Committee on International Affairs
The JCR Committee on International Affairs chiefly operates to promote the internationalization of the JCR. The JCR has the need to develop a structure for collaborating with the international community in light of rapid developments in rheumatology, so as to remain relevant as an academic organization. The JCR Annual Scientific Meeting features symposium planned by one of its committees in each iteration of the meeting, as well as International Concurrent Workshops, an International Advisory Body Meeting, and EULAR (European League Against Rheumatism) and ACR (American College of Rheumatology) Sessions. This committee encourages overseas researchers to submit abstracts for this meeting, and aims for lectures and presentations conducted in English to make up at least 25% of all sessions. The JCR also seeks to hold joint sessions with the Asia Pacific League of Associations for Rheumatology (APLAR). Meanwhile, the ACR along with APLAR and EULAR are also planning to conduct joint sessions with the JCR at their annual meetings, and this committee will actively work to publicize the JCR through such sessions with these related international organizations. The committee also organizes the JCR International School, and conducts the Young Rheumatologist Training Program along with EULAR in both short-term and long-term formats. Going forward, it seeks to place focus on younger members and further invigorate the JCR’s overseas relations by enhancing its participation in related international organizations, as well as by expanding Travel Award programs among all parties. The committee greatly appreciates any cooperation it can receive in its activities, and welcomes opinions and insights for future directions.
The First Department of Internal Medicine, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Japan, Kitakyusyu, Japan
Unit of Translational Medicine, Department of Immunology and Rheumatology, Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Nagasaki, Japan
Department of Statistical Genetics, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka, Japan
Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Toho University, Tokyo, Japan
Department of Allergy and Rheumatology, Nippon Medical School, Tokyo, Japan
Department of Immunology, Graduate School of Medicine and Faculty of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Japan
Department of Immunology, Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan
Department of Rheumatology and Infectious Diseases, Kitasato University School of Medicine, Kanagawa, Japan
Committee on General Affairs
One chief task expected Japan College of Rheumatology (JCR) involves supporting the other committees in their actions. Another task is to discuss revisions to existing rules or systems following orders from the Board of Directors so that other committees can function more efficiently. In this way, this committee mainly operates to provide assistance so that the Board of Directors and all of the other committees can operate effectively. The JCR appreciates the need for diversity when performing its activities. As such, it has assigned this committee members who can contribute with a wide range of opinions and insights. The JCR seeks for all of its members from a broad range of backgrounds to be able to carry out many activities. The actions carried out by this committee may not always be prominently visible, though this committee aims to periodically offer clear information on recent operations in this regard.
Modern Rheumatology Editorial Board
This editorial board contributes to the JCR’s academic activities by publishing its official journal, Modern Rheumatology. This journal receives contributions from many researchers around the world, in addition to members of the JCR. With 62% of submitted articles in 2018 coming from abroad, Modern Rheumatology is widely recognized by researchers involved in this field worldwide. The JCR implemented an online submission and review system in 2008. This system has worked to shorten response times for submitted articles and provides enhanced convenience for authors. As of 2018, the average time from submission to the initial decision is 20 days, and it takes just 45 days for articles to be published online after being accepted. A 10-member strong editorial board, along with 22 transmitting editors, collaborates with the JCR’s Secretariat to achieve fair evaluations that are both timely and scientific. The impact factor of this journal is 1.973 (as of 2018), and the editorial board seeks to further improve its performance to be reflected in this and other journal assessment metrics.
Modern Rheumatology Case Reports Editorial Board
The JCR’s Modern Rheumatology Case Reports Editorial Board launched Modern Rheumatology Case Reports (MRCR) in January 2017 as an official journal. The JCR has a duty to provide case studies, each replete with valuable insights and experience, to as many rheumatologists as possible. The journal is also significant from the viewpoint of education, as it offers more opportunities for younger researchers to write and publish articles. MRCR is the “Paperless” journal, and publish case reports within the various fields of rheumatology and related diseases. A total of 17 transmitting editors, including eight editorial board members, use the online submission and peer review system Editorial Manager to smoothly proceed in each step of the reviewing and publication process. With this system, it only takes about a month for a submitted article to be accepted, and approximately one more month for accepted articles to be published online. Some 100 articles have been published so far. About two-fifths of submissions and one-fifth of published articles come from authors overseas, owing to the editorial board’s efforts in promoting this journal abroad. The board is currently working for MRCR to be included in MEDLINE/PubMed, as well as to gain an impact factor. Papers in MRCR can be browsed via the Journals page of the JCR website, and Instruction for Authors can be found on the MRCR web page (http://www.tandfonline.com/tmcr). The editorial board looks forward to receiving your submissions.
Committee on Scientific Meeting
The Committee on Scientific Meeting appoints the tasks and roles for the following committees and persons: the Committee on Finance of Scientific Meeting, the Committee on Programs of Scientific Meeting, the President, and members dealing with General Affairs. It also makes arrangements for each role, responsibility, and authority required for the JCR to host its Scientific Meeting. In addition, this committee selects the location or operating body for all Scientific Meetings to be held in the next five years. It aims to conduct activities in a healthy and transparent manner with regard to managing the Scientific Meeting.
Committee on Basic research
The future of academia depends upon the progress made in basic research. The bold strides seen recently in clinical studies for rheumatism have only been achieved through a strong foundation of results in basic research conducted over the course of several decades prior. In order to achieve further developments in rheumatism treatment for the next generation, it is crucial to work now in promoting increased activity regarding basic research in this field. In order to foster new developments for basic research in rheumatology across the whole organization, the JCR Committee on Basic Research will create a structure to achieve collaboration between the JCR and external parties so as to conduct a variety of initiatives for propelling basic research in this field. These initiatives include holding an annual Basic Research Conference with world-leading researchers invited to speak. In this academic year, the Committee on Basic Research has newly established a subcommittee consisting of young physicians and researchers, as part of active efforts to nurture talented individuals who will go on to support this field in the next generation.
Committee on Guideline
The Committee on Guideline serves to produce and revise guidelines for ensuring that information on diagnostic and therapeutic information is kept up to date so that it can aid the diagnosis and treatment of patients with rheumatic disease. This committee has several subcommittees that cover guidelines within individual areas, including systemic lupus erythematosus, treatments for rheumatoid arthritis, and the use of methotrexate in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The committee also works to provide useful information for writing guidelines, and conducts training for people involved in guideline drafting.
Committee on AI
A strong understanding of AI and IoT is vitally important for achieving innovation in rheumatology going forward. However, there are currently very few academic presentations and articles that incorporate AI or IoT in this field. The JCR established the Committee on AI in academic year 2018/2019. This committee organized a symposium on AI for the annual Scientific Meeting held this year. It is also working to plan symposia for the next three years after receiving grant funding from GSK for projects in medical education. One symposium has already taken place with the help of this grant, and is titled “Medical Education Project for Fostering Connections between AI Technology and Rheumatology: Educational Symposium for a New Rheumatology Achieved Through AI.” The first iteration of this symposium was held on June 23 of this year in Tokyo, and was met by a very large number of questions and comments from the audience, demonstrating the strong interest held by many people in the field. The second iteration of this symposium was held on September 22 of this year in Osaka, and a third iteration is planned for January 26 of next year in Fukuoka. By sharing the cutting edge of current research, this symposium invites participants to consider new ways to introduce and apply these technologies to rheumatology.
Committee on Clinical research
In April 2018, the JCR constituted the Subcommittee on Clinical Research. The missions of this subcommittee are follows: to enhance understanding among members of the JCR with regard to clinical studies, and to train fellows who will undertake clinical research. Through these efforts, the committee endeavors to produce even higher-quality clinical research originating in Japan. Basic research in immunology has clarified the complexities of the immune system at the molecular level. Following achievements in sequencing the entire human genome, the 21st century has seen active efforts to search for disease-related genes and to conduct pathological analysis using genomic information. In this regard, Japan offers significant contributions in basic research but not in clinical research. So far, in Japan, guidelines related to diagnosis and treatments have been developed based on the results of clinical research carried out oversea. However, considering the variations in genetic backgrounds among people from different regions, it is imperative to accumulate evidence based on clinical research unique to Japan. The Subcommittee on Clinical Research was renamed as an independent committee in April this year. It works to train young clinical researchers and promote high-quality clinical research by organizing lectures and training camps at the JCR’s General Assembly and at each of its branches. It goes without saying that basic research and clinical research go hand in hand. To contribute to future developments at the JCR, Committee on Clinical research also enhances a cooperative relationship with the Committee on Basic Research.