Several important developments recently have taken place at the Journal of General Physiology that I wish to bring to your attention.
First, www.jgp.org now provides free access to PDF versions of all articles published in the Journal since January 1975. Though fully interactive HTML versions will be available only for articles published since January of 1997, the PDF files of articles published earlier than 1997 are searchable and the figures were scanned separately (and at a higher resolution than the text) so as to increase their usefulness. We also will digitize the remaining back issues, and we hope to make them available on the JGP web site within the next year. We are proud of the Journal's distinguished history, and we look forward to serving the community by making the complete archive available electronically.
Second, with articles published in this July issue, we have reduced the cost of publishing color figures in the Journal to $500 for the first page and $250 for each additional page. Page charges, which have not increased in 5 yr, will increase slightly to $45 per printed page.
Third, we continue to strive to shorten the manuscript review time. We now ask that reviewers return their reviews within two weeks. We will allow three weeks if a reviewer requests so, and exceptions will continue to be made for complex and companion manuscripts. In the end, however, the overriding concern for any manuscript is the quality of the review. We are reliant on experts in the field, and both the authors and the Journal are best served by having the manuscript reviewed by acknowledged experts, even if this on occasion entails unexpected delays.
The Journal has a distinguished history of publishing long, complete articles, a feature that has become its de facto hallmark. I therefore want to emphasize that we also welcome short articles that report important results, which will stimulate further investigations. Given that the median time from initial manuscript submission to publication is four months, and may be as short as ten weeks for short, well prepared manuscripts, we have no plans for a separate category of “short” or “accelerated” articles.
Fourth, while we will continue to receive manuscripts as traditional paper submissions, we discourage authors from doing so. We will not refuse paper submissions, but all Instructions to Authors will be geared toward electronic submission of manuscripts, preferably via our web site at www.jgp.org, or as PDF files attached to e-mails sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Authors also should note that these Instructions are updated regularly on our website.
Fifth, electronic manuscript submission has many advantages, but it also creates its own set of problems. One such problem involves figures, which often are submitted in inappropriate/incomplete formats: too low resolution; incorrect fonts; incorrect color settings; etc. Though a manuscript may be deemed to be acceptable by the Editors, the figures may be unsuitable for the final production of the manuscript and it may take more than a week for authors to get the final, publishable figures to the Rockefeller University Press. For that reason, the acceptance date of a manuscript will be the date the final, complete version has been received by the Press.
To assist authors in the preparation of figures, we offer a “Digital Expert™” service for authors to check whether their figure files conform to the formatting standards required for publication in JGP with respect to resolution, file format, etc. This service allows authors to upload their figures to a third party website http://dx.sheridan.com to check them before submitting them through the JGP website.
Finally, we have learned that all the advantages of modern image and data processing come with an associated cost, as we have detected cases of manipulation of digital images. To promote experimental reproducibility we therefore have added requirements about the disclosure of information about image acquisition to our Instructions to Authors at http://www.jgp.org/misc/ifora.shtml#digim.
We are proud of how the Journal continues to evolve, and we are convinced that these new developments will strengthen the Journal of General Physiology even further.