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Annual report to our readers and the field: September 1, 2000--August 31, 2001. (Editorial Column).


This annual report provides a summary of manuscript activity during the period September 1, 2000, through August 31, 2001.

Table 1 provides an overall breakdown of the 207 new manuscripts received during this period compared to the equivalent period of the previous year. These include only those manuscripts submitted to the regular issues and not those submitted for special supplement issues. As noted in Figure 1, the number of new manuscripts is approximately the same as the 209 received last year. A significantly higher percentage of manuscripts (20.6 percent) are still in the process of revision compared with the same time period last year (6.2 percent). Once the review process is completed on those manuscripts and others under review, it is expected based on past experience that the final acceptance rate of manuscripts submitted to the Journal will be around 15 percent.


Figure 1 shows that the overall percentage rank ordering of submissions by major health policy content area has changed somewhat from the previous year. Specifically, there has been a notable decrease in the percentage of articles dealing with the "cost/financing" area and a significant increase in the "quality/outcomes" area. As we noted last year, we believe this reflects the growing amount of finding made available in 1999 and 2000 for the quality/ outcomes area, resulting in studies that are now nearing completion and being submitted to the journal for consideration. Figure 2 shows that the percentage of new manuscripts by specific subject content area is generally similar between the two periods.


Cycle time is the total time that passes from the receipt of the manuscript in the Journal's editorial office to the time when a decision letter is mailed to the author(s). During the past year, this total elapsed time averaged approximately 80 days or 11 weeks, compared to 85 days or 12 weeks a year ago. Thus, we are making progress on our goal of a 10-week, or 70-day, overall cycle time. On average, completed reviews are received from two reviewers within 9 weeks. Forty percent of manuscripts received two complete reviews within 8 weeks; up from 33 percent a year ago.


During the past year, the Journal published one Special Supplement issue and one "seventh issue." The December 2001 Alice Hersh Memorial Issue was published (online only). This issue highlighted significant peer-reviewed research and policy analyses presented at the June 2001 annual meeting of the Academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy. This special issue was co-edited by Lu Ann Aday and Carolyn Clancy and can be accessed online at In addition, a seventh "regular" issue appeared in July 2001 highlighting peer-reviewed papers on "Consumer Assessment of Health Plans," with Carolyn Clancy serving as guest editor.


As in previous years, the Journal's authors continue to attract attention for the quality of their research, with two articles receiving national awards. The article by John E. Kralewski, Eugene C. Rich, Roger Feldman, and colleagues titled "The Effects of Medical Group Practice and Physician Payment Methods on Costs of Care," which appeared in the August 2000 issue, received one of the Article of the Year Awards from the Academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy. In addition, the article by Roland Sturm titled "How Does Risk Sharing between Employers and Managed Behavioral Health Organizations Affect Mental Health Care?," which appeared in the October 2000 issue, received the eighth Annual Research Award from the National Institute for Health Care Management. This is the second consecutive year that an article from HSR has received this award.

In addition to individual articles receiving awards, HSR was highly evaluated in a recent national survey assessing the quality and relevance of 54 journals in the field (E. S. Williams et al. 2002). Specifically, HSR was ranked second only to the New England Journal of Medicine in regard to perceived quality and third in regard to perceived relevance of all journals evaluated. The major criteria used were conceptual and methodological rigor and the ability of a journal to influence thought in the field.

We want to express our appreciation to our editorial board members and many other colleagues throughout the field who have served as reviewers in the past year and who continue to help us improve the quality of the Journal. While we have now made the transition to Blackwell Publishers, Inc., we also want to thank once again our colleagues at Health Administration Press, Maureen Glass, Kathy Malone, and Joyce Sherman, for their work on behalf of the Journal over the years. Finally, we are most appreciative to David Helms, Wendy Valentine, and the staff at the Academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy, Dr. John Eisenberg, and colleagues at the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the W. K Kellogg Foundation, and the University of California-Berkeley Center for Health Management Research, for their continuing support of the Journal. Special appreciation goes to the staff and consultants of the Health Research and Educational Trust, including Kate Buckley, Cheryl Knott, Brad Kort, and Amanda Wesby for their assistance during this year of transition.

As always, we welcome your feedback and suggestions. Please contact us with your ideas by e-mail to or visit us at our Web site,

Stephen M. Shortell, Ph.D.

Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D.

Harold S. Luft, Ph.D.

Nicole Lurie, M.D.

Catherine G. McLaughlin, Ph.D.

Albert L. Siu, M.D.

Editor/Senior Editors

Mary Pittman, Dr. P.H., Publisher
Figure 1

New Manuscripts Submitted by Policy Area (Percent) (September 1,
2000-August 31, 2001) Versus (September 1, 1999-August 31, 2000)

 9/1/2000-8/31/2001 9/1/1999-8/31/2000

Access/Utilization (n = 76) (n = 89)
 36.7 42.6

Quality/Outcomes (n = 79) (n = 43)
 38.1 20.6

Costs and Financing (n = 35) (n = 67)
 17 32.1

Other (including pure (n = 17) (n = 10)
Methods articles) 8.2 4.8

Note: Table made from bar graph
Figure 2

New Manuscripts Submitted by Subject Area (Percent)

 9/1/00-8/31/01 9/1/99-8/31/00

A 15.8% 15.3
B 13.4 12
C 8.1 8.1
D 23 18.2
E 11.0 13.9
F 5.7 5.7
G 4.3 6.2
H 7.7 8.6
I 4.3 4.8
J 3.8 2.9
K 2.9 4.3

A = Hospitals/Health Systems (n = 33) (n = 32)

B = Aging/Chronic Illness/Long-Term Care/Rehab (n = 28) (n = 25)

C = Mental Health/Substance Abuse (n = 17) (n = 17)

D = Health Insurance/Financing/Payment/Regulation (n =48) (n = 38)

E = Methods (n = 23) (n = 29)

F = Physician Behavior/Decision Making (n = 12) (n = 12)

G = Child Health/Maternity Care/Community Health (n = 09) (n = 13)

I = Health Workforce (n = 09) (n = 10)

J = Pharmacy/Dental (n = 08) (n = 06)

K = Other (Includes Rural Health) (n = 04) (n = 09)

Note: Table made from bar graph
Table 1

Overall Status of New Manuscripts Received (September 1, 2000-August 31,
2001) versus Previous Year (September 1, 1999-August 31, 2000)

 Most Recent Year Previous Year
 Number Percent Number Percent

"No review" 60 29.0 77 36.8
Accepted 11 5.3 26 12.4
Rejected 69 33.3 68 32.5
Still under review 24 11.6 25 12.1
Still under revision 43 20.8 13 6.2

Total 207 100% 209 100%


E. S. Williams, R. T. Stewart, S. O'Connor, G. T. Savage, and R. Shewchuck 2002. "Rating Healthcare Management Journals: An Update and Extension." Medical Care Research and Review 59 (2, in press).
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Publication:Health Services Research
Date:Jun 1, 2002
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