Time has come again for the “changing of the guard,” which has occurred every 3–5 years since the journal’s inception in 1952. The new, and 13th, editorial team began overseeing new submissions to Diabetes on 1 July 2016 and now officially takes the helm with this issue.

As I profoundly thank my editorial colleagues for their remarkable contributions and collegiality, I also wish the best to the new editorial team led by Dr. Martin G. Myers Jr. (University of Michigan). The transition has been a smooth one, thanks to the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA’s) editorial office staff in Indianapolis, IN, and the ADA’s production team in Alexandria, VA.

One of the most important pillars of scientific advancement is the integrity of the peer-review system. As journal editors, we strive to ensure that we are selecting the best science from among numerous submissions being considered for publication. We are only able to accomplish this by relying on a vast number of investigators representing multiple areas of diabetes research who regularly offer their valuable time to critically review these scientific manuscripts and make knowledgeable recommendations to the authors and editors. Not surprisingly, reviewers do not always agree with one another on the scientific quality, novelty, or impact of a manuscript, and we therefore often depend on the impartial and judicious judgment of the editors.

We realize and appreciate that each submitted manuscript represents an enormous investment of intellect, careful planning, and hard work by some of the best investigators working in the area of diabetes. As active investigators in their own right, the editors are fully cognizant of the potential impact of a decision to reject a manuscript. It requires a mind-set of emotional detachment in peer-review responsibilities, with the final consideration in decision making being the merit of the manuscript. We do realize how disconcerting it is to have a manuscript rejected.

One of the important lessons that I have learned is that to enjoy performing peer-review responsibilities, it is important to establish a system that makes you feel comfortable with the decisions and the three-tiered review process—external reviewers, specialist associate editors, and the editor in chief. This system has no better alternatives. My editorial colleagues and I sincerely believe that we met our commitment to maintain the journal as the leading scientific publication, publishing the most original and important scientific works of relevance to diabetes and related disorders. We are aware of the importance that many investigators and institutions assign to the impact factor of the journals when they submit their manuscripts. As a policy, we decided not to accept the manuscripts based on their potential to increase the impact factor but rather to publish the best manuscripts entirely based on their scientific value. We are pleased that this approach not only enhanced sustained citation half-life but also increased the impact factor between 2012 and 2016.

There is continuing debate on how to rate a journal. The current practice is based on the number of citations per published articles. The problem with this approach is that immediate “excitement” about an article is not always sustained and the initial perception can be influenced by the perceived high profile of the journal publishing the article. Some of the highly cited articles are based on controversial and provocative findings that lack strong scientific underpinnings. The objective of scientific work should not be to receive high-profile publicity and citations but to result either in an outcome that improves human health or advances our search for biological truth. These criteria are not easily ascertainable and clear-cut, but searching for a mechanism to include these factors is important. Many journals with a high impact factor also publish only a handful of original articles and many reviews. As impact factor calculation is based on the citations per the numbers of articles, impact factor can be increased only by reducing the number of the original articles accepted and having reviews that usually receive high citations. That approach is not consistent with the mission of a flagship journal of a professional organization such as the ADA, which is to publish the best scientific work in the area of diabetes. Perhaps, consideration of impact factor should be based on the top 100 original articles published in a journal every year; that, to me, would be a fair system. Such an approach will not encourage journals to reject high-quality manuscripts to restrict the number of articles. Page limit is a factor now, but that may change as we gradually move forward with online digital publications.

On behalf of my editorial colleagues, I wish to thank the ADA and its leadership for the opportunity to serve as the editors of this remarkable scientific journal while ensuring complete intellectual and editorial freedom. We also want to thank our authors, peer reviewers, and the readership. I have no doubt that the mission of the journal as envisaged by its founders will continue, and we will continue our service as authors, reviewers, and readers.

Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. More information is available at http://www.diabetesjournals.org/content/license.