This has been a year of change for Epilepsia. At the end of December 2005, Dr Robert S. Fisher stepped down after his four-year term as Editor-in-Chief, and Emilio Perucca, Nico Moshe, Jose Serratosa and Graham Jackson also completed their terms as Associate Editors. Dr Fisher and his colleagues made an outstanding contribution to Epilepsia, which grew in quality and size under their tutelage, and remains one of the elite neurological journals despite stiff and growing competition. As the official journal of ILAE, Epilepsia plays a special role in the epilepsy research world, and the current journal reflects the extraordinary breadth of epilepsy research. The academic epilepsy community owes Dr Fisher much gratitude for his erudite and effective leadership.
Philip Schwartzkroin and Simon Shorvon were appointed by the ILAE Executive Committee to serve as Co-Editors-in-Chief of Epilepsia starting 1 January 2006. Philip Schwartzkroin is a basic neuroscientist from University of California, Davis and Simon Shorvon is a clinical neurologist from University College London. In addition, Anne Berg, Ettore Beghi, Albert Becker, Edward Bertram, Amy Brooks-Kayal, Mark Cook, Renzo Guerrini, Philip Patsalos, Bettina Schmitz, Annamaria Vezzani and Matthew Walker were appointed as Associate Editors, and the Editorial Board was also expanded. These appointments reflect the growing diversity of academic epilepsy, and the scientific reputation of Epilepsia and its international spread.
In 2005, Epilepsia was published on a monthly basis, had a turnover of approximately $1.4 million dollars, a subscription base of 10,649 (consortia, individual and institutional), and 399,814 articles were downloaded from its online hosts.
Epilepsia’s priority remains the publication of high quality science that contributes to knowledge about, and treatment of, epilepsy. The goals of the new editors include maintaining Epilepsia as the premier journal for clinical epilepsy papers, and establishing the journal as a preferred publication choice for basic science research in epilepsy-relevant areas of translational neuroscience. In addition to the changes in personnel, a number of other editorial changes have been or will be implemented in 2006, which are designed to enhance the journal:
- Online Early. Articles accepted for publication will now appear online before they appear in print, in a section on the Epilepsia Website entitled Online Early. The publication time of the article is thereby shortened. The online articles can be cited (DOI number and date of publication), and will be indexed on PubMed and other lists. Online Early was initiated in June.
- Themed Issues. The print editions of Epilepsia will now usually contain articles, mostly already published on Online Early, grouped into themes. This should increase the readability and interest of the journal. The first themed issue was in June 2006 focusing on pediatric epilepsies and cortical dysplasia.
- Reviews and Editorials. The journal plans to increase the number of reviews and editorial comment. Paired basic and clinical reviews related to the theme of the issue will sometimes be included, and the first will be in September 2006 in the issue focused on hormones and epilepsy. Reviews will also be encouraged which are at the interface of epilepsy and other neurological conditions. Reviews that focus on important and/or controversial current topics will be featured, along with invited commentary — for instance the October 2006 review on ethical, legal, and social issues in epilepsy genetics and the invited commentaries on that review.
- Gray Matters. This is a new section in the journal, appearing first in the July 2006 issue, with three main functions:
- To act as a historical record of ILAE events and developments.
- To increase the ILAE focus in the journal and assist ILAE priorities.
- To publish items of general epilepsy interest.
The section will include short reports of ILAE activities/actualities, summaries of ILAE-sponsored conferences and workshops, reports of ILAE commissions and other related bodies, historical reviews, letters and commentary, a calendar of meetings, and other items.
- Epilepsia Digests. Epilepsia digests are local language publications that feature translations of selected articles from the main journal. During the year, several new digests are in the planning stage. These digests represent a good way of disseminating Epilepsia articles to previously inaccessible locations.
- Reference Style. The reference style of the journal has been changed to the Harvard style. The editors consider this style to be more reader-friendly.
- Supplements. The policy for Epilepsia supplements will change somewhat. Supplements consisting entirely of meeting abstracts will be published online only (allowing for abstract indexing by index services). Other supplements that present symposia articles will continue to appear in a printed format. The editors also plan to introduce a series of invited supplements focusing on topics of academic interest and growth.
- Online archive of back issues. Publication of Epilepsia started in 1909. ILAE and Blackwell are working toward the publication of an online archive of all previous issues, as a service to epilepsy studies.
- Other changes. There are also changes to the instructions for authors, the use of color illustrations, permissions policy and the journal Website.
Simon Shorvon and Philip Schwartzkroin
Journal Publishing Manager