The European Journal of Neuroscience was founded in 1988 to provide a multidisciplinary journal for the European neuroscience community. It has, however, rapidly become an extremely high-quality, truly international neuroscience journal. Michel Cuénod has edited the journal for the past 5 years with great distinction. He has worked extremely hard in often difficult circumstances to ensure the quality and standing of the journal during the critical, second 5-year period of its establishment. He cannot be thanked enough for his enthusiasm for, and dedication to, the journal; he has presented me with a hard act to follow. However, as I now take over as Editor-in-Chief, I do so with both optimism and the anticipation that this now well-established, highly respected journal will continue its upwards trajectory. Moreover, that it will be the neuroscience journal of first choice in which leading neuroscientists all over the world will wish to publish their very best work, in the certain knowledge that it will reach a wide international audience.

 From January 1998, Blackwell Science takes over publication of the journal. I view this as an extremely positive development. Blackwell Science have an excellent reputation as publishers of high-quality journals, especially society journals. They have the special qualities of a family publishing company in that they retain editorial, production and publicity staff for long periods, being able to provide much-needed continuity for the successful desk-editing and production of a journal with minimal delay. They also have a futuristic view of publishing that will ensure the journal can take advantage of the new electronic era, making the European Journal of Neuroscience available on the World Wide Web early in 1998.

 I am fortunate indeed in having an exceptional panel of Receiving Editors who, through their standing as internationally acclaimed researchers, provide the breadth of research interests that a successful multidisciplinary neuroscience journal requires. This ensures that authors are able themselves to select and to submit their manuscripts to a highly appropriate neuroscientist who is able to secure the best possible referees and to steer the paper through an effective review process that is both fast and committed to the quality ideals of the journal.

 Blackwell Science has acknowledged the need for a growth in size of the journal given the exceptional increase in the number of high-quality submitted papers in the last few years (around 800 manuscripts in the last 12 months). Thus, there will be a significant increase in the number of pages in each volume over that which has been allowed in the past 2 years, which should mean that we will never be in the position of having to reject excellent papers through lack of space. In appreciating the need for fast publication, we are completely committed to reducing to an absolute minimum the time between acceptance of a paper and its publication, our target being a maximum of 10 weeks once the transition to our new publishers is complete in early 1998. In order to achieve this important objective, Blackwell Science have committed extra staff resources over those made available previously, both in the Editorial Office in Cambridge and at Blackwell Science in Oxford.

 However, this task has been made more difficult than it should have been by the unexpected reduction of the page extent for 1997 by the previous publisher. This has resulted in significant delays in the publication of a number of papers, despite the fact that Blackwell Science have actually purchased from Oxford University Press additional pages in the December 1997 issue in order to minimize this problem. Nevertheless, there is a backlog of papers that should have been published in 1997, but only now are appearing in early 1998 - Blackwell Science having agreed to publish larger issues of the journal in order to alleviate this problem as soon as possible. I can only apologize to authors who have been frustrated and annoyed by these events and promise them, as well as future authors, that these problems will not afflict us in the future.

 It is my intention to consolidate the multidisciplinary characteristics of the European Journal of Neuroscience so as to reflect the richness of our discipline, from molecular neurobiology to cognitive neuroscience, from invertebrates to humans. The primary focus of the journal is, of course, to publish original research reports. But timely reviews of areas of great contemporary interest will also be published and I welcome enquiries and suggestions about such reviews. It is already clear that papers published in the European Journal of Neuroscience have a very great impact. Supporting the journal by submitting your best-quality papers only serves to strengthen the journal and increase its impact even more. I look forward to receiving these new papers in the months and years to come.