Igniting stage two in Endocrine Connections

in Endocrine Connections
Josef KöhrleInstitute of Experimental Endocrinology, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany

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Open access

Now in its sixth year, Endocrine Connections was the first society-owned Open Access journal devoted to hormones. The journal is owned by two well-established endocrine learned societies, the European Society of Endocrinology (ESE) and the Society for Endocrinology (SfE). In 2016, Endocrine Connections was included in the Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE) and expects its first impact factor in Thomson Reuters’ listing this summer! Under the late Editor-in-Chief, Jens Sandahl Christiansen, Endocrine Connections gained significant momentum: submissions and published articles increased from two issues published in 2012 to four issues published in 2015. Under my editorship, Endocrine Connections has continued to grow to eight issues per year; fast review and processing times continue to be combined with an ambitious acceptance rate.

Endocrine Connections covers original high-quality basic, translational and clinical research or review articles, covering all aspects of endocrinology and hormone science. We also publish guidelines and guidance: in 2016, five Society for Endocrinology Endocrine Emergency Guidance publications appeared in the journal.

The Endocrine Connections open access scheme offers authors immediate and high visibility of their work among the membership of its two parent societies. Beyond this European endocrine network, intersecting hormone-related disciplines and the wider biomedical community have instantaneous free access to published content, facilitated by the best discovery methods.

Starting with this issue, several changes to the editorial board, the format of the presented content and the appearance of this open access journal have been implemented in order to further increase the quality and range of published content. In anticipation of the expected important milestone of the first impact factor for Endocrine Connections, the editorial board has decided to develop three key emerging areas: (1) Endocrinology of Chronic Disease; (2) Endocrinology of the Nervous System and Behaviour; and (3) Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals. The journal will now contain these three independent sections aiming to provide a home for the excellent work published in these fields. These sections will be championed by expert Strategic Editors, who are key members of the respective scientific communities. They will be supported by newly assigned members of the editorial board, who are leading scientists active in these focus areas.

Chronic widespread and pandemic diseases (‘Volkskrankheiten’) such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension or musculo-skeletal disorders exhibit a major endocrine and hormonal component. However, several rare diseases, many of which are accessible via genetics-based diagnostics, involve impaired hormone production, signalling, action or metabolism and as such are of genuine interest to endocrinologists. Remarkable progress in genome-based research, innovative powerful imaging techniques, and extremely speedy advances in IT and data processing are tackling the key issues of hormone action in the nervous system and on behaviour. Therefore, it is timely to address this focus area in the journal. Political decisions and debates on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean are now highlighting the controversial subject of endocrine disruptors, which should be a concern at the heart of each endocrinologist. While the European Union implemented the REACH process, which depends on a major research effort into the potential adverse effects of endocrine-disrupting compounds in mankind, terrestrial and aquatic life forms, the new US government threatens to cut its research funds for this research area. High-quality research and fact-based scientific debate is required to advance this key subject of contemporary endocrinology, in order to provide expert advice to regulatory authorities and policy decision makers. Endocrine Connections will continue to publish peer-reviewed information by endocrinologists and will be a platform for expert reviews on endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

Apart from these new focus areas, the classical endocrine topics will continue to be the bread and butter themes of the journal, which did not and will not restrict its publication content to the ‘glandular endocrinology of the last millennium’. Nevertheless, research and clinical practice continue to advance knowledge on, and improve diagnostics and treatment of, classical endocrine diseases. Therefore, we have newly assigned high-profile Strategic Editors for the classical topics such as ‘Pituitary and Hypothalamus’, ‘Thyroid’, ‘Reproduction’, ‘Adrenal Hormones’, ‘Bone and Mineral Metabolism’, ‘Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes’, ‘Cardiovascular Endocrinology’ and ‘Hormones and Cancer’. These leading experts and their co-assigned members of the editorial board will further develop their sections, identify key topics and novel research subjects for publication, and ensure the highest quality, fair and fast peer review of submitted scientific papers. The staff of the Editorial Office will guarantee timely publication of the best work in each focus area. The entire editorial board continues to strive to bridge research, education and clinical practice for the benefit of patients afflicted by endocrine and hormone-related diseases.

With steadily increasing quality and numbers of submissions, the challenge and task for the members of the editorial board and all external reviewers is highly demanding. They all contribute their expertise on a voluntary basis, providing their timely service to the journal and the scientific community in order to guarantee high standards of quality and innovation. Their outstanding commitment has to be gratefully acknowledged, considering the high number of new profit-driven ‘predatory journals’ where authors may ‘buy’ their publication at a price irrespective of its scrutinized scientific validity, or even to evade the peer-review process entirely. In providing a fair and affordable publication fee, Endocrine Connections offers exceptional value for authors. Beyond that, the recent Platinum Open Access Scheme for SfE and ESE members is a unique opportunity to benefit from their membership in the continuously growing European and UK endocrine community, and to disseminate their most recent publications around the globe. Membership of ESE or SfE has no geographical borders!

The editorial board, together with the excellent staff at our publisher Bioscientifica, are highly committed to provide the best quality review and publishing service to authors and to excel among competing endocrine journals. Many of our competitors offer open access publishing at comparatively high cost and frequently only within their classical subscription-based titles. Most EU and major European or UK funding agencies now demand open access publication of research supported by public and taxpayer funds by law; all will demand this by 2020. This is exactly why Endocrine Connections was successfully launched as an open access journal in 2012, and why we will continue beyond 2020 for you to submit your best scientific work.

Endocrine Connections will occasionally solicit reviews by the invited speakers of selected symposia, including the annual ECE meetings and Speciality Endocrine meetings, and to encourage them to publish additional work in the journal. Thus, such information will quickly reach those unable to attend these meetings, together with the wider scientific, clinical and patient communities. The journal will continue to be a home for unsolicited authoritative review articles in all areas of endocrinology.

Social media has become an inherent element of science communication in the 21st century; if you are eager to instantly follow novel trends, the latest endocrine information, or contribute to debates on new work published in Endocrine Connections, you will find tweets @EndoConnect and may join this lively endocrine community together with the European young endocrine scientists and researchers of EYES (http://www.ese-hormones.org/youngendo/).

Endocrine Connections, its editorial board, and the Executive Boards of ESE and SfE together with the publisher Bioscientifica have now implemented these exciting changes, which will further increase the attractiveness, quality and impact of this scientific journal. Have a look at the latest original work and reviews published in Endocrine Connections here: www.endocrineconnections.com. Submit now and watch your research reach further!


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