Last year our Journal published several interesting special issues that covered a wide range of topics in peptide science. The first issue of the year reported on peptide and protein mediated electron and energy transfer, which was co-edited by Claudio Toniolo and Flavio Maran. The fifth issue of the year was dedicated to the International Conference on Circular Proteins, edited by David Craik. The last issue of the year was jointly edited by Lila Geirasch, David Lynn, and myself and reported on the proceedings of the sixth Peptide Engineering Meeting, held in Atlanta, Georgia. Each of these issues contained manuscripts from leaders in peptide science from around the world. Accompanying these special issues were regular issues containing authoritative reviews and cutting-edge original research papers. Many articles in these issues have been highly cited, positively impacting the Journal's rank. As evidenced by our 2013 impact factor, our Journal is the leading peptide journal in publication. Over the last three years, the Journal has seen an increase in the number of submissions but still has room to grow. Biopolymers-Peptide Science continuously strives to provide a better journal to its readership. However, this is only possible if a steady volume of quality manuscripts is submitted to the journal. An increase in submissions will eventually improve the impact factor, and in turn, drive future submissions – a circular process.
There has been a recent curious trend with many journals regarding the review process and publication charges. It's been a common practice for many of the highest impact journals to immediately reject a large percentage of submitted manuscripts. For these journals, this makes sense in that the volume of submissions is simply too large to provide reviews for a majority of authors, and there is a limited number of pages that can be physically printed for a given issue. However, the practice of immediately rejecting manuscripts has been adopted by lesser journals as well. For these journals, I suspect that this practice has very little to do with page quotas, submission volumes or even the quality of the science, but everything to do with adopting a strategy that the publisher thinks will raise the perception of the journal. To not send out a good manuscript for review is simply ridiculous, especially given the fact that no individual managing editor can be an expert in all fields.
Another annoying trend is the demands of managing editors for additional experiments that are clearly beyond the scope of the original submission. This is especially the case at publishing houses that have recently spun off daughter journals. I shudder to think of the science and associated resources that are now being directed by journal editors! Just this year, I've heard countless stories from my colleagues reporting exceedingly long times to publication because of additional extensive experiments that were demanded of them by an editor. Sure, one can argue that the editor is simply following the wishes of the referee. However, the editor should have the scientific wherewithal to decide whether or not the referee's demands are warranted.
Lastly, for some journals, the publication costs to the author are becoming outrageous. It is really annoying that we, the scientists, raise the funds to do the work, write the manuscript describing the work, format the submission, perform all the reviewing for the journal, yet are asked to pay for the opportunity to publish in the journal … Really?
So, how is Biopolymers-Peptide Science different? First, we have a dedicated staff of Associate editors who personally and carefully manage the peer review of your manuscript. Our associate editors are respected members of our peptide community. They understand peptides and proteins and they understand the importance of your work. Nearly all submitted manuscripts are sent out for review unless they are simply off topic. Your manuscript will receive a thorough, critical-but-fair review. Careful reviews produce high quality publications.
Another reason to publish in Biopolymers-Peptide Science is that there are no page charges and no charge for color-NONE, EVER! There are no page limitations and thus no need for authors to spend precious time re-formatting a manuscript for the hundredth time, cutting out figures or references to meet some seemingly meaningless length requirement. In addition, we have an excellent staff of print editors who ensure excellent composition of your manuscript; figures are placed where they should be and the printed article will look great.
Lastly, Biopolymers-Peptide Science is our society's journal, the American Peptide Society. Thus, it is YOUR Journal. Its vitality depends largely on the members of our society. I invite you to participate by submitting your next manuscript to the Journal.