Diabetes Metab J > Volume 42(6); 2018 > Article
Huh: Is Diabetes & Metabolism Journal Eligible to Be Indexed in MEDLINE?
Number of journals from Korea referenced in the United States National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) databases is 332 in November 7, 2018. Out of them number of journals currently indexed in MEDLINE is 30. In 2016 only two journals published in Korea were added to MEDLINE database: Journal of Educational Evaluation for Health Professions (eISSN: 1975-5937) [1] and Epidemiology and Health (eISSN: 2092-7193). Two titles, Genes & Genomics (ISSN: 1976-9571) and Korean Journal of Anesthesiology (ISSN: 2005-6419) were added from Korea in 2018; while none in 2017. Proportion of MEDLINE journals out of journals from Korea in NCBI journal catalog is 0.090. Last year, 55 titles were added to MEDLINE from all over the world. New 37 titles have been added up to August 2018 [2]. The failure experience of other journal to MEDLINE was published. Although the citation frequency was not considered, scientific merit, editorial work, and production quality were meticulously checked for example, credential of editorial board members, quality of English writing, patient's informed consent for full facial photograph, rate of unsolicited articles, acceptance rate, and articles based on randomized controlled trials or systemic review [3]. Adherence to the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing (Best practice) is prerequisite before review process [4]. Importance to users such as researchers, clinicians, educators, administrators, allied health professionals, students, or policy makers was another points in MEDLINE journal selection process [5]. It is the reason why readership description is important. Recently colleague journal in Korea, Archives in Plastic Surgery received the letter of concern by the PubMed Central on the ethical issue on the photo of patients without informed consent and animal experiment without description of the ethical treatment. An editorial on this issue was announced to fix the omission of the description of ethical statement [6]. We, editors should be alert to the case of Archives in Plastic Surgery because, ethical issues evoked by PubMed Central was transferred from MEDLINE review results. It requires that PubMed Central journal editors in Korea should check and keep the ethical guidelines suggested in the Best practice more meticulously although the medical journals from Korea were promoted to the international level by the acquisition of excellent digital standards as follows: “independent journal homepage domains were found for 190 of the 256 journals (74.1%); of the journals, 216 were equipped with an e-submission system (84.4%); and 218 journals used digital object identifiers (85.2%)” [7].
Diabetes & Metabolism Journal has been indexed in PubMed Central/PubMed since 2010 with previous title “Korean Diabetes Journal.” It also has been indexed in Scopus and EBSCO since 2012, EMBASE since 2013, Emerging Source Citation Index since 2015 and Science Citation Index Expanded since October 2017. Therefore, it is time to apply to MEDLINE because MEDLINE journals has some merits as follows: first, it acquires the brand to be acknowledged by the reviewers of the United States National Library of Medicine Literature Selection Technical Review Committee (LSTRC); second, the Medical Subject Heading terms can be added to the abstract in PubMed which enables more specific search results; and third, it is automatically added in Scopus databases as MEDLINE-sourced title. Although third merit is not necessary for the journal, the editors should do our best to add the journal in MEDLINE.
I would like to analyze the journal to know if it is in compliance with the criteria of the Journal Selection for MEDLINE Indexing at National Library of Medicine [8]. Before application it is encouraged to incorporate the ICMJE Recommendations (http://www.icmje.org/urm_main.html) into their review and publication process. Diabetes & Metabolism Journal incorporated ICMJE Recommendation into the Instructions to Authors.
Through MEDLINE Review Application site available from: https://wwwcf.nlm.nih.gov/lstrc/lstrcform/med/index.html, editor or publisher should create new account and login. After that, the required fields should be completed. Finally, the uniqueness or quality of the content of the journal may be added at the box. If application form is submitted, the member of LSTRC and/or librarian reviews it. After review, he or she completes the Journal Review Summary table of which sample was shown in Table 1 of Huh's other editorial [3].
Diabetes & Metabolism Journal's scope corresponds core biomedicine and covers international area. After that, the first consideration by reviewer is the quality of journal. Its scientific merits (validity, currency of information & references, originality, contribution to field), editorial works (credibility of contents), and production quality (layout, printing, readability, usability, graphics; number and location of advertisements) will be checked. The second review is for importance to a variety of readers. The third review item is ethics policies/statements: conflict of interest, human/animal rights, and informed consent are checked if they exist, to be adequate and consistently followed. It is difficult to know what score will be provided in the first and second categories of the table by reviewer because it is the reviewer's decision on the quality of the journal and target readership. While, the third category can be checked easily by searching the ethics policy and journal's adherence to the policy.
I checked all original articles of the February and April issues of 2018 for their study design, approval of Institutional Review Board (IRB) and their numbers, presence of informed consent, clinical trial number, and conflict of interest statement (Table 1). Results showed that one article from Iran which dealt with human DNA did not get the approval from IRB although it described the informed consent as follows: “An oral assent was obtained from participants, and all parents signed a written informed consent after explaining the study objectives and details” [9]. The other article of questionnaire survey from Australia lacked IRB approval number although it was approved by the IRB [10]. There may be an IRB number if IRB approval was got; therefore, during the review and editorial process, the IRB approval number should be added. If the experiment did little harms to subjects, IRB approval may not be mandatory. For the safer subject care, the work with patients' DNA is recommended to receive IRB approval if possible.
Furthermore, it is worthwhile to check the compliance of Diabetes & Metabolism Journal to the 16 items of the Best practice [4]. The items were fulfilled in the homepage of the journal available from: https://e-dmj.org/index.php?body=bestpractice.
Diabetes & Metabolism Journal is now surely eligible to be indexed in MEDLINE according to the criteria of summary table of LSTRC. One more merit of the journal is that there is not so much number of MEDLINE journals of which title included “diabetes” from Asia. Only three journals were found: Pediatric Endocrinology Reviews from Israel, Journal of Diabetes Investigation from Japan, and Journal of Diabetes from China. Diabetes & Metabolism Journal mainly deals with the disease of Asian people and Korean people. Because the pathogenesis of diabetes is different with that of Western people or other Continents' people and Korea is the country where the prevalence of diabetes increases most rapidly with active research, it may enrich the MEDLINE database with unique topics.


CONFLICTS OF INTEREST: No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.


1. Huh S. Promotion to MEDLINE, indexing with Medical Subject Headings, and open data policy for the Journal of Educational Evaluation for Health Professions. J Educ Eval Health Prof 2016;13:14
2. United States National Library of Medicine: Journals Recently Accepted by NLM for Inclusion in MEDLINE updated 2018 Aug 10. Available from: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/lstrc/new_titles.html.
3. Huh S. How to prepare endocrinology and metabolism for reapplication to MEDLINE. Endocrinol Metab (Seoul) 2017;32:58-61.
4. Huh S. Adherence of the Annals of Pediatric Endocrinology & Metabolism to the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing. Ann Pediatr Endocrinol Metab 2018;23:1-3.
5. Huh S. How to add a journal to the international databases, Science Citation Index Expanded and MEDLINE. Arch Plast Surg 2016;43:487-490.
6. Huh S. How to deal with ethical issues involving animal experiments and identifiable photographs in articles published in Archives of Plastic Surgery. Arch Plast Surg 2017;44:475-476.
7. Jeong GH, Huh S. Status of digital standards in Korean medical journals in 2016. Sci Ed 2016;3:100-104.
8. United States National Library of Medicine: Fact Sheet MEDLINE Journal Selection updated 2018 Mar 14. Available from: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/lstrc/jsel.html.
9. Salehi S, Emadi-Baygi M, Rezaei M, Kelishadi R, Nikpour P. Lack of evidence of the role of APOA5 3′UTR polymorphisms in Iranian children and adolescents with metabolic syndrome. Diabetes Metab J 2018;42:74-81.
10. Gawlik NR, Bond MJ. The role of negative affect in the assessment of quality of life among women with type 1 diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Metab J 2018;42:130-136.
Table 1

Compliance of February and April issue of Diabetes & Metabolism Journal published in 2018 to ethics policy of United States National Library of Medicine Literature Selection Technical Review Committee

IRB, Institutional Review Board; NA, not available.

Study design No. of articles IRB approval IRB no. Informed consent Clinical trial no. Conflict of interest
Case-control study 2 1 1 2 NA 2
Cross-sectional study 1 1 1 1 NA 1
Prospective observational study 1 1 1 1 NA 1
Questionnaire survey 2 2 1 2 NA 2
Retrospective chart review 3 3 3 2 (1 waived) NA 3
Total 9 8 7 8 (1 waived) NA 9

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