The new neuropsychiatric genetics
Article first published online: 3 DEC 2007
Copyright © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics
Volume 147B, Issue 1, pages 1–2, 5 January 2008
How to Cite
Faraone, S.V., Smoller, J.W., Pato, C.N., Sullivan, P. and Tsuang, M.T. (2008), The new neuropsychiatric genetics. Am. J. Med. Genet., 147B: 1–2. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.b.30691
- Issue published online: 14 DEC 2007
- Article first published online: 3 DEC 2007
Neuropsychiatric Genetics has a new cover, but the changes to the journal are more than skin deep. Since 1993, when Neuropsychiatric Genetics was founded, new technologies and new discoveries have profoundly changed our field. In 1993, linkage analysis, positional cloning, and candidate gene studies were seen as trusty tools for gene discovery. In 2008, we will enter the era of genomewide association and, on the horizon, see the potential of genomewide sequencing. We will also witness an exponential growth in creative approaches such as endophenotypes, animal models, epigenetics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and convergent functional genomics. At the same time, our journal has become a leading venue for the publication of high quality research on the genetic basis of neuropsychiatric phenotypes. We are pleased to report that the journal's impact factor has experienced a substantial increase, making it the highest-ranking journal in psychiatry devoted to genetic research. In response to our rapidly evolving field, Neuropsychiatric Genetics has instituted new policies aimed at further improving our ability to provide rapid and high quality scientific communications.
In 2008, we hope to increase the number of Rapid Publications. These have three advantages: (1) we will review them within a 2-week period, (2) we will publish them in the next issue that goes to press, and (3) our publisher, John Wiley, will work with the authors to issue press releases to news organizations. We will use the Rapid Publication feature for the highest quality articles, those that are of broad interest to the neuropsychiatric genetics community and those that speak to an especially timely topic. If you would like your article considered as a Rapid Publication, be sure to make an explicit request when you submit your manuscript.
Review articles will become a regular feature of Neuropsychiatric Genetics. Examples of reviews in preparation for 2008 are: Analysis of Genomewide Association Studies; Genetics of Pediatric Bipolar Disorder, False Discovery Rate Methods, Copy Number Variation in Neuropsychiatry, Criteria for Mouse Models of Neuropsychiatric Disease, and Pharmacogenetic Studies of Mood Disorders. We will publish reviews that focus on disorders, genes, and methodologies and encourage meta-analytic approaches when relevant. Although we will solicit reviews for topics of special interest, we also welcome ideas from our readers. If you would like to write a review for Neuropsychiatric Genetics, please let us know.
You will be seeing more editorials in Neuropsychiatric Genetics. These will include communications from the Editors, introductions to thematic sections or issues, and broader discussions of the pitfalls and opportunities facing our field. In a rapidly changing scientific world, editorials can provide quick communications among scientists about new ideas, comments on trends in the field or discussion of the ethical, legal, and social implications of new developments. We encourage our readership to participate in this vital discussion by submitting ideas for editorial commentary.
It is no secret that our field has published thousands of candidate gene association studies but few replicated findings. After much discussion among the Editors and the Editorial Board about guidelines for publishing such studies, we have decided to use the following principles to guide our editorial decisions. From our experience, methodologically sound candidate gene studies fall along a continuum of quality and interest to the field. At one extreme are large studies of several well-justified genes that cover the complete linkage disequilibrium structure of the gene(s) of interest. Assuming that other methodological quality features are equal, as the sample size, number of genes and genomic coverage decrease, so does our enthusiasm for publishing the paper. We will continue to publish the best candidate gene studies as regular articles. However, candidate gene studies with notable limitations on genomic coverage or sample size are more appropriate as letter to the editor. We recognize that even small methodologically sound studies can provide useful data for subsequent meta-analyses. Such data should be submitted as a letter to the editor. If you are submitting a case-control study you must address stratification issues and negative reports must provide an estimate of power. Because we are applying higher standards to candidate gene studies, work that previously would have been accepted will no longer meet our criteria.
The advent of genomewide association studies has provided an important advance for the study of complex traits and disorders. Over the past 2 years, these studies have produced conclusive evidence implicating genes for a variety of complex medical diseases and provided proof-of-principle examples of the power of these methods. A growing number of genomewide association studies in neuropsychiatry are underway and we welcome submission of high-quality reports of this work.
Neuropsychiatric Genetics now has a new Editorial Board, a new Board structure and new guidelines for promoting broader participation by our colleagues. In addition to new Board members, we now have three Associate Editors: Patrick Sullivan, Jordan W. Smoller, and Carlos Pato. We also plan to periodically rotate Board members off the Board to make room for new blood and new ideas that should continue to reinvigorate the journal. Selection of members and Associate Editors is based on contributions to the Journal. We seek authors who contribute high quality papers and reviewers who provide quick, informative reviews.
All these changes to Neuropsychiatric Genetics are meant to both improve the quality of the journal and allow for a broader participation by our fellow scientists. The journal would not have been successful without the help of many contributors, readers, reviewer, and editorial board members, to whom we are very grateful. As Neuropsychiatric Genetics enters a new era, we hope your participation will continue and that we can meet your highest expectations.