Upon completion of my first year as Editor-in-Chief of Diabetes Care, and on behalf of our Editorial Board and staff, it is time to consider our success and evaluate the challenges ahead. Also, after 30 years, it is appropriate to thank our founding Editor Jay Skyler, who reflects on the history of the journal in a separate Editorial in this issue (1).

First, I am pleased with the very smooth transition of the journal, which was achieved with very little, if any, increase in turn-around time of manuscripts or publication delays. This was obviously due to the continuation of the tenure of many of the Associate Editors from the previous editorship and, most importantly, the retention of our outstanding team in the editorial office.

The journal’s continued success can be judged by the higher and progressive rise of its impact factor, its worldwide readership, and its increasing submission rate. The latter must reflect increased funding for clinical research in diabetes over the last few years. While we are delighted with this increase, it presents new challenges, such as a 75% rejection rate, resulting in some disgruntled authors. Inevitably, many well-written manuscripts on well-conducted studies do not meet our priorities at the time of submission. This has resulted in a greater portion of manuscripts being rejected without full peer review, although an Associate Editor or I will have always reviewed the manuscript, and the short decision time may be a benefit.

We continue to rely heavily on the system of peer review but cannot be responsible for individual comments of reviewers. Obtaining reviewers in a timely fashion remains a challenge, and I think it is necessary to once again remind all of our readers that they have a responsibility to review. Serving as a reviewer keeps the process democratic, and, as readers, you determine the quality of published manuscripts. In a few cases, difficulty in obtaining reviewers has held manuscripts in the evaluation process a bit longer than our optimal decision-making time.

Although our initial plan for the journal emphasized building on strength and implying stability over time, evolution is inevitable, particularly that forced upon us by changes in our academic environment. Due to the pressures of space in the printed issue of the journal, the first alteration was moving Letters to the Editor to online publication only. While a few people expressed disappointment in this change, and initially the number of letters dropped off, we have now seen resurgence in Letters to the Editor, and the debate that ensues is always welcome. Regrettably, it is unlikely that we will return to letters in print in the near future. The move to online publication has helped in another matter: the ability to stick to word restrictions on our printed manuscripts and allow additional material to be published in online versions only. For obvious reasons, exceptions to the word limit will only be made in special circumstances. We have also increased the number of Brief Reports, at the expense of full articles, and would like to emphasize that a Brief Report is not in any way inferior to a full article. To that end, the introduction of abstracts as a requirement for Brief Reports ensures that abstracts can be read in PubMed and other similar services. In addition, Original Articles and Brief Reports are now indexed together within each category.

In January of 2006, along with many other journals, we introduced a policy requiring all clinical trials to be registered on an approved public Web site before submission. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) has recognized the success of their initial policy and has made some recommendations for change (2). We agree with these changes and, in fact, are adopting them, effective immediately. ICMJE now requires even preliminary or pilot trials to be registered and has adopted the World Health Organization definition of a clinical trial: “any research study that prospectively assigns human participants or groups of humans to one or more health related interventions to evaluate the effects on health outcomes.” Essentially, we will now only review manuscripts on randomized clinical interventions (including nonpharmacological intervention) that have been registered in a publicly accessible database, such as clinicaltrials.gov. We are also implementing the ICMJE recommendation that only abstracts of results of 500 words or less can be posted on these Web sites before publication in our journal to avoid any appearance of duplicate publication.

Another change to our policies came from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) guidelines on authorship of industry-sponsored clinical trials (http://www.aamc.org/research/clinicaltrialsreporting/start.htm). Here, again, we welcome these recommendations because they will lead to greater transparency and ensure integrity of clinical trial conduct and results reporting. While we welcome the increase in pharmaceutical funding for clinical trials and recognize that most are well conducted and the manuscripts well written, it is impossible for us to publish all but the most novel or those likely to have the greatest impact on clinical practice. We remind authors of their responsibility to verify the authenticity of the data and to avoid any potential accusation of ghost writing or gift authorship. We have also become conscious about possible duplicate publication; we are working with editors of other journals to detect any possible duplication of data in publication and are taking steps to censure authors who engage in such activities. This is particularly problematic in large multicenter and multi-author trials where post hoc analysis is frequently carried out.

The last year or two has seen many developments in relation to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommendations and labels for drugs used in the treatment of diabetes. We were therefore delighted that Dr. Robert Misbin agreed to write a Commentary on the process for the December 2007 issue (3), making suggestions for drug development in the future. Again, in the interest of enlightening our readers to changes that occur in FDA recommendations, we propose to have a quarterly update on FDA-related issues that are relevant to diabetes. A good example has been the recent change in the label of metformin to remove the restriction of its use in patients who have well-treated congestive heart failure. Zachary Bloomgarden will add an FDA update to his well-established “Perspectives in the News,” perhaps on a quarterly basis.

Several readers have questioned us about supplements and advertising supplements issued with the journal. It is our policy to review official supplements, which are called “supplements to Diabetes Care” and are indexed in PubMed. In contrast, any other material distributed with the journal should not be considered a journal supplement.

Finally, we have had a change in the Editorial Board, and I would like to thank the outgoing board members (JoAnn Ahern, APRN, MSN, CDE; James Aikens, PhD; José Fernandez-Real, MD, PhD; Linda Gonder-Frederick, PhD; Abbas E. Kitabchi, MD, PhD; Anne Peters, MD; Robert P. Hoffman, MD; Elizabeth J. Mayer-Davis, MSPH, PhD, RD; Helaine E. Resinck, PhD; Michael P. Stern, MD; and Fred W. Whitehouse, MD) and welcome the new ones. In particular, I would like to thank the Associate Editors who have moved on to other responsibilities (Eli Ipp, MD, and Michael M. Engelgau, MD) and welcome Todd P. Gilmer, PhD, and Sam Dagogo-Jack, MD. We continue to have a strong team in place that will bring you the best clinical research and translational articles in diabetes.

Skyler JS: Thirty years of Diabetes Care: reflections on the beginning.
Diabetes Care
Laine C, De Angelis C, Delamothe T, Drazen JM, Frizelle FA, Haug C, Hébert PC, Horton R, Kotzin S, Marusic A, Sahni P, Schroeder TV, Sox HC, Van der Weyden MB, Verheugt FW: Clinical trial registration: looking back and moving ahead.
Ann Intern Med
Misbin RI: Lessons from the Avandia controversy: a new paradigm for development of drugs to treat type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes Care