In April 1933, John Jacob Abel, the founding father of ASPET, presented ownership of the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics to the society and suggested that a review journal would be of great value to ASPET. Fifteen years later in March 1948, the newly established Board of Publications Trustees accepted the proposal to establish Pharmacological Reviews. As it was, the expansion of what we would now call chemical biology in response to World War II and the growing interest in drug discovery had created a need for expanded coverage of pharmacology as a discipline. As it has been recounted, “The first PR Board established a high standard of excellence, searching throughout the world for exciting subjects and for competent and critical reviewers, a pattern maintained by all its successors” (Seevers, 1969).
Nearly 70 years later, I assume the editorship of this important journal with the same commitment to the highest level of excellence. It is indeed an honor to follow in the footsteps of such notable previous editors-in-chief such as Drs. Louis Goodman, Otto Krayer, George Acheson, David Bylund, Darrell Abernethy, and David Sibley.
Pharmacology as a discipline has always worked at the interface between multiple disciplines, including biology, biochemistry, behavior, chemistry, genetics, and physiology. As our knowledge base grows in these disciplines, our interest in how small and large molecule therapeutics influences biology continues to expand. Thus, a need continues to exist for an authoritative source of reviews that synthesize observations in physiology, molecular mechanisms and targets, biochemical pathways, whole biologic systems, and behavior. This is our identity as a discipline and will be the continued focus of Pharmacological Reviews.
The goals that I have set for Pharmacological Reviews are as follows.
First, elevate the impact factor and longevity of our articles. Although impact factor alone is only one metric of a journal’s significance, it remains a key factor in how the journal is viewed. This clearly influences our ability to continue to recruit the highest caliber of authors. Authoritative reviews from thought leaders in their fields allow the journal to continue to publish articles that are cited for many years. Such attributes further enhance the reputation of Pharmacological Reviews as having the most exhaustive and impactful surveys in areas related to pharmacology.
Second, expand the international readership and reach of the journal. Global connections have been part of the heritage of Pharmacological Reviews. Going back to the time of the journal’s establishment, the British Pharmacological Society and the Scandinavian Pharmacological Societies have had representation on the Editorial Board. My hope is that we can extend this rich and collaborative tradition to include pharmacology societies in other regions of the globe as part of our effort to recruit diverse associate editors from outside of North America.
Third, reinforce our commitment to authoritative reviews. The reputation of the journal hinges on our continued ability to publish comprehensive reviews in pharmacology. Other journals may focus on content related to the pathologic basis of disease. Pharmacological Reviews will continue to focus on “the pharmacological basis of therapeutics.” This will include bridging the basic and clinical sciences. The associate editors will be charged with recruiting top-quality authors and our readers can be confident in the information presented in our publications. We will maintain our commitment (going all the way back to one of our founding principles as described above) to a rigorous peer-review process. Such peer review for authoritative reviews is somewhat unique and reflects our continued commitment to the highest standard of excellence.
Upon accepting this position, I was reminded by my colleague and former ASPET President Charles Rutledge that Pharmacological Reviews also serves an important educational mission. Undergraduate, graduate, and professional program students rely on the articles that we publish to learn about pharmacology. Thus, the journal’s ability to serve as a supplement to contemporary pharmacology textbooks is a purpose that I have not overlooked. Our reviews continue to impact the next generation of pharmacologists and biomedical scientists, providing important resources to understand the action and disposition of small molecule drugs and biologics for the purpose of therapeutic intervention.
I appreciate the outstanding efforts of the ASPET staff, particularly Richard Dodenhoff, Dianne King-McGavin, and Judith Siuciak, which continue to facilitate the growth and success of Pharmacological Reviews. My immediate predecessor, Dr. David Sibley, has been a role model for how to be an effective editor, and the society is indebted to Dr. Sibley for his commitment and efforts on behalf of the journal these past 6 years. I look forward to working with a team of outstanding associate editors who have worked tirelessly to suggest outstanding topics for reviews and to recruit the very best authors for our articles. When we extend an invitation to serve as an author or reviewer, I hope that you will accept. As the Editorial Board and I look to the future, be assured of our commitment that Pharmacological Reviews will continue to be a preeminent and authoritative source of information for pharmacology and related disciplines.
- Copyright © 2015 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics