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Better performance metrics for the MJA

To the Editor: There is indeed a lot to “like” about the MJA in recent years,1 including a much-improved website, a defined space for the humanities, and the Journal’s courage in publishing articles that critique the performance of organisations and institutions.24

However, the MJA’s reporting of its own performance could be improved. For a decade, the Journal has reported the number of manuscripts submitted in each article category, the percentage of manuscripts accepted, and the average time to acceptance or rejection for all articles and research articles.

As important as the time to acceptance or rejection is the time to print or online publication for accepted articles. It is the raison d’être of a journal to disseminate knowledge. Such transfer takes place only when work can be read, criticised or built on by the medical community. A journal which accepts or rejects articles within 3 months and takes a further 9 months to publish arguably performs more poorly than one which takes 5 months to make a decision…