Early in 2020, it was apparent that the COVID-19 pandemic would have major repercussions for our publishing activities. Given the potential devastating impact of COVID-19 for people with related lung health risk factors and co-morbidities we immediately launched a ‘Call for Papers on COVID-19’. This was implemented for both the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IJTLD) and Public Health Action (PHA) so we could include operational research.
We also launched a fast-track publishing process to ensure important papers could quickly be reviewed and, if accepted, published as edited preprints within a matter of days. To ensure early adoption, these articles were all free to access on The Union website.
The first preprint, an Editorial by the Editor-in-Chiefs on the importance of wearing masks to reduce transmission, was published on 6 March 2020. A total of 45 preprints were published over the course of the year. These articles have been widely read, and we now see evidence that they are being highly cited.
In the March issue of the IJTLD, we also published an Editorial on our plans to adapt and modernise the journal to better reflect the needs of our authors and readers. This included the addition of new article types (such as Letters), and a renewed focus on higher quality papers and the speed of peer review and publication. We also enhanced our in-house editing to ensure all articles are clearly written and well-presented.
In the October issue of IJTLD we published a special focus on Bedequiline – highlighting progress made over four years of the Bedequiline donation programme.