It has been a busy six months at The Journal of Immunology since I took over the helm as Editor-in-Chief, ably assisted by 10 new Deputy Editors and a total of 52 new and experienced Section Editors. There have been a few cosmetic alterations (a new cover design and special features banners) and minor tweaking of internal procedures to date. One more substantive change many of you may have noticed is the continued emphasis on providing authors with comments from the editors that help summarize and prioritize reviewer critiques. With this editorial, I would like to announce another more substantive change–a new initiative that I hope will provide a useful resource for the immunology community.
In recognition of the crucial role technological innovation plays in driving advances in the field of immunology, The Journal of Immunology has added a new section to its Table of Contents. Novel Immunological Methods is introduced in the current issue as a home for manuscripts that validate novel techniques of potential import to the field. In this golden age of technology, describing novel reagents, new genetically manipulated lines of mice, and innovative techniques in sufficient detail and with the appropriate experimental validation is not always practical within the confines of a data-heavy research publication, particularly given the space constraints imposed by many journals. We anticipate that this new section will provide a home for such essential work and will prove to be a good resource for those who want to apply such new technology to solve pressing immunological issues. Historically, articles that have provided the first description of widely used techniques have catalyzed numerous unexpected advances and become classics in the field. For example, the 1973 study describing and validating the use of nylon wool columns to enrich T cell populations (1) greatly facilitated the research of T cell immunologists “of a certain age”, myself included.
I would also like to take this opportunity to announce our first Immunology Notes and Resources article to appear in an upcoming issue of The Journal of Immunology. The Immunology Notes and Resources section was suggested by Jerry Boss, during his tenure as Editor-in-Chief, as a home for information of broad immunological interest. In keeping with this vision, the inaugural article will present a draft of the recommendations devised by an NIAID-led group of experts to standardize scavenger receptor nomenclature, and is intended to initiate a productive discussion of the proposed nomenclature changes. Publication of a final set of scavenger receptor nomenclature recommendations will follow this discussion period.
As the new year unfolds, I trust that the immunology community will find these new sections, Novel Immunological Methods and Immunology Notes and Resources, useful additions to The Journal of Immunology.