Something old, something new†
Potential conflict of interest: Nothing to report.
If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants—Isaac Newton (1676)
The vision of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) is to prevent and cure liver disease. The journal HEPATOLOGY is a critical tool that the society uses to pursue its vision. By every standard, the journal has been highly successful in this regard. For example, one can point to the many seminal and widely quoted clinical, translational, and basic research articles that have been published in these pages, or the state-of-the-art review articles and practice guidelines, or the various metrics such as impact factor or immediacy index that quantify the usefulness of these various types of articles. As the journal's newest team of editors begins its 5-year term, we look to the past to appreciate and preserve certain traditions that have led to the success of HEPATOLOGY, but we also look to the future to ensure that the journal will evolve as needed to continue to support the advancement of the science and practice of Hepatology in the most effective ways.
For the next 5 years, the journal will be based in New Haven, CT. This is of historical significance, because Yale University was home to Gerald Klatskin, one of the first hepatologists, one of the founding members of the AASLD, and one of four of the society's presidents who have come from here. However, we also are continuing the newer tradition of assembling the most outstanding possible board of Associate Editors and Section Editors, without regard to geographical location. This includes James Boyer and Roberto Groszmann (both from Yale) as Senior Associate Editors, plus the following group of Associate Editors: Frank Anania (Emory University), Jorge Bezerra (Cincinnati Children's Hospital), James Dziura (Yale), Guadalupe Garcia-Tsao (Yale), Stephen Harrison (Brooke Army Medical Center), Donald Jensen (University of Chicago), Brett Lindenbach (Yale), Jacquelyn Maher (University of California San Francisco), Wajahat Mehal (Yale), Lola Reid (University of North Carolina Chapel Hill), Mario Strazzabosco (University of Milan-Bicocca, Italy), Norah Terrault (University of California San Francisco), Snorri Thorgeirsson (National Cancer Institute), and Michael Trauner (Medical University of Vienna). Section Editors include Simona Jakab, Yasuko Iwakiri, and Tamar Taddei (each from Yale), and Victor Navarro (Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals). Of course, the Editors rely critically on the Editorial Board to ensure that the journal receives the most informed and critical reviews of manuscripts, and in recognition of this, we are expanding the size of our Editorial Board, but coupling this with increased responsibility for the frequency and speed of reviews that each board member will provide. The average time from submission to decision of new manuscripts has decreased to approximately 3 weeks, which is impressive, but we intend to shorten this further with the help of our new board. We also will continue to rely on the journal's editorial office, including our managing editor Greg Bologna, assisted by Ann Haran, Kareytis Martinez, Karina Bustillo, and Tazeen Shirazi in our central office in Alexandria, VA, and Dana Lombardi in New Haven, CT, who together provide the infrastructure that has permitted HEPATOLOGY to be the leading liver journal.
The new editors intend to modify some of the content of the journal, but we also intend to update the ways the information will be delivered to our readers. The goal will be to continue to provide our readers with two review articles per month, which will include pairing one clinical review with a second, basic/translational review that describes “New Horizons” in the field of liver disease. The current “Image of the Month” section will be transformed into a two-part series, which will expand the scope of the section yet continue to appeal to clinical hepatologists. “Clinical Observations in Hepatology” will publish unique laboratory or imaging findings, or case summaries which may be particularly instructive or illustrative of common and uncommon hepatic diseases. It is expected that submissions truly will reflect a novel presentation, observation, or approach to management coupled with an outcome. Every 4 months, using a case-based submission as a starting point, “Clinical Perspectives in Hepatology” will comprise a debate surrounding a controversial area of Hepatology clinical practice. Two clinical hepatologists with special expertise in the area of interest will be invited by the Editorial Board to provide brief, evidence-based arguments. The podcast series initiated by the outgoing Editors is being expanded, with the goal of having two new podcasts per month, each consisting of an interview with the authors of one of the more important, high-profile, or provocative articles in that month's issue. The journal also recently released a mobile application for HEPATOLOGY, and the long-term goal is to revise this mobile application to permit ready access to the full (past and present) content of the journal, whether at the bench, the bedside, or anywhere in between.
HEPATOLOGY's newest editorial team takes on the responsibility of this influential and widely read journal with enthusiasm. But our enthusiasm is tempered by the humility that comes from recognizing that the journal's importance derives from our predecessors who have developed it, the authors who sustain it by submitting their research, and of course the readers, who ultimately define the importance of our content by whether and how they use it.