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Nothing endures but change.
—Heraclitus (540–480 BCE)
For eleven years, Neuro-Oncology has led the charge to report on the progress of the broad community of scientists and physicians working, directly or indirectly, to improve care for patients with brain tumors. The journal started, as journals do, as a dream, a hope, a sparkle in someone’s eye—in this case, founding editor Darell Bigner’s eye and the eyes of those at the Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO) and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation who saw a need for a journal that would fulfill a particular mission: to educate the international neuro-oncology community with high-quality, rapidly disseminated information from all areas of the field.
With time, the journal has grown and flourished, first attaining an impact factor number reached by only a minority of journals and then increasing in frequency from quarterly to bimonthly. The community of investigator-authors took notice, feeding more and more excellent papers to the journal for possible publication (it is worth noting that since 2007, the number of manuscripts submitted to Neuro-Oncology has increased nearly 80%). As the number and quality of manuscripts have risen, so has the challenge to ensure that reviews are timely and rigorous, that the editors’ and editorial office staff’s workload remain manageable, and that the journal reaches the right readers at the right time.
For the last several years, accordingly, we have made incremental changes to meet the journal’s evolving needs; for instance, we restructured the editorial team to allow for a broader, multinational base of decision-makers, with formal representation from the three organizations for which Neuro-Oncology serves as official journal. Nevertheless, the core team producing the journal has remained relatively stable and the core practices of the journal have not changed. Nor would we shift practices that would undermine the journal’s mission to provide you with the quality of information you have come to expect. However, we have been increasingly pressured to find ways of meeting our mission even more fully.
After much consideration of our highly successful run with Duke University Press, SNO recognized that the journal was ready to move to a publishing partner with broad international reach in biomedical publishing. Thus, the SNO executive office, working in concert with the SNO board of directors, and the journal’s editorial office, began an almost yearlong process of issuing a request for proposals, reviewing proposals, interviewing publishers, and finally making a site visit to meet with the team we felt best understood the society and the journal and their needs.
We are pleased to share with you, then, the news of the most fundamental change in Neuro-Oncology since its founding—a change that will arrive with the first of your twelve issues in January 2010. Yes, we will be published monthly rather than every two months beginning next month—but that isn’t the fundamental change to which I’m referring. What we believe will have the greatest impact on our dissemination of knowledge to the neuro-oncology community has less to do with the frequency of our communications than with our new partner in those communications: the Oxford Journals division of Oxford University Press.
In joining Oxford Journals, Neuro-Oncology will share a home with a complementary spectrum of medical titles well known to our readers, Brain, Annals of Oncology, JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, and others at the intersection of neuroscience and oncology. We and Oxford Journals believe that the journal thus has an enormous opportunity to draw the world’s attention to the ongoing challenge of diagnosing and treating brain tumors. Oxford has the speed, strength, and size to ensure that our authors’ manuscripts are processed more quickly and distributed more widely than ever.
So on behalf of the editorial board and the editorial office, I thank Duke University Press for its unfailing support of the journal. And I wholeheartedly welcome our new partner, Oxford Journals, in anticipation of its continuing to build on this foundation. Finally, I thank all of you who read the journal, cite its articles, send your papers to be considered for publication, and are our authors. Without you, none of this evolution would be possible.