China CDC Weekly, launched on November 29, 2019, has reached its first anniversary (1). As the only Chinese domestic academic journal published in English to have a weekly publication cycle, the Weekly has accomplished major milestones in the publication of important international and domestic public health issues, especially the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, through the efforts of the editorial board and China CDC’s editorial department, the guidance of expert committees, and the support of China CDC’s rich academic resources. Overall, 52 issues of nearly 160 high-quality investigation and monitoring reports have been published in the Weekly and has helped attract widespread attention domestically and internationally due to the high impact of these articles. According to the Google Search Console data, 237 countries and regions have recorded visits to the official website of the Weekly, and within 6 months of its initial publication, Weekly has applied to join the authoritative databases of PubMed Central and the Web of Science.
Within several weeks of the inaugural issue, reports of a once-in-a-century pandemic emerged in Wuhan, China and has altered the world permanently. Mother nature presented the Chinese people with a sudden public health challenge with no precedent for reference and no clear path forward. The Weekly stood with the Chinese people and acted as a major part of the solution to this challenge. The war between humans and pathogens recorded a new page of history with the advent of COVID-19, and the Weekly has both recorded the struggle and emerged as well-designed to help fight against the epidemic.
In the fight against COVID-19, the Weekly accelerated all editorial processes to expedite the compilation, editing, and publication of over 7 issues dedicated to COVID-19 research and study. Over 60 articles have been published on COVID-19 including timely reports on domestic and international anti-epidemic practices, in-depth epidemiological analysis of important trends, and major breakthroughs discovered by China’s disease control frontlines. On January 21, the pathogenic characteristics of COVID-19 were reported for the first time, and the whole genome sequences of the initial 3 viral strains were published (2). On January 22, the epidemiological survey results of the initial epidemic in Wuhan were reported for the first time (3). These 2 articles were included in Xinhua News Agency’s April 6 report: “China Announces Major Facts in the Process of Fighting COVID-19”. On February 17, “The Epidemiological Characteristics of an Outbreak of 2019 Novel Coronavirus Diseases (COVID-19)” report was published and acted as an official report document to the WHO China Investigation Team — it has since garnered nearly 1.2 million page views (4).
The Weekly has cooperated with CDCs at all levels across China to report genetic sequences of local cases that have emerged in all parts of China so far and has published, for the first time in the world, the material-to-human route that has led to the COVID-19 infection of many goods-transport workers participating in cold-chain transportation (5-7). The Weekly and the WHO China Office have cooperated to compile and publish China’s COVID-19 prevention and control plan and technical guidelines (8). Also, starting on January 21, the Weekly began the Tracking the Epidemic column on its official website as an update through the National Health Commission’s “Daily Epidemic Statistics” reports (9). Tracking the Epidemic has had over 300 updates and has consistent readers domestically and internationally and has acted as a Chinese envoy to be an authoritative source of information taken by museums and foreign institutions with nearly 200,000 page views.
Over the past year, the Weekly has released issues dedicated to several special days including: “World AIDS Day”, “World Tuberculosis Day”, “World Environment Day”, “World Pest Day”, “World Population Day”, “World Malaria Day”, “World Hepatitis Day”, “World Hypertension Day”, “World Influenza Day”, “Chinese Birth Defects Day”, “Chinese Occupational Disease Prevention Week”, and other important international and domestic public health days. In total, more than 10 special issues and 20 related key articles have been published and have contributed greatly to their respective academic fields.
Furthermore, following a path initially set forth by the US CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), the Weekly acts as an authoritative resource for China’s public health research and as a bulletin for all major public health emergencies within China. The staff of the Weekly have also worked cooperatively with staff from the US CDC and the US Embassy in China to overcome challenges faced by a new publication, and we look forward to continuing and strengthening this relationship to improve the quality of communication and publication in a shared pursuit of a healthier world.
To promote international cooperative efforts, more than 10 notable global health leaders and researchers have also published with the Weekly including Dr. Frieden, former Director of US CDC, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Dr. Andrea Ammon, Director of European CDC, Dr. Johan Carlson, Director of the Public Health Agency of Sweden, and Dr. Takaji Wakita, Director-General of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases of Japan. In addition, the Weekly created the “Insights” column to interview, edit, and publish innovative research to match the capabilities of other first-class journals in being able to report news (10).
However, as a new academic journal, the Weekly still faces many challenges including how to further develop the academic influence of the editor-in-chief and the editorial board, further increase the attention and support of the host organization, and further recruit professional editors with high scientific literacy. These challenges are the keys for rapid future development and have fortunately emerged alongside a national priority to accelerate the construction of first-class academic journals and first-class academic platforms. The Weekly strives to uphold the highest standards, be the voice of China’s public health authority, and join the ranks of world-class journals as soon as possible.
On the first anniversary of the Weekly, the editorial board and the editorial department would like to express their sincere gratitude for the guidance of the expert committees, the China CDC, the directly affiliated agencies, and the cooperating universities and research institutions. To the authors, reviewers, and readers of the Weekly, thank you for your support!