Changes at the BCLA

Shehzad A. Naroo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review


As we welcome 2014 we say goodbye to 2013 and I must start with an apology to authors who have submitted papers to CLAE and seen a delay in either the review process or the hard copy publication of their proofed article. The delays were caused by a major hike in the number of submissions to the journal in 2012 that increased further in 2013. In the 12 months leading to the end of October 2011 we had 94 new paper submissions, and for the same period to the end of 2012 the journal had 116 new papers. In 2012 we were awarded an impact factor for the first time and following that the next 12 month period to the end of October 2013 saw a massive increase in submissions with 171 new manuscripts being submitted. This is nearly twice as many papers as 2 years ago and 3 times as many as when I took over as Editor-in-Chief. In addition to this the UK academics will know that 2014 is a REF year (Research Excellence Framework) where universities are judged on their research and one of the major components of this measure remains to be published papers so there is a push to publishing before the REF deadline for counting. The rejection rate at CLAE has gone up too and currently is around 50% (more than double the rejection rate when I took over as Editor-in-Chief). At CLAE the number of pages that we publish each year has remained the same since 2007. When compiling issue 1 for 2014 I chose the papers to be included from the papers that were proofed and ready to go and there were around 200 proofed pages ready, which is enough to fill 3½ issues! At present Elsevier and the BCLA are preparing to increase the number the pages published per issue so that we can clear some of this backlog and remain up to date with the papers published in CLAE. I should add that on line publishing of papers is still available and there may have been review delays but there are no publishing online so authors can still get an epub on line final version of their paper with a DOI (digital object identifier) number enabling the paper to be cited.

There are two awards that were made in 2013 that I would like to make special mention of. One was for my good friend Jan Bergmanson, who was awarded an honorary life fellowship of the College of Optometrists. Jan has served on the editorial board of CLAE for many years and in 2013 also celebrated 30 years of his annual ‘Texan Corneal and contact lens meeting’. The other award I wish to mention is Judith Morris, who was the BCLA Gold Medal Award winner in 2013. Judith has had many roles in her career and worked at Moorfields Eye Hospital, the Institute of Optometry and currently at City University. She has been the Europe Middle East and Africa President of IACLE (International Association of Contact Lens Educators) for many years and I think I am correct in saying that Judith is the only person who was President of both the BCLA (1983) and a few years later she was the President College of Optometrists (1989). Judith was also instrumental in introducing Vivien Freeman to the BCLA as they had been friends and Judith suggested that Vivien apply for an administrative job at the BCLA. Fast forward 29 years and in December 2013 Vivien stepped down as Secretary General of the BCLA. I would like to offer my own personal thanks to Vivien for her support of CLAE and of me over the years. The BCLA will not be the same and I wish you well in your future plans. But 2014 brings in a new position to the BCLA – Cheryl Donnelly has been given the new role of Chief Executive Officer. Cheryl was President of the BCLA in 2000 and has previously served on council. I look forward to working with Cheryl and envisage a bright future for the BCLA and CLAE.

In this issue we have some great papers including some from authors who have not published with CLAE before. There is a nice paper on contact lens compliance in Nepal which brings home some familiar messages from an emerging market. A paper on how corneal curvature is affected by the use of hydrogel lenses is useful when advising patients how long they should leave their contact lenses out for to avoid seeing changes in refraction or curvature. This is useful information when refracting these patients or pre-laser surgery. There is a useful paper offering tips on fitting bitoric gas permeable lenses post corneal graft and a paper detailing surgery to implant piggyback multifocal intraocular lenses. One fact that I noted from the selection of papers in the current issue is where they were from. In this issue none of the corresponding authors are from the United Kingdom. There are two papers each from the United States, Spain and Iran, and one each from the Netherlands, Ireland, Republic of Korea, Australia and Hong Kong. This is an obvious reflection of the widening interest in CLAE and the BCLA and indicates the new research groups emerging in the field.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1
Number of pages1
JournalContact Lens and Anterior Eye
Issue number1
Early online date6 Jan 2014
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


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