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DOI: https://doi.org/10.21141/PJP.2017.010

Horror Vacui

Each completed issue of the PJP is no small feat. The editorial process is not as simple as receiving articles, laying them out and sending them to press. Additional processes, based on international standards, are now in place in between point of submission and final publication, to assure quality: a checklist of requirements and forms need to be submitted at the outset; a review of statistical methods, if applicable, need to be hurdled; a blind peer review system must be completed to help the editor arrive at a decision to either accept or reject a submitted manuscript; and then, there is the back and forth communication between author and editor, to ensure that suggested changes are discussed and considered. It does not end there. Between author resubmission to final publication lie copyediting and layout, incorporation of digital object identifiers, and PDF and HTML conversion.

We aim to assure our readers that every article you have read in the past issues since our journal’s revival, and those you shall read in this issue and future issues, is quality controlled.

There exists a large expanse of time and space between journal issues released only during conventions. We try to address this vacuum by aiming for a second issue within the year. While article submissions may be lean for now, the fact that we have reached a second issue for 2017 alone is, in itself, already a milestone. It is something that we should be proud of and hope we could sustain in 2018 and beyond.

Content-wise, policy-guiding research from two National Reference Laboratories are included in this issue. Data generated from the national external quality assessment of blood service facilities for 2016 reinforce the need for participants to proactively review their EQAS reports, discuss and implement corrective actions and opportunities for improvement with their staff and management. Seven-year data from 2009 to 2015 of the external quality assurance scheme for bacteriology show that, although there is, in general, improvement of the performance of tertiary clinical laboratories, there are still poorly performing facilities lacking trained personnel, resources, and implementation of quality assurance, that need attention. We hope that the other National Reference Laboratories shall be encouraged to follow suit in the upcoming issues, as NRL outputs are critical to fill in the gaps in national laboratory policies.

This second issue now also features representative articles for the “Review” and “Autopsy Vault” sections. The article by Bajpai and Pardhe proposes a working classification for oral neoplasms with basaloid morphology. The submission by Lo and Lique discusses a clinical enigma whose rare cause was solved postmortem. Both provide important learning points for pathologists and diagnosticians.

Moreover, we are happy to introduce “Diagnostic Perspectives,” a new type of article for the PJP with characteristics in between a feature article, a case report, and images in pathology. Through this, we aim to feature new technologies and innovations that improve diagnostics and ultimately, clinical management. Preliminary findings, proofs-of-concept, and scientific anecdotes, will find good company in this new section. In this issue, we feature two such articles, one on a novel functional imaging modality for breast cancer correlated with histopathologic findings, and another, on the use of patented magnetic nanoparticles for improving sensitivity of pathogen detection.

Tilbe et al.’s work on cases of inflammatory bowel disease seen in a local tertiary hospital, and Villanueva et al.’s report of a rare variant of a commonly seen pathologic entity, underscore the enduring value of the case report, as a learning resource. Rounding up this issue, is the experimental work by Dematera et al. to provide additional objective data on a classic test which, although it may already have been superseded by technology, is still being used in our setting.

“Horror vacui,” (“Nature abhors vacuum,”) so said Aristotle, in Book IV of his treatise, Physics. In the modern context, meaning, if there are gaps, something shall fill them. It is our hope that the Philippine Society of Pathologists and its members will use the Philippine Journal of Pathology as an instrument in solidifying the evidence basis for national laboratory policies and, in the process, fill the gaps in local data.

Amado O. Tandoc III, MD, FPSP




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