Editorial Changes at the Journal of Molecular Evolution

Journal of Molecular Evolution, Feb 2013

Niles Lehman

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Editorial Changes at the Journal of Molecular Evolution

On January Editorial Changes at the Journal of Molecular Evolution Niles Lehman 0 0 N. Lehman (&) Department of Chemistry, Portland State University , Portland, OR 97207 , USA - Fig. 1 Advertisement for a new journal (JME) as it appears in the October 1971 issue of Die Naturwissenschaften immediately opposite the first page of Manfred Eigens (1971) groundbreaking treatise on molecular evolution and the origins of life members included Jukes (an original candidate for EIC), Linus Pauling, Melvin Calvin, Mooto Kimura, John May nard Smith, Alan Wilson, and Carl Woose. Many of the current AEs can trace their history to one or more of these founding editors. Zuckerkandl remained EIC until 1998 when he retired from active duty with the journal and passed the baton to Marty. Martys rein as EIC lasted from 1998 to last month, and I wish to extend my laudits to him for a remarkable job over those 15 years. He expanded the base of associate editors that were on the editorial board and brought in a very wide range of expertise. These AEs had to consider an increasingly broad array of manuscript subjects, as the discipline known as molecular evolution itself evolved and expanded at a breathtaking rate as we entered the genomic era. During this time too, many new and highly competitive publication venues became available to molecular evolutionists, and it is a testament to Martys insight that JME has remained strong and vibrant over these years. Of course none of this could have been possible without the adroit assistance of two remarkable journal administrators that worked with Marty and all the AEs during this time: Ms. Connie Homan and Ms. Emily Hudson. I know Marty would join me in extending a heartfelt volley of gratitude to both Connie and Emily for all their hard work! The original aims and scopes of JME spanned research between prebiotic chemistry and population genetics. Many of the papers published in the 1970s were experimental studies by chemists such as Leslie Orgel, Stanly Miller, and Juan Oro to recapilate the molecular events that led to the first proteins and nucleic acids. The fact that such researchers were a key target audience for the journal can be seen in Fig. 1. Here an advertisement in Die Naturwissenschaften for the first issue of JME can be found on the facing page immediately preceding the first paper of another cornerstone paper in the field, which was Manfred Eigens (1971) treatise on the mathematical principles behind replicator selection. It was in this paper that the concepts of the quasi-species and the hypercycle were first introduced. These ideas, both their theoretical underpinnings and their empirical investigations fell within the first listed aim of the journal on biogenetic evolution (prebiological molecules and their interaction). Other aims of the journal at the time (Fig. 1) were listed as: Evolution of informational macromolecules (primary through quaternary structure). Evolution of genetic control mechanisms. Evolution of enzyme systems and their products. Evolution of macromolecular systems (chromosomes, mitochondria, membranes, etc.). Evolutionary aspects of molecular population genetics. In the coming months and years, a few changes in the journal will be sought. First is that manuscript submission, tracking, and handling will now be handled through Editorial Manager (http://www.editorialmanager.com/jmev). Submissions will no longer be possible through Scholar One. The second is that the focus of the journal will in some ways be aligned more strongly with the original aims and scopes as listed above. A common theme that pervades the six original areas of focus is evolutionary mechanisms. Papers that seek to understand molecular evolutionary mechanisms that have the potential to transcend levels of organization will be especially encouraged. Studies performed using computational, chemical, in vitro, and experimental evolutionary methods, and those that target speciesindependent phenomena such as ribosomal function, genetic code evolution, and regulatory processes will occupy more of the journal space than before, with the consequence that work that is organism-, lineage-, or gene-specific will require a broader impact to be considered for publication. Other high-quality journals exist that specialize in molecular phylogenetics, conservation genetics, and population-level marker studies, to name a few, and it is not the intent of JME to reiterate these specialties directly. Consequently, a correlative change in the journal to this second point is that more papers may be rejected out of hand by an AE if they do not fit within the scope of the journal. This will serve to expedite the decision-making process for manuscripts. Third, the journal will solicit and welcome a greater number of review articles and editorial pieces. We will encourage submission and consider either short reviews on a topic (\3000 words) or longer, more comprehensive reviews ([3000 words). In addition, short notes suitable as a letter to the editor will also be considered for rapid publication of new ideas or concise experimental studies. In this vein, the Random Walking column that was written by Tom Jukes on various hot topics in molecular evolution will be revived, written by JME editors and guest editors alike. Lastly, the journal will welcome a new Journal Administrator, Ms. Anna Coleman-Hulbert, who (along with the EIC) can be reached by email at . We thank you for reading this and your continued support for the Journal of Molecular Evolution! Bernardi G ( 2012 ) Fifty-year old and still ticking An interview with Emile Zuckerkandl on the 50th anniversary of the molecular clock . J Mol Evol 74 : 233 - 236 Eigen M ( 1971 ) Self-organization of matter and the evolution of biological macromolecules . Naturwissenschaften 58 : 465 - 523 King JL , Jukes TH ( 1969 ) Non-Darwinian evolution. Science 164 : 788 - 798


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Niles Lehman. Editorial Changes at the Journal of Molecular Evolution, Journal of Molecular Evolution, 2013, 1-3, DOI: 10.1007/s00239-013-9546-3