On 70th Anniversary of the First Issue of Oftalmologicheskii Zhurnal (Journal of Ophthalmology (Ukraine))

N. V. Pasyechnikova

V.V. Vit

S. I. Polyakova

I.S. Zbandut

In June 2016, it will be 70 years from the first  issue of the journal Oftalmologicheskii Zhurnal which was founded by academician Vladimir P. Filatov.

Oftalmologicheskii Zhournal publishing became an important event for ophthalmologists of both Ukraine and the whole former USSR, as before 1946, there was the only periodical: a monthly journal “Vestnik Oftalmologii” (“Ophthalmologic Record”), which was founded by the Head of Eye Diseases Department, professor A.V.Khodin in 1884. “Vestnik Oftalmologii” had been publishing for 20 years in Kiev before its editorial office moved to Moscow. The presence of the only one journal in the huge country made it difficult to publish papers of numerous workers of departments and institutes.

Vladimir Filatov put a lot of his efforts and energy to create a new journal, especially in post-war years. Thus, the first issue of Oftalmologicheskii Zhurnal was out of print in Odessa in spring 1946. Vladimir Filatov remained the editor-in-chief for ten years until his death in 1956. His deputies were professor S.F. Kalfa and professor V.N. Arkhangelskii. The editorial board members were professor A.G. Vasyutynskii, professor I.O. Danylevskii, professor I.I. Merkulov, and professor S.V. Sukhov.

The circulation of Oftalmologicheskii Zhurnal was 4 issues a year in 1946-54, and since 1955 it has been 6 issues a year.

During the first years, the circulation was limited and equaled 1 000 pieces. In 1952, it was stopped limiting and the number of readers became growing. In 1988, the number of readers exceeded 11.5 thousand. Considering that a total of ophthalmologists achieved 17 thousand, almost two thirds of all eye specialists were subscribed to Oftalmologicheskii Zhurnal. This evidences the journal’s popularity and ophthalmologists’ interest.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Oftalmologicheskii Zhurnal became the only one and now it is still the leading journal for the ophthalmologists in Ukraine. After V.P. Filatov’s death in 1956 the editor-in-chief was academician Nadezhda Puchkovskaya, since 1996 – professor Ivan Logai. Since 2004, Nataliya Pasyechnikova has been the editor-in-chief of the Journal. The executive secretaries were professor I.G. Yershkovich from 1946 to 1954, professor L.D. Dancheva from 1954 to 1977, V.M. Nepomyashchaya, PhM from 1977 to 2000. Since 2000 S.I.Polyakova, MD has been the executive secretary.

The main goal of editorial board has always been timely publishing the information on the latest eye disease diagnosis and treatment, and research findings and news in Ophthalmology.

For years editors have been constantly looking for ways to improve the Journal’s quality and content and to increase scientific and practical value of papers published. Much attention is paid to publishing serious papers which are of interest to practicing ophthalmologists and helping them in daily routine, in addition to fundamental theoretical papers performed at the modern scientific level. A scope of papers published and a principle of journal sectioning serve to achieve this aim.

From the year of 1974 and over many years, every issue had a thematic scope on a certain topic of interest. Leading specialists in the field were involved in discussing the current issue. Topical sections always engaged the issues on pathogenesis and treatment of leading eye diseases, were varied and interesting; the issues discussed were comprehensively covered attracting satisfying great masses of readers. 

In recent years the topical section has been changed to Clinical Studies. This section is comprised of original papers submitting by the authors. This section papers also cover the issues on pathogenesis and treatment of leading eye diseases, assess the efficacy of various therapeutic and surgical treatments and using of new techniques.  Among them is a great number of papers on vascular malformations, optic nerve disorders, pediatric ophthalmology, retinal detachment, vitreoretinal surgery, diabetic ocular manifestations, cataract extraction and IOL implantation, diagnostics and treatment for ocular neoplasm, eye trauma and injury and other current issues of ophthalmology.

Experimental Studies section demonstrates findings of fundamental studies on pathogenic mechanisms of pathologic process development in glaucoma, cataract, burns, tumors and other eye diseases and injuries as well as materials on changes in eye tissues under the conditions of exposure by lasers ultrasound, magnet poles, biologic tissue electric welding and others.

Of a great value is Literature Review section informing the readers about the up-to-date state of any given ophthalmic issue on the basis of recent publications  by not only domestic but foreign authors. 

Much attention is paid to the problems of organization of eye care, preventive medical examination and frequent eye disease prevention. It should be pointed that at proper time Oftalmologicheskii Zhurnal has published a lot of articles facilitating the organizing trauma centers, including republican and regional ones on the basis of the Filatov Institute, to provide day and night emergency aid and following treatment for eye burns and injuries. Republic ophthalmooncology Center was also organized, leading to treatment quality improvement and decrease in outcome severity in these pathologic conditions.

A special section Assistance to a Practitioner publishes articles of leading specialists on certain issues of differentiated diagnostics, the most rational treatments and advantages of different methods which are without doubt of great importance. It should be noted that Editorial Board also involves experienced practicing ophthalmologists in publishing their papers in different journal sections since their observations and assessment of different methods are very valuable. 

The readers are also interested in such sections as Surgical Technique and Innovations, Case Reports, and Experience Exchange, where authors demonstrate their follow up data. Practicing doctors are greatly involved in this section. Proportion for practitioners publishing in the journal is about 15-20 %.

Geography of authors submitting their papers is quite broad. The most of papers are sent by Ukrainian ophthalmologists including those from Odessa, Kiev, Kharkov, Donetsk and Lugansk. Papers of specialists from other CIS states and from abroad are also published (Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Egypt, Germany, Bulgaria, and Poland).

Discussions on current issues of ophthalmology have always attracted the readers of the journal. Thus, there have been widely discussed such topics as efficacy of different methods for cataract extraction, medical indications for keratotomy, the role of accommodation spasms in myopia treatment and their treatment and many other topics. 

The journal also publishes articles on improving the level of teaching and learning activities at Medical University Departments, reviews to monographs and manuals and information about congresses and conferences in ophthalmology.

Being a scientific practical journal and designed for both scientific departments and institutions and numerous practitioners, Oftalmologicheskii Zhurnal is of great importance for improving the knowledge and continuing medical education of ophthalmologists. However, there were subscription difficulties in former Soviet republics resulting in its circulation decrease. At the same time, Editorial Office is eager to bend any effort to keep up publishing the journal, involving a wide range of authors and reviewers, organizing a subscription, advertizing and so on. 

Currently, much work is being performed on the internationalization of the journal. The Editorial Advisory Board has been expanded and now it also includes leading foreign experts in the field of ophthalmology. Requirements for authors submitting manuscripts for publication in the journal of Ophthalmology have been improved in accordance with the recommendations of Web of Science and Scopus. At the moment, an application is being prepared to submit the Journal of Ophthalmology (Ukraine) for inclusion in Scopus database. The journal is registered in international catalogs of scientific publications and databases such as Ulrich's Periodicals Directory, RISC, Index Copernicus, Research Bib, and Advanced Science Index.

Much attention is paid to the distribution of the journal on the worldwide web. Thus, there is an electronic version of the journal on www.ozhurnal.com, which places metadata of the current and past issues.  At the moment, the site contains the full texts of articles from 2009 to 2013.

In August 2015, the publication of English on-line Journal of Ophthalmology (Ukraine) started. It is the English version of Oftalmologicheskii Zhurnal. So, the full text articles in English are now available for experts in the field of ophthalmology worldwide. Undoubtedly, it will open the Readership to a much wider international audience and will advance the Ukrainian ophthalmology at the global level.

We are really grateful to all ophthalmologists and organizations rendering the assistance and we hope for the further collaboration with everybody willing to support the journal.

It has been 70 years since the first Oftalmplogicheskii Zhurnal was issued. And we believe that the journal will be ahead of both domestic and world ophthalmology and further anniversaries and jubilees will be celebrated over many years.