An image can carry incredible weight. Millions of immigrants to America recall seeing the Statue of Liberty on the horizon, beckoning them to our welcoming shores. Lady Liberty has stood for over a century as a symbol of freedom and hope for a brighter future. I decided we needed a symbol of hope and liberty on our ImmunoHorizons as well.
I am happy to reveal the 2022 Statue of Publication Liberty (SoPL; Fig. 1). She stands proud and tall, welcoming any authors to our shores. She is safety first; masked and goggled, she looks out to the ImmunoHorizons to find our next paper. She is proimmunology, with a crown of vaccine needles and a booster in her right hand, ready to inject the next immune-needy visitor to our virtual journal. In her left hand, the latest issue of ImmunoHorizons (IH). If you could open that issue, the first page would read “Give us your descriptive studies, your mice with minimal phenotypes, your projects with limited scope, your incremental findings, that yearn to be free.” And on her shoulder, there is a mouse whispering the latest journal statistics in her ear. She is a beacon calling all authors to consider submitting to our shores. And as a note, although the Web portal is generally easier to submit to, articles submitted in bottles will still be considered.
There are a few important points to document about the unveiling of our Statue of Publication Liberty. The first is that my friend, colleague and collaborator Dr. Alexander Dent (@AlexanderDent6) is the talented artist bringing the SoPL to life. His skills as a brilliant cartoonist date back to his tenure as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health. Second, and this may come as a surprise to many of you, the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee does not need to approve the use of cartoon mice. Our veterinarian actually wanted to, but she was overruled by the rest of the committee. This is the first of what I hope will be many SoPL, each reflecting an artists’ interpretation of the time. Our SoPL 2022 is apropos as we enter the junior year of our pandemic: she is masking, vaxing, but still not relaxing. I’m sure she’s ready to enter her vaccine history into the Immunology2022 conference portal.
Now, with the image of the SoPL fresh in your mind, imagine you are an author, ambling up to the shores of the IH submission portal and meeting one of our highly skilled journal staff. They ask you your name.
“My name is author,” you reply.
“Arthur?” They query.
“Author,” you repeat. “I am Author. I see a blank page on my device and I fill it with science! I am here to submit my work.”
It’s almost that simple. Your case is then reviewed by the most reasonable Editorial Board in the business and we tell you what you need to fix. You fix it. We accept it. You have a publication. The American Association of Immunologists (AAI) benefits from the patronage of one of our journals. The SoPL smiles beneath her mask.
A few thanks are needed before the end of my first 2022 Editorial: first, to all of the 2022 Senior Editors at IH, Drs. Sun, Serezani, Dittel, Min, and Hamerman. They do an amazing job and I hope you’ll get a chance to see them at Immunology2022 in Portland! Thanks to Dr. Serezani for his recent guest Editorial that was very well received. And thanks to Dr. Katherine Gallagher who finished her term as Senior Editor in 2021. Second, thanks to the fantastic staff at AAI. They are dedicated to making your AAI journal experience safe and satisfying. As a note on safety, we’ve had 793 accident-free days at the journal since that Web site crash in early 2020. We’re still hoping the staff member will recover. Finally, I want to thank everyone who is reading this. For a while I thought it might only be the AAI staff that read my Editorials. Even one of our Senior Editors admitted they did not know what an editorial was. But I’ve recently encountered a long-time colleague who had read them, and a faculty candidate who thought it was very funny how I described accepting myself in a previous Editorial. I feel seen, and it’s almost as good a feeling as accepting myself. And once again, the SoPL smiles.