The ambition of every scientific journal and of its editor-in-chief, in particular, is to reach the highest esteem on the part of the readers and not less from the official organizations rating the journals quality, such as the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI), Science Citation Index, Current Contents, Medline Database, Excerpta Medica, Index Medicus, etc.
There have been many discussions in recent years about the dangers of biased judgment in assessing the quality of a particular scientific journal or a particular scientific paper published in it. Also the values of impact factors, as used in recent years, were often the objects of criticism.
Another issue very much discussed, while estimating a particular journals credibility, is the way of setting up the peer-review procedures and the definition of the competency of the editor in making the final decision on whether to accept the paper for publication.
In order to bring about a more explicit discussion on this topic, having in mind to reach the highest possible professional quality of the Neuroendcrinology Letters in the eyes of scientific communities, we have asked distinguished colleagues to discuss these matters in our journal in the form of Guest Editorials (see Vol. 20 Nos. 1/2, Citation data: the wrong impact? by Charles Jennings, editor of Nature Neuroscience). We are happy to present in this issue three Guest Editorials on the topic of "Peer Review and Editorial Decision-making" by Louise Howard and Greg Wilkinson (the editor of the British Journal of Psychiatry), J. L. Crammer on the editors role in creating the journal, and H. L. Freeman (the previous editor of the British Journal of Psychiatry) on "Quantifying Quality." (I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to Mr. Dave Jago, Head of Publications at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, for graciously granting us permission to reproduce the above-mentioned papers.)
I would like to encourage other colleagues, editors of other journals, in particular associated editors of this Journal and the members of our Editorial Board, as well as the Authors to contribute their opinions on these subjects, either as Guest Editorials, Comments or Letters to the Editor.
It is in the interest of every scientific journal, but also of all authors and potential authors, to achieve the highest possible quality of that journal by honoring the different citation indexes and databases.
I fully agree with Prof. Freeman, who says that the peer review is like democracy, the worst possible systemexcept for all the others. As you can see in our Instructions for Authors and as I also mentioned in my previous editorial, Vol. 20 Nos. 3/4, in order to minimize bias in peer-review procedures, our reviewers (besides the members of the independent advisory Editorial Board) are invited external independent scientists. Also the identities of both peer reviewers and authors are kept confidential. The comments by the reviewers may be conveyed to the authors by the editor, at his discretion. Manuscripts are reviewed with due respect for the authors confidentiality. At the same time reviewers also have rights to confidentiality, which are respected by the editor. The editor ensures both the authors and the reviewers that the manuscripts sent for review are privileged communication and are the private property of the authors.
Please take my invitation to discuss the above matters on the pages of the Neuroendocrinology Letters and contribute to achieving the high quality and reputation of this Journal.