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Neuroendocrinology Letters Vol. 21 No. 1 Contents
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NeuroendocrinologyÝLetters incl. Psychoneuroimmunology & Chronobiology, Editorial.
ISSNÝ0172ñ780X CopyrightÝ©Ý2000 NeuroendocrinologyÝLetters

NEL Vol. 21 No. 1
Editorial

2000; 21:1ñ3

Welcome to the Volume 21 of the Neuroendocrinology Letters, an international peer-reviewed transdisciplinary journal covering the fields of neuroendocrinology and related areas, including immunological, psychological, oncological, chronobiological and other aspects in the normal and pathological physiology (see Aim and Scope). Neuroendocrinology Letters invites the interdisciplinary discussions where the same topic can be viewed from different aspects. It should serve as a unique opportunity for the cross-fertilization between the different sciences and practices, rather than the merely multidisciplinary approach. The Journal strives for progressive medicine including preventive aspects.

The true vision of the Neuroendocrinology Letters (NEL) is the interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary and integrative aspects of sciences and their entree into the twenty-first century. The bridge between neuroendocrinology, the immune system and the rest of the central nervous system opens the gateway to more common understanding and acceptance across disciplines. The NEL is an umbrella for the endeavor that unites various scientific fields from the basic and clinical research in their attempt to elucidate the processes of experience involved from the earliest stages of human life.

The NEL represents a real encounter between sciences, methodologies, approaches, different views, philosophies; encounters between science and art; basic research, clinical research and practice; encounters between the editors and readers, colleagues from different fields on the basis of inter- and transdisciplinarity; encounters between senior and junior researchers; encounters between scientists as human beings.

Last year (in the Volume 20) we introduced new headings and new divisions which continue on a regular basis: Guest and Invited Editorials, Invited Reviews (NEL Reviews), The Story Behind (see Vol. 20 Nos. 1/2, 3/4), Philosophy Behind Science (Vol. 20 Nos. 1/2, 3/4 and in this issue, Vol. 21 No. 1) and the Seasonís Appreciations (Vol. 20 Nos. 1/2 and Vol. 21 No. 1).

With this issue we open the second year of the ìnewî Neuroendocrinology Letters with its new layout, new format, 4-color print and, most importantly, with its new aim and scope. This last one is, from this volume and onwards, enlarged with chronobiology.

The Neuroendocrinology Letters opened itself for chronobiological papers already in the last issue (Vol. 20, 1999). The most distinguished journal, Chronobiologia, where Prof. Halberg was Editor-in-Chief, suspended publication in 1994. Together with Prof. Halberg, we feel that the new dimension of chronobiology in the Neuroendocrinology Letters will fill a void with the loss of a clinical outlet, i.e. Chronobiologia.

In this connection I am honored to inform you that Professor Halberg has kindly accepted my invitation to serve as the third Associate Editor of this Journal.

It is with pleasure that I welcome more distinguished colleagues who graciously accepted the invitation to join the Editorial Board from this issue of the Neuroendocrinology Letters:

Germaine CornÈlissen, Ph.D., Co-Director, Halberg Chronobiology Center, University of Minnesota, Dept. of Laboratory Medicine, Minneapolis, USA.

Professor Dr. Med., Dr. h.c. G¸nter D–rner, em. Director, Inst. for Experimental Endocrinology, CharitÈ, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.

RNDr. Helena Illnerov·, DrSc., Vice-President of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Institute of Physiology, Prague, Czech Republic.

Professor Robert Rapaport, M.D., who joined the Editorial Board in October last year, has recently changed his affiliation as follows: Chief, Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes, Dept. of Pediatrics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Director, Pediatric Section Mount Sinai Diabetes Center, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, USA.

Professor Luchio Zichella, M.D., Director, I Institute of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Rome ìLa Sapienza,î Rome, Italy.

In this volume we will continue the course started with Vol. 20. Again as Professor Halberg put it, we added to ìthe content in scientific terms a human touch which unites scientific rigor with the complementary bedside manner that is important in every journal.î

The humanistic touch should be one of the main goals of every scientific journal, especially medical, but this is unfortunately largely neglected. 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. The main problem is that impact factors are being increasingly used for a purpose for which they were never intended, namely to evalute individual applications for jobs or funding (Charles Jennings, Guest Editorial, NEL Vol. 20 Nos. 1/2, p. 7ñ10). Jennings continues ìMost obviously, by the time the impact factors appear, the papers to which they refer are already two to three years old, so any recent changes in a journalís editorial policies will not be reflected in its impact factor.... The result of all this numerology has been an increasing obsession among researchers, particularly younger scientists who have not yet established their reputations, to boost their numbers by whatever means possible.î

Another issue which is very much discussed, when estimating a particular journalís 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. I am very pleased that we during the past year were able to enlarge the number of external independent peer-reviewers also outside of the Editorial Board, which on the one hand increases the objectivity of reviewing the submitted papers and on the other hand broadens the possibility for inviting experts from various disciplines.

As J. L. Crammer pointed out (Guest Editorial NEL Vol. 20 No. 5, p. 261ñ262), ìThe journal should lead and not follow. The editor will not rely simply on what the mail happens to deliver in choosing papers, reports and letters, but will go out inviting review articles, leaders, comments, dialogues and studies from active researchers, to widen interests and catch the new.î This was and is our main policy in editing the Neuroendocrinology Letters.

Quoting another Guest Editorial (Peer review and editorial decision-making by Louise Howard and Greg Wilkinson, NEL Vol. 20 No. 5, p. 256ñ260), ìThe Editorís decision is final.... The editor needs to choose which papers to accept, and a variety of factors influence his decisions. Fairness, openness, accountability and transparency compete with hubris and human error.î And in connection with this I wish to quote H. L. Freeman (Guest Editorial NEL Vol. 20 No. 5, p. 263), ìBut in the end, a journalís quality depends on editorial flair, which is very difficult to quantify.î

In this issue of the Journal, in the Philosophy Behind Science, we are reprinting a paper published ten years ago in the International Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine, stressing the indivisibility between the creative act and the health in the human being. This connection we can find in many grand pieces of European literature of the last century, such as ìMental healersî (German original ìDie Heilung durch den Geistî), 1931 by Stefan Zweig. We intend to publish the introduction to this book in one of the next issues of this volume.

I am deeply indebted to all authors of this issue for their outstanding contributions: the Invited Guest Editorial, Invited Review Article, Original Papers and, already as tradition, the Seasonís Appreciations.

We have also listed selected forthcoming scientific events for this and the next year, and we would be very appreciative if you will provide us continuously with more information which can be published in the next issues.

As always, I would very much appreciate receiving Book Reviews and Congress Reports as well as Letters to the Editor, to be published in this Journal.

In this Volume we will open a section of Medical History, and I welcome your contributions on this topic.

We look forward to your reactions concerning the ìnew lookî of the NEL. We also look forward to receiving your papers for consideration for publication. We will try to shorten the time from receiving to publishing your peer-reviewed and accepted manuscripts in the shortest possible time. If you have a special reason for accelerating the publication of your manuscript, please let us know in your cover letter, and we will do our best to consider your request. We encourage and solicit young scientists to submit synopses of their Doctoral Theses or Dissertations for consideration for publication.

Our correspondence column is open for your comments, criticisms, questions, etc. We would appreciate Letters to the Editor, which we will treat on a liberal basis. However, we reserve the right to make a possible editorial restyle of them, mostly concerning their length.

As we pointed out already in the first issue of Volume 20, 1999, the Neuroendocrinology Letters is your journal. It is the readerís journal and as Per Bergsj¯, the previous outstanding Chief Editor of the Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica said, ìamong the readers are also the Journalís authors.î

Since many new readers have joined the Journal from this year, we would like to introduce them to the philosophy of the Neuroendocrinology Letters. We refer to my Editorials from the last Volume as well as the Editorials from the Art Director and Guest Editorials which can be sent from the Editorial Office on request and which are also available online www.nel.edu.

Peter G. Fedor-Freybergh
Editor-in-Chief

 

Neuroendocrinology Letters incl Psychoneuroendocrinology, Chronobiology:
A peer-reviewed transdisciplinary Journal covering neuroendocrinology, psyhoneuroimmunology and chronobiology. Publishing basic and clinical research papers, review articles and state-of the art from the basic research and clinical research. E-mail: info@nel.edu
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CopyrightÝ©ÝNeuroendocrinology Letters 2000 incl. Psychoneuroimmunology & Chronobiology
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