I am Vincenzo Solfrizzi, a Professor from the University of Bari (Figure 1), together with Felipe Fregni, MD, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Harvard Medical School, we will be the co-Editor-in-Chief of the World Journal of Neurology (World J Neurol, WJN, online ISSN 2218-6212, DOI: 10.5316). I am very pleased to announce that the first issue of WJN, whose preparatory work was initiated on December 5, 2010, will be published on December 28, 2011. The WJN is a bimonthly peer-reviewed, online, open-access, journal supported by an editorial board consisting of 100 experts in neurology from 30 countries.
Figure 1 Editor-in-Chief of the World Journal of Neurology.
Vincenzo Solfrizzi, MD, PhD, Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Section of Geriatric Medicine-Memory Unit, University of Bari, Piazza G. Cesare, 11, 70124 Bari, Italy.
The launch of new medical journals generally faces a difficult gestation, with the objective difficulties of finding publishers, appointing editors, recruiting Editorial Board members, calling for manuscripts, and selecting peer-reviewers. In the difficult phase of launching a new journal, all of this is without accreditation at the major medical indices, making authors understandably reluctant to commit their best work when it cannot yet be cited. WJN, a bimonthly peer-reviewed, online, open access (OA) journal, is no exception. However, in this delicate phase of launching, we have the good fortune that the publisher Baishideng Publishing Group (Hong Kong, China), with significant experience in OA journals, was available and fully supportive. In fact, the biggest advantage of the OA model is that it provides free, full-text articles in PDF and other formats for experts and the public without registration, which eliminates the obstacles that traditional journals possess and usually delays the speed of the propagation and communication of scientific research results. The OA model has been proven to be an effective approach that may achieve the ultimate goal of the journals, i.e., maximization of the value to the WJN Editorial Board members, readers, authors, and society. Therefore, the realization of these desired attributes of WJN permit us to create a well-recognized journal, and the following four types of personal benefits should be maximized.
The significance of the publication of scientific articles lies not only in disseminating and communicating innovative scientific achievements and academic views, as well as promoting the application of scientific achievements, but also in formally recognizing the “priority” and “copyright” of innovative achievements published, as well as evaluating research performance and academic levels. The maximization of personal benefits refers to the pursuit of the maximum personal benefits in a well-considered optimal manner without violation of the laws, ethical rules and the benefits of others. In particular, the maximization of the benefits of the WJN Editorial Board members permits these world-renowned experts in the field to peer review an unpublished scientific article via an online office system, evaluating its innovativeness, scientific and practical values and determining whether it should be published or not in a fast-track way. During peer review, WJN Editorial Board members can also obtain first hand, cutting-edge information in that field. As leaders in their field, they have priority to be invited to write articles and publish Commentary articles. Peer reviewers’ names and affiliations will be published along with the article they reviewed in the journal to acknowledge their contribution. Furthermore, the OA model of WJN will also permit the maximization of the benefits of authors. Since WJN is an OA journal, readers around the world can immediately download and read, free of charge, high-quality, peer-reviewed articles from the WJN Official Website, thereby realizing the goals and significance of the communication between authors and peers as well as the public. This OA model will also permit maximization of the benefits of readers, who can read or use, free of charge, high-quality peer-reviewed articles without any limits, and cite the arguments, viewpoints, concepts, theories, methods, results, conclusions or facts and data of pertinent literature to validate the innovativeness, scientific and practical values of their own research achievements, thus ensuring that their articles have novel arguments or viewpoints, solid evidence and correct conclusions. Moreover, the OA model of WJN will maximize the benefits of employees. It is an iron law that a first-class journal is unable to exist without first-class editors, and only first-class editors can create a first-class academic journal. We insist on strengthening our team cultivation and construction so that every employee, in an open, fair and transparent environment, can contribute their wisdom to edit and publish high-quality articles, thereby realizing the maximization of the personal benefits of WJN Editorial Board members, authors and readers, and yielding the greatest social and economic benefits. Finally this journal could also be an international showcase and point of reference for local geographical areas or, more generally, for East and South-East Asia scientific evidence that may not have a place in European and American scientific journals.
Why a new journal in the crowded area of neuroscience? The idea for WJN began in the Baishideng Publishing Group where it was felt that a place where neurology could meet other strictly related specialties, i.e., psychiatry, geriatric medicine, and internal medicine was needed, and where patient and caregiver needs and concerns could be addressed in the public scientific domain. In fact, the WJN Editorial Board is now recruiting members worldwide and will consist of distinguished and world-renowned experts in neurology and related specialties (psychiatry, geriatric medicine, and internal medicine) from several countries. Historically, neurology and psychiatry have a common origin, and the emergence of imaging as an everyday tool, coupled with our growing ability to identify discrete areas of the brain that are involved in disease and the corresponding neurochemical and neuropathological processes, has served to blur the divide between the two specialties. Many neurological conditions present with psychiatric symptoms, and vice versa. The importance of this crossover area of research was further affirmed by the fact that drugs useful in one specialty are often applied in the other; while the side effects of many of the treatments that we use for the two types of illness are not necessarily confined to the psychiatric or neurological domains.
On the other hand, internal medicine, geriatric medicine, and gerontology are also strictly related to several neurological and psychiatric diseases. In fact, one of the major achievements of the 20th century is the significant gain in life expectancy in developed and developing countries. There is a shift in peoples’ views on aging, which no longer necessarily implies physical decline and illness. An unanswered key question is whether increases in life expectancy occur with a concurrent postponement of functional limitations and disability. For example, dementia is an increasingly common disease in the aging population, and the numbers are expected to rise exponentially in coming years. Therefore, there is a critical need to potentially individualize new strategies able to prevent and to slow down the progression of predementia and dementia syndromes. Among geriatric syndromes, epidemiological and clinical studies focused their attention on an increasingly important concept in both the clinical care of older persons and research in aging, i.e., frailty, a biological syndrome of decreased reserve and resistance to stressors, resulting from cumulative declines across multiple physiologic systems, and causing vulnerability to adverse outcomes. Several studies have also reported that physical frailty is associated with low cognitive performance, the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment in older persons, and in the short- and long-term may be a predictor of all-cause mortality in nondemented and demented patients. Although research suggests that aging processes, including frailty syndrome, are modifiable and that people are living longer without severe disability, further scientific, technological and medical developments are needed to meet the challenges of aging populations. In this context, a multidisciplinary journal such as WJN may serve as a unique and useful platform for updated “review”, “mini-review” and “experimental” articles in neurological and psychiatric age-related research that would eventually help promote healthy lives in both adult and older individuals.
The aim of WJN is to rapidly report new theories, methods and techniques for prevention, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and nursing in the field of neurology and related specialties. WJN covers diagnostic imaging, neuro-oncology, electroneurophysiology, cerebrovascular diseases, epilepsy, cognitive impairment, myopathy and peripheral neuropathy, degenerative diseases, infectious diseases, demyelinating diseases, immunological diseases, genetic/metabolic diseases, affective disorders, headaches, sleep disorders, interventional neuroradiology, minimally invasive therapy, rehabilitation, traditional medicine, integrated Chinese and Western medicine, evidence-based medicine, epidemiology and nursing. The journal also publishes original articles and reviews that report the results of applied and basic research in fields related to neurology, such as immunology, physiopathology, cell biology, pharmacology, medical genetics, and the pharmacology of Chinese herbs.