Editing the IJBNPA – Interview with Bente Wold

1. Please tell us where you are located and a little about the type of research you conduct.
I am a professor at the Department of Health Promotion and Development at the University of Bergen in Norway. My background is in psychology and public health. Main research interests concern health promotion with young people, with a particular interest in positive youth development and health behaviours (in particular physical activity) based on developmental, social and health psychology, as well as behavioural epidemiology. I have many years of experience in evaluation of school-based interventions, both with regard to health promoting schools and health promotion in schools.
2. How long have you been an editor of the journal?
I have been an editor for 7 years.

3. What’s it like to be an editor of the journal?
I have enjoyed being an editor of IJBNPA, it has been interesting and challenging. Interesting because I learn from the many studies reported in the manuscripts, as well as from how authors and reviewers reflect upon findings, research questions and the text itself. It has been challenging in terms of allocating enough time every week, and trying to apply my competence and experience to various areas in our field that I don’t know so well.
4. What are some of your responsibilities as an editor?
The majority of the work includes reading the submitted manuscripts allocated to me as an editor, decide whether it is eligible for review or not, find reviewers that are qualified to perform a review, and make an editorial decision (reject, major revision, minor revision, accept). If the decision is major or minor revision, a decision has to be made whether the reviewers should be asked to re-review revisions of the manuscript or I as an editor can do that, then a final decision is made depending on the recommendations of the re-reviews. As an editor I have also participated in regular meeting with other editorial team members, usually by phone or Skype, and expressed my opinion about various issues regarding publication profile, article processing fees and discounts, practical administration of the journal, as well as the journal’s relations to the ISBNPA and Biomed Central.
5. What changes have you seen to the journal during your tenure as editor?
The most spectacular change has been the impressive growth of the journal , with an almost exponential increase in number of submissions (from 75 in 2004 to 452 submissions in 2011 !) and published papers. The tracking of the journal during the recent years for impact factor is also an important event. The present impact factor of 3.17 is excellent, and shows that many scholars value the products of the journal and consider the journal as a relevant and highly regarded scientific outlet for their work.
6. What do you personally value most about the journal?
I value the focus of the journal with regard to the types of behaviours (physical activity, behavioural nutrition) that are considered of interest, and even more importantly, that the scope of the journal is clearly within behavioural and social sciences. Moreover, the editorial team has always been trying to stimulate submissions from colleagues around the globe, and to ensure that authors from majority world countries are represented in the journal.
7. In your opinion, what are your most valuable contributions to the journal as editor?
I think I have contributed with stability in the first years of the journal, enabling a certain degree of consistency across three changes of editorials teams. Perhaps this stability may have been of some importance with regard to people’s confidence and trust in the growth and sustainability of the journal. I also hope that I have contributed to keep the scope of the journal within behavioural and social sciences, making the journal an attractive alternative to the more medically and physiologically oriented journals in the field.
8. What are your thoughts on why authors should consider publishing their research in the journal?
There are obviously several reasons; the high impact factor, speedy review process of high quality, and perhaps even more important; when you publish in the IJBNPA, colleagues in your field will find and read your paper. The ISBNPA (as well as Biomed Central) are keen to promote the journal and single articles as much as possible, improving the possibility to make your work known to others.