The beginning of new life in spring often causes reflection on the year that passed and prompts optimism for the year to come. Determined to keep the American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology a leader in its field, we are encouraged by last year's outcome. The team of editors and I have been overseeing the progress of the journal for two and a half years, and we are confident that this journal is becoming increasingly valuable to the scientific community committed to regulatory, integrative, and comparative physiology.
The international mixture of our editorial team is generally reflected in the variety of regions that supply the bulk of our manuscripts (Fig. 1). The United States supplies the largest portion of manuscripts, but we also have a healthy flow coming from Canada, Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific, as well as the Middle East and South America. We have a broad scope of regional sources for manuscripts submitted to the journal and further encourage international scholars interested in submitting their works to us.
An overview of rapidly developing fields was provided by 16 Invited Reviews that appeared in 2003. More than a dozen Invited Reviews are currently in production to help our readers keep up with this year's trends. In addition to the Invited Reviews, we are launching an increasing amount of Special Calls for Papers. With the topics for which we are currently soliciting papers, we hope to encourage the advance of a wide range of important studies. For details, please refer to our journal homepage at http://ajpregu.physiology.org/.
Currently, we have an acceptance rate for 2003 manuscripts of 42%, which is adjusted to 38% when only the original articles are taken into account. A regional breakdown of the acceptance rate (Fig. 2) shows that, as with the submission rate, North America accounts for the greater portion of accepted articles, with Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific holding their ground proportional to submission rates.
Although we recognize the equivocal scientific value of the impact factor, we are nonetheless encouraged by our recent upward trend. In the past year and a half, we have seen it rise by over 30% to the 2002 impact factor of 3.16. Moreover, our calculations for 2003 indicate yet another marked increase. More importantly, the reviewing times for manuscripts have become very rapid. The time an author must wait for a first decision on a submitted manuscript is on average only 28 days. Barely a week is required before an accepted manuscript is published and citable as an Article in Press. The prompt publication process provides our authors the benefit of rapid dissemination of their research and results.
Because the people most responsible for the progress and reputation of the journal are all those scientists who contribute their best and most innovative studies, we would like to single out the five contributors who, in terms of citations in the past year, were most popular (Table 1). Their articles mirror the broad field of research published in the American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the contributors, referees, editors, and editorial staff who work to make this a truly leading journal in its field.
April 2004, Volume 286
- Copyright © 2004 the American Physiological Society