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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 565-566

The Asian Journal of Andrology: view of an outsider coming in

Tuen Mun, New Territories, Hong Kong SAR, China

Date of Web Publication17-Jun-2014

Correspondence Address:
Trevor G Cooper
Tuen Mun, New Territories, Hong Kong SAR
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1008-682X.131067

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How to cite this article:
Cooper TG. The Asian Journal of Andrology: view of an outsider coming in. Asian J Androl 2014;16:565-6

How to cite this URL:
Cooper TG. The Asian Journal of Andrology: view of an outsider coming in. Asian J Androl [serial online] 2014 [cited 2021 Dec 8];16:565-6. Available from: - DOI: 10.4103/1008-682X.131067

My interest in science in China, stimulated in 1980 by reading the abridged version of Joseph Needham's "Science and Civilization in China", continued when I was a Consultant to the National Family Planning Research Institute in Beijing in 1983, and to the Shandong Stem Cell Engineering Research Center, Yantai in 2009-2012. During that time, I have acted as reviewer of the Asian Journal of Andrology (AJA), and I continue to be one of its editorial board members. What I can contribute as the second Deputy Editor-in-Chief for the journal will depend on the challenges faced by the journal in the coming years.

Although andrology is a fairly new discipline-starting in the late 1960s-it has been served over the years by many journals in local languages associated with local andrology societies. Over 30 of them, cited in PubMed, have been competing with AJA for English-language scientific work. From the early 1970s to late 1990s four andrology journals started and ceased publication. The first was from Germany, published in German, Fortschritte der Andrologie [Advances in Andrology] (1970-1990); two were from the UK in English, Medical Gynecology, Andrology, and Sociology (1972-1974), and Recent Advances in Urology/Andrology (1981-1993), and two were from France in French and English, Pascal E8 Gynécologie, obstétrique, andrologie (1990), which changed to Gynécologie, obstétrique, andrologie (1991-1994).

Over the same time period, ten English-language andrology journals changed their name, combined or went online. One from Germany in German and English, Andrologie [Andrology] (1969-1973), continued first as the bilingual Andrologia [Andrology] (1974-2003), of the German Andrology Society, and then as the bilingual Journal fόr Reproduktionsmedizin und Endokrinologie [Journal of Reproductive Medicine and Endocrinology] (2004-). One from France in French, Andrologie [Andrology] (1981-2012), of the French-speaking Andrology Society, continued as the English- and online-only Basic and Clinical Andrology (2013-). Two from Egypt in Arabic and English, one, the Egyptian Journal of Dermatology and Venereology (1988-1999), of the Egyptian Society of Dermatologists and Venereologists, changed to the Egyptian Journal of Dermatology and Andrology (2000-), and another, the Egyptian Journal of Andrology and Reproduction (1986-2010), of the Egyptian Society of Andrology, continued only in English as Human Andrology (2011-). Two were from the UK, the Archives of Andrology (1978-2007) continued as Systems Biology in Reproductive Medicine (2008-), and the International Journal of Andrology (1978-2012), of the European Academy of Andrology, continued as Andrology (2013-). Two were from the USA, Assisted Reproductive Technology/Andrology (1990-1997), continued as Molecular Andrology (1998-), and the Journal of Andrology (1980-2012), of the American Society of Andrology, continued as Andrology (2013-). One from Italy in Italian and English, Giornale italiano di andrologia (1994-2004), of the Italian Society of Andrology, continued first as Giornale di italiano di sessuale e reproduttiva (2004-2008) and thereafter as the Journal of Andrologial Sciences (2008-).

Five more recent English-language journals have continued unchanged: one from Spain in Spanish, Portuguese and English, Revista internacional de andrologia [International review of Andrology] (2004-), of the Spanish Association of Andrology; and four, published only in English: from China, the AJA (1999-); from the USA, Andrology Archives Update (2007-), Translational Andrology and Urology (2012-); from the UK, The Open Andrology Journal (2009-).

There are thus at least 13 andrology journals currently available in print or online in English. Regardless of whether this is a complete list (Web of Science omits many of these), most of these competitors of the AJA are unfamiliar names, and scientists may refer to their impact factors to decide in which to publish. However, only three of these currently have impact factors, the others being online (although procedures are being established to provide them) or too new to have acquired one. The highest impact factor is for AJA (currently 2.140) versus 1.524 (2012) for Systems Biology in Reproductive Medicine and 0.256 for International Review of Andrology. The greatest competition will probably come from Andrology, with an impact factor most likely starting where those of its component journals left off: Journal of Andrology (2.532) and International Journal of Andrology (3.565).

As for any other journal, AJA's editors would prefer authors to choose AJA first, and not as second or third choice because of rejection by their preferred journal; but why would AJA not be their preferred journal? Scientists prefer: (i) a rapid response, (ii) an honest appraisal of their work, and (iii) minimum subsequent modification to their manuscript. AJA (i) attempts to get replies from reviewers by two weeks and publication by three months, and (ii) provides at least two reviewers per manuscript. For point (iii), as a response to non-native English contributors' use of incorrect and potentially confusing wording, AJA has recently initiated "English Corner" to explain common errors of English grammar and style and indicate how to avoid them. Its advice used before submission should reduce the chances of a manuscript's being returned for language revision.

This additional role of providing information about writing a manuscript by AJA has not been espoused by its competitors. This function could be extended to problems of planning experiments (hypothesis-driven research), presenting results (graphically or tabulated), analyzing data (choice of statistical and posthoc tests), and preparing manuscripts (ordering of ideas in the introduction and discussion), making it an even more comprehensive repository of useful prepublication information. By housing such information about scientific manuscript preparation in both the Instructions to Authors and to Reviewers, AJA would provide useful information to all, especially those research or clinical contributors who are pushed to publish but lack adequate supervision. Once recognized by the scientific community as a mark of a journal serious in its attitude towards promoting and raising the standard of published andrology, contributions should increase.


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