The time has come to pass the torch and move on. For the past six years, this job has been simultaneously humbling, time consuming, frustrating at times, and requiring attention to detail (sometimes too much), but it has always been fun (even on the bad days). During our stewardship, we have always tried to offer fair and balanced reviews. Although not everyone was happy with the final outcome, I think the readership will agree that the quality of the manuscripts that have been published is a reflection of how well the Journal is regarded in the community. I want to thank the many reviewers and members of the editorial board who participated in this process. They have added luster to the Journal, and without them, little would have been possible. I have also had the good fortune to have a great editorial team: Ivan McMurtry, Bruce Pitt, Michael Matthay, Paul Schumacker, and Richard Ye. The secret to success in editing a journal (for that matter, in any enterprise) is to have a level-headed and enterprising group of associates. I value their support, counsel, and friendship.
As for the Journal itself, by all measures it is on solid footing and a healthy enterprise. It is among the most highly regarded lung journals. It is clear to me that people are reading it, citing it, and submitting to it. This year the Journal is predicted to have a record number of submissions. I am confident that Michael Matthay, the indefatigable new Editor-in-Chief, will continue to maintain the high standards and make it into an even more powerful journal for lung biology. The debate about the importance and virtues of impact factors will continue, particularly in light of the recent statement in Nature that “research assessment rests too heavily on the inflated status of the impact factor” (1). Nature, upon analyzing the basis for their high impact factor, found that 89% of the 2004 impact factor was the result of 25% of the papers published in Nature. The impact factor as a citation metric is affected by multiple variables such as the discipline and the nature of the paper (e.g., publication of the mouse genome in Ref. 2). Michael will undoubtedly have to wrestle with these and other issues, but the most important impact factors, it seems to me, are the esteem in which the Journal is held by our peers and the community at large, the impact it has on our field, and the new information it disseminates. These are also the true criteria of excellence.
I have had great innings, and I am delighted to hand it over to Michael and resume my normal life.
- Copyright © 2005 the American Physiological Society