As Co-Chairs and Executive Editor of The Journal of Experimental Medicine, we write to share some changes that will help us provide JEM authors with the best service we can.
Changes in the JEM Editorial Board
JEM has a unique editorial process that combines the expertise of research-active academic editors and full-time professional editors who have a strong scientific background. Our academic editors are authors themselves. This means they are continually experiencing the editorial and publication processes and serve as reviewers for other journals. Their research keeps them current, and their experience as authors keeps them empathetic to the authors who submit papers to JEM. At the same time, the input of in-house scientific editors allows each paper to get a quick but deep assessment of its background and novelty, assures consistency and transparency during the publication process, and provides an accessible central point for communication with authors. Each submitted manuscript is seen by at least one academic editor and one scientific editor before the first decision—whether to send it out for review.
The researchers on the JEM academic board represent the main scientific areas within the journal’s scope. Considering the speed of discovery in experimental medicine, our board must change periodically to provide the best service to our authors. We are extremely pleased to welcome four new editors to the JEM board.
Dr. Yasmine Belkaid is chief of the Mucosal Immunology Section and Director of the NIAID Microbiome initiative. Dr. Susan Kaech is Professor of Immunobiology in the Department of Immunobiology, Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Emmanuelle Passegué is Alumni Professor of Genetics and Development and Rehabilitation Medicine and Director of the Columbia Stem Cell Initiative at Columbia University Medical Center. These three scientists will bring fresh input and outstanding expertise to the journal. Moreover, as JEM welcomes the warm response to invitations for increased submission of human studies, we recognize the growing need for an expert opinion on biostatistics. We are happy to announce that Dr. Xi Kathy Zhou, Associate Professor of Biostatistics at Weill Cornell Medical College, has joined JEM as Consulting Biostatistical Editor. We hope that the recruitment of Dr. Zhou will convey to JEM authors and readers our strong interest in this research area and our commitment to publish solid work. The profiles of the four new editors can be found below.
We are extremely thankful to all our academic and advisory editors. In particular, we recognize the great contributions and unique and dedicated service of Drs. Alan Sher, Alexander Tarakhovsky, and Andreas Trumpp during their tenure as JEM editors. We have deeply appreciated their significant commitment and editorial rigor.
Since the time that the JEM Editorial Board expanded from its original single member (William Welch in 1896, who was succeeded by Peyton Rous), the board has operated as a nonhierarchical committee. It continues to do so. Nonetheless, the growing pace of scientific publication and science itself has led the JEM board to request that The Rockefeller University Press appoints two of us—Michel C. Nussenzweig and Carl F. Nathan—as Co-Chairs. Our decades of service on the JEM board provide perspective, while the focus of responsibility facilitates change. As Co-Chairs, we will assist the JEM Executive Editor in setting journal strategy and editorial policies and expanding the JEM Advisory Board for increased coverage of research in viral infection, cancer, neurological diseases, and hematopoiesis.
The best service at a faster pace
The daily collaboration between research-active academic editors and in-house scientific editors has proven productive in offering guidance to authors throughout the publication process.
As one measure of efficiency, JEM now accepts and publishes 94% of invited revisions. Another measure of service is speed. Although our editorial process involves considerable discussion, we provide a first response to authors within 7 days from submission and a post-review decision within 37 days (for details, please see our Instructions for Authors at http://jem.rupress.org/ifora). We believe that the combination of informed decision and a fast response is optimal for authors. Moreover, we have moved to daily publication. Effective immediately, JEM articles are published online within 2 days after return of proofs. Furthermore, readers can receive daily content alerts in addition to weekly and monthly ones.
We listen: Format-neutral submission and transfer policy
JEM is embedded in an academic rather than a commercial environment and takes the needs and requests of the scientific community very seriously. We are happy to hear authors’ opinions, and we strive to take the frustration out of the publication process as much as possible. For this reason, we allow only one revision, rather than asking for additional chapters in a developing story. We limit supplemental material to essential supporting information, and we now allow a format-neutral initial submission.
It’s a major source of frustration in scientific publication when a paper is subjected to multiple rounds of revisions or is trapped inside a “one-publisher tunnel.” In the latter situation, a study undergoes several rounds of review at one journal and then is passed on to another journal within the same publishing group. We know from our own experience as authors what this can do to trainees’ careers, grant submissions, and laboratory morale. We now offer authors an opportunity to exit the tunnel and publish in a timely fashion: our new transfer policy offers rapid consideration of a format-neutral manuscript submitted along with the comments of the reviewers from another journal. For details on the transfer policy, please see http://jem.rupress.org/editorial-policies#transfer.
Web relaunch: Refreshed and rapid
Finally, we have relaunched our website to enhance the services we provide and give our readers a better experience on mobile devices. The reorganized website gives papers more visibility and makes figures and PDF files more accessible. If you haven’t done so yet, please visit http://jem.rupress.org. And please, let us hear from you.
Yasmine obtained her PhD in 1996 from the Pasteur Institute in France exploring innate immune responses to parasitic infections. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in the US, she joined the Children’s Hospital Research Foundation in Cincinnati as an assistant professor. In 2005, she joined NIAID and was appointed Senior Scientist in 2008. She is currently the chief of the Mucosal Immunology Section and Director of the NIAID Microbiome initiative. Her work explores mechanisms that regulate host immune responses to microbes at barrier sites and revealed key roles for the microbiota and dietary factors in the maintenance of tissue immunity and homeostasis. Yasmine joined JEM as Academic Editor in 2017. Photo courtesy of the NIH Intramural Program (IRP).
Susan is currently Professor of Immunobiology in the Department of Immunobiology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT. Her laboratory aims to understand how memory T cells are generated during infection and vaccination and why, in some circumstances, an immunization fails to induce long-term T cell immunity. They are also learning how T cells are regulated in tumor microenvironments to better understand how their functions become suppressed as they infiltrate tumors in order to develop new methods of immunotherapy that enhance antitumor responses. Using several powerful model systems of infection or cancer in mice, they are elucidating mechanisms involved in the development of protective and long-lived memory T cells that form after acute infection or, conversely, of dysfunctional or “exhausted” T cells that form in tumors or during chronic viral infections. Their studies are aimed at identifying the signaling and metabolic pathways that regulate the differentiation of T cells in these different types of environments so that we can design new ways to optimize the formation of highly functional, protective memory T cells to fight infection and cancer. Susan joined JEM as Academic Editor in 2017. Photo courtesy of Yale University.
Emmanuelle is an Alumni Professor of Genetics and Development and Rehabilitation Medicine and the Director of the Columbia Stem Cell Initiative at Columbia University Medical Center. Before her recent move to Columbia University, Emmanuelle was Professor of Medicine in the Hematology/Oncology Division and the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at the University of California, San Francisco. She received her PhD from the University Paris XI in France and performed postdoctoral trainings with Dr. Erwin Wagner at the Institute for Molecular Pathology in Austria and Dr. Irv Weissman at Stanford University. Emmanuelle’s research interests focus on the biology of blood-forming hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in normal and deregulated contexts such as stress, malignancies, and aging. She has received numerous Scholar Awards from the American Society of Hematology, the Rita Allen Foundation, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society. Emmanuelle joined JEM as Academic Editor in 2017. Photo courtesy of Susan Merrell.
Xi is an Associate Professor of Biostatistics at Weill Cornell Medical College. She received her PhD degree in Statistics and Decision Sciences from Duke University. Her research interest is to develop and apply novel statistical methods to better design biological and clinical studies related to disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment and properly analyze data generated from such studies. Her methodological interests include Bayesian hierarchical models, model selection, model averaging, predictive modeling, and their applications to large complex datasets. She collaborates extensively with laboratory researchers and clinicians and has served as the Lead Biostatistician in clinical trials. Kathy became the Consulting Biostatistical Editor of JEM in 2016. Photo courtesy of Xi Kathy Zhou.