Background: The European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (EJPRM) is listed in PubMed and Current Contents and in 2010 will have its first Impact Factor; the unofficial one in the last two years was around 1.00, coming from 0.04 in 2004; also the independent SCImago Journal Rate and Cites per Doc (2 years) have increased steadily since 2005. These results in the main bibliometric indexes are due to many reasons, including a careful internal audit to guarantee a continuous quality increase of the journal. The aim of this short paper is to report the results of this audit.
Methods: We continuously register each step of our editorial work to check if there is any problem and where. The evolution of these indicators in the last five years is here analyzed using simple statistical tools.
Results: The EJPRM receives today 12 papers per month and publishes more than 600 pages in 4 issues. The rejection rate is now around 60%, starting from 40% in 2005. The review and publication times are 1.54 (quartiles 0.57-2.79) and 8.4 (5.47-10.93) months, respectively: these parameters have decreased in these years, particularly the last one. Papers are mainly clinically oriented, original papers prevails with a 12% of RCTs, meta-analysis and Cochrane reviews in the last 5 years. The EJPRM has a well balanced coverage of different rehabilitation topics.
Discussion: How these indices have been used to improve quality for the readers and authors is here discussed. The actual literature requires such a process, that is one of the main points for quality continuous improvement of scientific journals.
Conclusion: The growth of the EJPRM in these years comes from the internal audit using the correct quality indicators and working to increase the actual standards. Together with this, also external factors (development of the specialty in our continent and region, European Society and Mediterranean Forum of PRM role, etc.) and other internal ones (e-Pub, Open Access, Special Sections, Awards, Cochrane reviews, collaboration with other journals, etc.) played for sure a role, but the last are in any case mainly led by, and checked through, our audit system.