eNeuro Starts Strong
Editor-in-Chief Christophe Bernard is pleased with eNeuro's success during its first year of publication and optimistic about its future.
With an industry record number of papers published in its first year of operations, eNeuro, the Society for Neuroscience’s open-access journal, is looking forward to building on its impressive start as a high-quality and innovative online publishing venue.
“This has been a very exciting and fulfilling first year,” Editor-in-Chief Christophe Bernard said. “I am thrilled to announce that eNeuro has published more than 100 papers in its first year of existence. This is more than any other commercial and non-commercial open-access journal publishing neuroscience papers.”
As compared with first-year efforts of other open-access journals in neuroscience-related fields, eNeuro published roughly 30 more papers than its closest competitor. eNeuro is also beginning to have a global reach, with more than half of submissions coming from the United States and one-quarter from Europe. The Asia/Pacific region represented about 12 percent of submissions and Canada about 6 percent. Latin America, the Middle East, and Australia made up the balance of the submissions.
In August, eNeuro joined the PubMed Central (PMC) database, which allows free public access to full-text articles from thousands of participating biomedical and life sciences journals. Indexing eNeuro articles in PMC expands the reach and visibility of the published research and helps authors comply with the public access requirements of some funding agencies, including NIH, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Wellcome Trust. In addition, inclusion in PMC will likely raise eNeuro’s profile internationally and increase the proportion of submissions from regions outside North America and Europe, Bernard said.
eNeuro was designed as an open-access journal that provides fair, fast, and transparent reviews and publishes excellent science as well as negative results, failures to reproduce, replication results, reviews, method papers, commentaries and opinions to foster discussion.
In consultation with his editorial board, Bernard has designed a creative, constructive approach to peer review that employs a double-blind process to eliminate bias where possible, meaning authors and reviewers remain anonymous to one another. Because of the specific nature of some research, Bernard noted, this blinding process is not possible for roughly 5 percent of papers. However all papers submitted benefit from a review process in which the reviewing editor works with two reviewers to provide authors with consensus feedback. After consensus is reached, authors receive a fact-based synthesis detailing the reasons for accepting or rejecting a paper and that review is published with accepted papers.
“We have received feedback from authors who are very happy with this process,” Bernard said, noting that eNeuro strives for authors to have a constructive and satisfying experience with the journal. “We take the view that reviews should be helpful, not judgmental or punishing.”
During eNeuro’s first year, Bernard instituted some novel initiatives. For example, in order to ensure research is accessible to informed lay readers and to non-experts in the field, eNeuro publishes a significance statement with each paper. Authors also have the option to employ a visual abstract — a graph or schematic image that summarizes the main findings of the article. One of the most innovative aspects of eNeuro is the fact that in addition to publishing groundbreaking original research, the journal also accepts studies with important negative results and failures to reproduce. This benefits the field enormously, Bernard noted, because many researchers end up with negative results and, if they aren’t published, other researchers may waste time and money testing the same hypothesis. Similarly, the estimated 30 percent of all results that cannot be reproduced can lead the field astray. “By publishing important null results and failures to reproduce, eNeuro is helping the field to optimize research spending and resources,” Bernard said.
As an online journal, eNeuro releases manuscripts immediately upon acceptance so the research is available to the field as soon as possible, and readers can set up personalized alerts that notify them when their preferred topics and article types are published.
“Authors are choosing eNeuro because of the publishing experience and its reputation for publishing very high quality science,” Bernard said. Authors are encouraged to explore this publishing opportunity by visiting eNeuro.