This month marks the “official” transition for the Editorial Board of the journal Diabetes. For the last 5 years, Diabetes has flourished under the editorial guidance of the Editor in Chief, Dr. Franz Matschinsky, and his Associate Editors. Indeed, the number of manuscripts submitted to Diabetes has increased substantially during this time period (Fig. 1), and the journal’s citation impact has continued to rise. In addition to the excellent leadership provided by Dr. Matschinsky, the journal has benefited from a highly efficient editorial office in Philadelphia, managed by Vesselina Panteva. On behalf of the diabetes research community, we thank Dr. Matschinsky and his Associate Editorial team, as well as Vesselina Panteva and Rachel Edwards, for their service to Diabetes journal.
Editorial transition offers an opportunity for change, although the first priority of the incoming team is not to disturb the formula of success that has been so effective under the leadership of Dr. Matschinsky. However, one key change involves the geographic distribution of the Associate Editors. With the benefits of improved communication technologies and the global impact of diabetes, the incoming Editorial Board represents a nationwide—in fact worldwide—team, rather than a team drawn almost exclusively from a single institution. Since the introduction of electronic manuscript submission and review, the location of the team has become less important than its collective expertise. I am indeed fortunate to have a team that brings a tremendous depth and range of expertise to the journal. This strategy not only permits us to recruit expertise worldwide, but hopefully also provides a sense of representation to many geographic areas.
Changes will also be noted beyond “people,” as we have elected to introduce a number of technical changes in regard to manuscript handling. As of January 2007, articles accepted for publication in Diabetes will first appear as electronic publications ahead of the standard print issue. This will lower the time from acceptance to publication date from ∼85 days to 7–14 days, thereby offsetting the need for the “Rapid Publication” category. As such, beginning in 2007, Rapid Publications will be discontinued as a manuscript submission category.
Based on the popularity of the Brief Report format (in terms of the number of submissions), we will now extend the prior “Brief Genetics Report” category to a journal-wide “Brief Report” category that can be used for any original research pertinent to the journal. The purpose of this new Brief Report category is to permit publication of very important, high-quality mechanistic studies that can be concisely presented. At the same time, we would note that the goal is not to publish incomplete observations.
In acknowledgment that wisdom in diabetes resides among many, we have also introduced the opportunity to publish “Letters” in response to a published article, along with the opportunity of a single letter of response from the original authors in question. It is important to note that “Letters” will appear electronically but not in the printed version of the journal.
Another change that recognizes the inevitable migration to a greater emphasis on electronic publication involves a move in the successful “Perspectives in Diabetes” series from the printed version of the journal to electronic publication only, although they will be listed in the printed table of contents and be accessible through the usual electronic search methods. This change will permit us to enhance the quality and sophistication of the images to be published within this series, while at the same time save printed pages for original research. We also note that our plans are to publish “Perspectives in Diabetes” in the form of clusters, with several Perspectives addressing a related area.
Finally, we have moved in the review process toward the system that is now common with most major high-impact journals, one that involves internal review and selection of manuscripts considered in the upper half of submissions to be sent out for peer review. Limited space, together with an increasing number of submissions, means that Diabetes is able to publish no more than 20% of submitted papers. In order not to delay manuscripts that do not have a reasonable chance of competing for that upper 20%, and in respect of the hours spent in review of each manuscript by our volunteer reviewers, we feel it is more reasonable to provide a rapid decision to the authors within 1 week of submission; while this risks disappointment to authors whose work is rapidly rejected, it allows them to submit their work elsewhere with minimal delay or to add to the work should they consider resubmitting to Diabetes. Instructions and further information with respect to the changes in submission of manuscripts are currently available on the Diabetes Web site (http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org). Suggestions as to how to improve the quality of the journal as well as the review process are welcome.
The new editorial team is honored by the responsibility of caring for Diabetes entrusted to us by the American Diabetes Association. We hope that we can continue the tradition of excellence brought to the journal by the team of Dr. Franz Matschinsky and their predecessors. Our goal, like that of the American Diabetes Association, remains that of improving the lives of those affected by diabetes. Our hope is that the insights brought forward through the pages of this journal during our time of oversight will lead to a fulfillment of that mission.