” section.
Quality without boundaries
While many of our papers come from the UK, USA and Australia, we have also published the best articles from Uganda, China, Japan, Iran, Korea, India, Pakistan and Peru. We are and remain a global journal, associated with 10 international societies. The NICE guidelines have been well cited over the last 3 years  as have the papers in our Trials section and the ever‐popular Guideline of Guidelines . We have managed to co‐publish a number of high‐quality Cochrane reviews including the only one with a maximum AMSTAR score of 11 out of 11 comparing laparoscopic, robotic and open radical prostatectomy .
In this issue of the BJUI , we have published the protocol and curriculum development of the SIMULATE study – the world’s first and only multi‐centre randomised controlled trial of surgical simulation. What started as a BAUS study, expanded worldwide and recruited 1400 cases to see if simulation made better surgeons and improved patient outcomes .
The BJUI also brought innovative design from the fashion industry into academic publishing through the Glass magazine. As a parting gift, I therefore thought it fitting to publish a photograph of the courtyard of King’s College London where the SIMULATE trial first started. It was taken on a sunny day on my iPhone with no one in sight because of the pandemic. We have seen the viral crisis as an opportunity to learn from other nations and published a critical review to guide urological care for our colleagues, residents and patients .
I take this opportunity to thank a loyal group of friends at the BJUI Editorial offices, our trustees, the Associate and Consulting Editors, our wider editorial team of authors and reviewers and our publisher Wiley. I am proud to hand over the BJUI to my friend Freddie Hamdy in the best state of academic health and creativity.
- Veale D, Miles S, Bramley S et al. Am I normal? A systematic review and construction of nomograms for flaccid/erect penis length and circumference. BJU Int 2015; 115: 978– 86
- Chen J, Remulla D, Nguyen JH et al. Current status of artificial intelligence applications in urology and their potential to influence clinical practice. BJU Int 2019; 124: 567– 77
- Guidance NICE. – Prostate cancer: diagnosis and management. BJU Int 2019; 124: 9– 26
- Sussman RD, Syan R, Brucker B. Guideline of guidelines: urinary incontinence in women. BJU Int 2020; 125: 638– 55
- Ilic D, Evans SM, Allan CA et al. Laparoscopic and robot‐assisted vs open radical prostatectomy for the treatment of localized prostate cancer: a Cochrane systematic review. BJU Int 2018; 121: 845– 53
- Aydin A, Ahmed K, Van Hemelrijck M et al. Simulation in Urological Training and Education (SIMULATE): Protocol and curriculum development of the first multicentre international randomized controlled trial assessing the transferability of simulation‐based surgical training. BJU Int 2020; 126: 202–11
- Puliatti S, Eissa A, Eissa R et al. COVID‐19 and urology: a comprehensive review of the literature. BJU Int 2020; 125: E7– E14