Despite the creation of a number of new journals over the last several years, The JI is—and intends to remain—the focal point of our field, with the greatest number of high-quality articles published in the field of immunology. To improve ease of review and speed to publication and to create a better experience for readers, we have made a number of changes and added new features to The JI over the last 18 months. The following is an overview of the key changes that we have introduced, addressing first those affecting authors and then those affecting readers.
Submitting to The JI has never been easier or faster. Authors will notice that the submission system is now organized by “tabs.” The tabbed view is designed to save time in completing the submission of an article, as it allows you to upload your files first and then enter author names and other details while the files are converting in the background. It also allows the Corresponding Author to complete all forms (Submission Forms, etc.) electronically—no more faxing of forms! We think this new system is terrific and makes submitting to The JI pretty painless.
Speaking of speed, in 2011, the average times from submission to decision of the initial (not revised) version of full-length and Cutting Edge manuscripts were 34 and 23 days, respectively. For the first six months of 2012, the time to decision on initial full-length submissions was 32 days; for Cutting Edge, it was 21 days. This is due in large part to you, our reviewers, for getting your reviews back to us on time. We have also streamlined the process in The JI editorial office such that almost every manuscript is processed either the day it is received or the next day (weekends and holidays excluded). With the Next in The JI feature, the author-approved galley proofs of accepted articles appear online in an average of 22 business days after acceptance. The date of online release is posted on each article and is the official date of publication.
To assist authors in meeting funder mandates, The JI staff will now deposit accepted manuscripts funded by The National Institutes of Health, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Wellcome Trust, and Medical Research Council-UK to PubMed Central or UK-PubMed Central if the author indicates during the submission process that we should do so. These four groups require that authors deposit accepted manuscripts into PubMed Central or UK-PubMed Central.
Also, in response to requirements of funding bodies, The JI Author Choice (http://www.jimmunol.org/site/misc/authorchoice.xhtml) option was introduced in May 2012. This optional, fee-based feature allows authors to make their article freely available immediately upon publication in The Journal of Immunology. Authors can select this option during the submission of revised versions of their manuscripts.
If you are a regular reader, you may have noticed that the figures in recent Brief Reviews have been illustrated by a professional artist. In each Brief Review, an artist will illustrate one figure that summarizes the topic. We hope that these figures will prove useful in lectures and other venues to help depict the current knowledge of that area of immunology.
If you are like us, it is always difficult to spot the part of a figure legend that you want without drudging through the whole paragraph. To make this easier, the locants (the A, B, C, etc., of figure legends) are now bolded and set in a different font so that they are easier to spot. Who knew that there was a word for those letters?
Since its inception, the use and abuse of supplemental data/figures has been hotly debated. While supplemental data is primarily intended for movies and datasets that are larger than two printed pages (e.g., microarray data), The JI now will allow up to two and four supplemental data figures in Cutting Edge and full-length manuscripts, respectively. The change from unlimited supplemental figures will require more careful use of this feature by authors and highlight the data that are useful for expanding the content of a paper. Also, The JI now offers readers the option to download article PDFs with the supplemental material appended.
To make it easier to find papers in your specific area, the AAI Publications Committee has worked to restructure the Table of Contents category headings. This new organization will go into effect with the January 1, 2013, issue. While no list of topics can be comprehensive, the new list includes areas for which we receive a substantial number of papers. For those who browse Tables of Contents, this new listing will help you find important papers in your field that you may miss by using a simple search engine.
Citations and Metrics
For those of you interested in citation metrics, you can now see the number of times your article has been downloaded by clicking on the “Article Usage Statistics” link in the column to the right of the article online; these statistics are updated monthly, around the middle of the month for the preceding month. In addition, you can use the “Most Read” link to the far right of the article to view a list of the 50 articles published in The JI with the most downloads in the previous month.
To help you see where articles in The JI have been cited, you can look under “Citing Articles” in the column to the right of an article online. Articles are tracked either by Web of Science or Google Scholar; this information appears only after a citation has occurred. The “View Citing Article Information” link under “Citing Articles” displays the articles hosted on the HighWire Press platform (the platform that hosts The JI and many other scholarly journals) that have cited The JI article. You may also use the “Most Cited” link to the far right of the article to view those articles published in The JI that have been cited the most by other journals hosted on the HighWire Press platform. Also, under “Services” in the column to the right of the article, the “Download to Citation Manager” link offers options from EndNote to Mendeley, all designed to make it easier for you to organize articles you want to save and cite.
To help you keep up with articles of interest, you can sign up for RSS feeds or for e-mail alerts using the “Feeds” and “Alerts” links to the far right of the article. Under “Alerts,” you can choose either “Cite Track” to track topics, authors, and citations in any participating journal hosted on the HighWire Press platform, or “eTOCs” to receive e-mail alerts about new content in The JI.
If you read The JI on a mobile device, the October 2011 launch of The JI Mobile site (http://m.jimmunol.org) has made The JI easier to read, as the mobile site is formatted to fit handheld mobile devices. AAI members and individual subscribers can sign in with their user name and password to access full article content. Users at institutions with a current subscription may access The JI Mobile on-site by accessing the institution's Wi-Fi service or remotely by logging into the institution's library system. For tablet devices, we decided to leave the interface as a standard Web browser since readability is not an issue. So to get to The JI on a tablet, just go to http://www.jimmunol.org/.
We hope that this overview has introduced you to some features offered by The Journal of Immunology that you did not know about and that you will find helpful in your work.