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Epilepsia Report

Simon Shorvon


Philip Schwartzkroin

Philip Schwartzkroin

In January 2006, we were appointed to the position of Editors-in-Chief of Epilepsia, the scientific journal of the ILAE. Since then, a number of editorial and management changes have been made in the journal.

Editorial Changes
The following points summarize the main changes to the journal during 2006 (and early 2007):

  • Themed issues: From June 2006, the monthly print editions each had a predominant theme (e.g., June – pediatrics; July – new treatments; August – temporal lobe epilepsy; September – hormonal influences on epilepsy; October – genes and epilepsy; November – treatments and cognitive issues; December – seizure- and drug-related morbidity).   Publishing Online Early (see below) frees the journal from the need to compose the print edition in strictly chronological order. Articles — most of which have already been “officially” published by their appearance in Online Early — are grouped to some extent into themes to increase the readability and interest of the journal.
  • Online Early (introduced in July 2006): Epilepsia articles are now published online on the Online Early section of the Blackwell Synergy Web site for Epilepsia.  We are working toward a publication delay target of 35 days after acceptance. Once published online, the articles can be cited and are indexed on PubMed and other lists.
  • Gray Matters (introduced in June 2006). This new section of the journal has three functions: i. To act as an historical record of ILAE developments; ii. To increase the ILAE focus and assist in ILAE priorities; iii. To provide a venue for material of interest to the readership that has not been peer-reviewed. The section comprises short reports of ILAE activities/actualities, reports of ILAE conferences (listing main themes, etc.), reports of ILAE commissions and other bodies (abbreviated, where these do not appear in the scientific sections of the journal), letters and commentary, a calendar of upcoming meetings, announcements,  and other items.
  • Reviews, commentaries and editorials (from June 2006): The number of reviews and editorial comment has been increased. Where possible, paired basic and clinical reviews are published together, and we are seeking reviews which are at the interface of epilepsy and other neurological conditions. We particularly encourage reviews in areas of controversy and have initiated a series of editorial commentaries on such topics.
  • New reference citation style (introduced in October 2006).
  • New Instructions for Authors (including Best Practice Guidelines on Publication Ethics) and Copyright Release forms (posted online April 2007).
  • Author Services (a new Blackwell service for authors — introduced in August 2006).
  • Membership in COPE (January 2007).
  • Development of a new supplement policy and rate of charges for supplements.
  • Development and clarification of guidelines for reviewing and accepting papers for publication (published on the journal Web site).
  • Readership survey (carried out in late 2006.

Managing Editor, Associate Editorship and Editorial Board
A new Managing Editor, Mrs Alison Alsmeyer, was appointed in April 2006, and has made an outstanding contribution to the running of the journal.

The number of Associate Editors has been increased to twelve. The appointment of an expanded Associate Editorship is a major change, made in response to the increasing number of articles submitted each year and the need to improve peer review, and is an important ingredient in improving the expertise and speed of the peer review process. The current Associate Editors are: Anne Berg, Ettore Behgi, Edward Bertram, Amy Brooks-Kayal, Mark Cook, Michael Duchowney, Renzo Guerrini, Bruce Hermann, Philip Patsalos, Michael Sperling, Annamaria Vezzani and Matthew Walker.

The Editorial Board has been slightly expanded with the addition of a number of new members. Membership on the board is for a three-year term.

Morris-Coole Prize
This new annual prize of 10,000 euros (the Morris-Coole Prize) was established in 2007. The prize is to be awarded annually to the first author of a paper published in Epilepsia during the preceding calendar year, which has, in the judges’ opinion, made the most significant advance in knowledge in the field of epilepsy. The winning paper will be a full-length original article (not a review etc), and should not have been the subject of any earlier prize or award.  The paper can report either basic or clinical findings, and papers in any research field and from any region will be eligible. Papers authored by the editorial staff or ILAE Executive Committee members are ineligible. The judging panel comprises the President of the ILAE and the two Editors-in-Chief of Epilepsia, and the panel considers a short-list of papers prepared by the Associate Editors of Epilepsia. The prize will be awarded during the opening ceremony of the International or Regional ILAE Conference. The winning researchers will also be invited to present their findings at the Morris-Coole lecture at the conference.

The prize was established through the generosity of Mr Christopher Morris-Coole and his wife Sandra, with the intention of stimulating epilepsy research and in particular, rewarding young researchers in order to motivate and provide an incentive to excellence.  The winner of the 2007 prize is Dr Zita Gadja from Hungary, for the paper: Gajda et al. The functional significance of gap junction channels in the epileptogenicity and seizure susceptibility of juvenile rats. Epilepsia, 2006, 47:1009-1022.

Re-Design of the Print Edition of Epilepsia
Plans for a re-design of the print edition has been completed. The cover re-design was implemented in the January 2007 issue, and the page re-design will be initiated in the November 2007 issue. A re-design was considered a vital step so that Epilepsia, as the scientific journal of the ILAE, can fully represent the professional and scientific quality of ILAE. The re-design is also considered an essential ingredient in the revitalisation of the journal necessary to maintain financial and scientific competitiveness. The new design includes full color pages (with color used for section headings, figures and tables, headers and footers, incorporation of ILAE logo, Gray Matters graphics), a switch to matt paper, a re-designed cover, a change in typeface and a change to the editorial pages.

Other Points
In 2006, five supplements were published: AES Annual Course, Cognitive and Behavioral Outcomes of Epileptic Syndromes, 7th European Congress on Epileptology, AES Annual Meeting Abstracts, and the Italian League Against Epilepsy Official Reports and Proceedings. Epilepsia digests were published in Italy, Japan, China, Turkey, South America and in India. During 2006, Epilepsia,  saw an 11% increase in circulation and a 37% increase in online readership, and the total net revenue to the ILAE from the journal was $1,436,656.

Simon Shorvon and Philip Schwartzkroin





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