It is my honor and privilege to serve as Editor-in-Chief for The Journal of Immunology (The JI). Scientific society journals set the benchmark for excellence and serve as the mainstream publishing resource for the disciplines they represent. As the 15th most cited of all scientific journals and the 1st ranked of all immunology journals in total citations (Journal Citation Reports, 2006), The Journal of Immunology is an outstanding example of this important role of society journals. As each Editor-in-Chief of The JI before me has done, I will work to adapt The JI to the fast pace of science and to current styles and trends, and also to increase the significance of The JI to the scientific community.

This is an exciting time for journals and scientific publishing. I follow in the footsteps of Dr. Robert Rich, who held this post from 2003–2008 and transformed many aspects of our journal. We now take for granted online manuscript submission and review, as well as access to a full PDF archive extending back to 1916. Only 5 years ago these terrific innovations seemed futuristic. Today, electronic forms of communication, archiving, and storage are quickly overtaking paper and print forms. There has been extensive proliferation in the number of both print and electronic journals, each offering features that are attractive to both authors and readers. The JI must therefore constantly update and recreate itself to remain the benchmark journal for immunologists.

So, what is in store for The JI?

First, let me introduce you to the new Deputy Editors: Drs. Paul M. Allen, Peter E. Jensen, Michael S. Krangel, Mitchell Kronenberg, Matthew F. Mescher, David Nemazee, Susan L. Swain, Megan Sykes, Luc van Kaer, and Raymond M. Welsh. In addition, 15 new Section Editors and 30 new Associate Editors were appointed on July 1, 2008 to replace those retiring from service. Associate Editors are called upon frequently to review manuscripts. Section Editors select reviewers and provide a recommendation to the Deputy Editors on the priority of a manuscript. In turn, the Deputy Editors make the final decisions on all manuscripts that are submitted. A complete list of The JI editorial board can be found in this issue and on the website. Together, we are committed to providing fair and rapid review of your papers and to maintaining the quality of The JI.

You have no doubt noticed the new cover and inner banner designs of the print journal. Each issue of The JI will continue to feature an exciting cover image chosen from articles that are published in that issue. If you have a cool-looking, high-resolution image in your manuscript to nominate for consideration for the cover, please make us aware of it when your paper is accepted.

While the print form of The JI will continue for the foreseeable future, we have made, and will continue to make, changes to the e-side of the journal. We recently implemented Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds for our articles. If configured on your computer, RSS feeds will notify you when new articles appear on our website. We have also initiated the process to bring what is commonly termed “publication before print” to The JI. With this feature, The JI will post online the copyedited, author-proofed, final version of a manuscript as soon as it is processed. This will effectively move a paper to the website 2–3 weeks faster than our current system. Dovetailing RSS feeds with publication before print will bring new articles to you as quickly as currently possible.

To aid analyses of conclusions drawn in manuscripts and the dissemination of novel protocols and procedures, we will expand what we accept for online supplemental materials. Starting with this issue, authors may include a wider range of supplemental data with their manuscripts. However, it will still be the editorial policy that each manuscript must stand on its own without the supplemental material. Supplemental data will be evaluated during the review process and will need to be of publication quality. Links to the supplemental data will be included on the website and cited in the manuscript. We have also implemented an Extended Methods section as an online feature. Online Extended Methods will allow authors the opportunity to publish a detailed novel protocol that was developed and/or modified and used in their manuscript so that others may use the assay, develop the method further, or repeat the work. This, of course, can be cited with your manuscript. This feature is not intended for standard techniques or the inclusion of protocols that others have developed and does not replace the standard Materials and Methods section of the manuscript. These protocols will be reviewed with the manuscript for appropriateness and novelty. Our Instructions to Authors has been revised to provide additional details for these features.

During this coming year, The JI will begin to use ImmunoCasts to bring In This Issue to you in a downloadable audio format. In This Issue spotlights articles that were deemed by the reviewers and editors to be in the top 10% of all articles in that issue. I hope you will enjoy this feature and take an audio version of this section of The JI for your commute, to the gym, or to the beach on your next vacation. (No, I will not be the voice presenting these to you.)

While these new features are implemented, some features will remain the same. The JI will continue to publish a broad spectrum of high quality immunological studies and represent the full discipline to the best of our collective ability. With few exceptions, all full-length manuscripts submitted to The Journal of Immunology will be peer reviewed. This feature distinguishes The JI from the other top immunology journals and provides all authors with an equal opportunity to have their manuscripts reviewed and accepted for publication. Three features introduced with Dr. Rich’s tenure will remain: Pillars of Immunology, Brief Reviews, and Letters to the Editor. These features have been extremely popular and I know that the Pillars selections and commentaries have been used as syllabi for some graduate courses in immunology.

In closing, I would like to make a few acknowledgments. I would like to thank the Publications Committee and the AAI Council for providing me with this exciting opportunity. I am particularly grateful to Drs. Kaylene Kenyon, Publications Director, and M. Michele Hogan, Executive Director. Along with their staff, Drs. Kenyon and Hogan have educated me and brought me up to speed on what I need to know about the inner workings of running a major journal. The staffs of The JI and the AAI are an amazing group of dedicated individuals with whom I am proud to work. Last but not least, I am extremely grateful to the editorial board members who have joined my team and very much look forward to working with them to bring you The Journal of Immunology 2008–2013.