IN 2008 Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences (PCN) has entered a new era of expansion as an international journal of psychiatry and allied disciplines after its steady development for the last seven decades.

Historically, PCN is one of the oldest psychiatry journals in the world as its volume number, now 62, suggests. This journal was initially founded as Folia Psychiatrica et Neurologica Japonica (Folia) in 1933 by then leading psychiatrists in Japan, Drs Michitomo Hayashi (Okayama), Ryuji Nakamura (Niigata), Tamao Saito (Tokyo), Shichikuro Uematsu (Tokyo) and Yushi Uchimura (Tokyo) and had been published consecutively until 1937. After suspension of its publication from 1938 to 1946 due to World War II, its publication was resumed in 1947 by Professor Tadao Kamimura in the Department of Psychiatry at Niigata University School of Medicine. Then, Folia was published as an English organ of the Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology (JSPN) from 1952 to 1974, financially supported by the JSPN and the Folia Publishing Society (FPS) since its establishment in 1964. In 1975 the board of directors of JSPN decided to end the role of Folia as its official journal. From 1975 to 2007 Folia was published solely by the FPS led by the successive presidents, Drs Haruo Akimoto, Hiroshi Utena, Yasuo Shimazono, Teruo Okuma and Yutaka Honda. In 1986 Folia was renamed to Japanese Journal of Psychiatry and Neurology and had been published under that name until 1994 (volumes 40–48). The Journal's name was changed to the current one from volume 49 in 1995. The development of the Journal for the last seven decades owes much to the enormous devotion and excellent guidance of the former Editors-in-Chief, Drs Michitomo Hayashi, Tamao Saito, Yushi Uchimura, Tadao Kamimura, Haruo Akimoto, Yasuo Shimazono, Teruo Okuma, Yutaka Honda and Saburo Takahashi.

For the last 5 years two independent lines of effort to re-establish PCN as the official organ of JSPN have emerged. Five years ago the board of directors of JSPN led by the then president, Dr Toshio Yamauchi, decided to publish its English-language journal and set up a working group for discussing the function and the way of creating such a journal. In 2006 the general assembly of JSPN ratified the report by the working group and launched a task force to publish an official English-language journal of the JSPN based on the report. The task force began eager discussion on many aspects of the journal including its mission and editorial policy. During the same period the editorial board of PCN, under the guide of the president of the FPS, Dr Yutaka Honda, had discussed ways to raise the status of PCN further as an international psychiatry journal and came to the conclusion that re-establishing it as the official English-language journal of JSPN was the best way to go. This decision of the FPS was welcomed by the JSPN task force, and JSPN and FPS reached an agreement to publish PCN as the official English-language journal of JSPN from Volume 62, 2008 onwards.

The missions of PCN are manifold. First, PCN should serve as a medium to disseminate, worldwide, the excellent research work in the fields of psychiatry and allied disciplines from Japan. Second, it should also contribute to worldwide dissemination of excellent research in psychiatry and allied disciplines from Asian countries. Third, PCN needs to have many excellent papers submitted from non-Asian countries. Expecting the surge of contributions from all over the world, we have renewed PCN extensively so that it will become the Asian hub of academic exchange between Eastern and Western psychiatrists in the era of globalization.

The new PCN is characterized by reformation in six aspects. First, PCN is re-established as the official English-language journal of JSPN and its editorial office has moved to the JSPN secretariat. Second, PCN has introduced Manuscript Central as its online manuscript submission and reviewing system and revised the Author Guidelines extensively in accordance with this innovation. Third, PCN has become open to contributions in the fields of psychiatry and allied disciplines from all over the world and will publish papers accepted solely based on their originality and importance to our readership without page charges in online and printed versions. Fourth, PCN has doubled the number of its editorial board members from 10 to 23 (including two Vice Editors-in-Chief) by newly recruiting 13 prominent Japanese psychiatrists to cover diverse fields of its concerns and also has strengthened the international advisory board by inviting prominent psychiatrists from all over the world to be members. Fifth, PCN renewed and increased the number of its fields in which submissions can be addressed, as noted in the Author Guidelines. Last, PCN has renewed its format.

The development of PCN has especially been remarkable for the last decade. The number of annual submissions has increased from 182 (65.4% accepted) in 2004 to 272 (44.5% accepted) in 2006. Its impact factor has increased by approximately 20% annually from 0.452 in 2000 to 1.132 in 2006 (ranked 70th of 95 journals in psychiatry). To maintain this trend we wholeheartedly welcome quality submissions from all over the world. In addition we sincerely encourage authors to adhere to the renewed PCN Author Guidelines when preparing their manuscripts because well-prepared manu scripts are more likely to be accepted and published earlier than those prepared otherwise.

At the close of this editorial we express our greatest appreciation to Dr Yutaka Honda (President of FPS, 1995–2007) and Dr Saburo Takahasi (Editor-in-Chief of PCN, 2000–2007) for their excellent leadership in establishing PCN as an influential international psychiatry journal. We also thank the editorial secretaries Ms Yasuko Saito and Ms Chiharu Karube, who served during the final years of PCN's FPS era, for helping us with their extraordinary editorial management skills, which have been indispensable for the development of PCN.