In the inaugural issue of Andrology, we take this opportunity to momentarily celebrate the merging of the two leading journals in the science and medicine of male reproduction. The collaboration of the European Academy of Andrology and the American Society of Andrology in the merging of the their prior journals, International Journal of Andrology and Journal of Andrology, and their joint oversight of Andrology lays a firm foundation on which the advances in our field can be better disseminated and highlighted to scientists, clinicians, and the general public. In addition to celebrating the launch of Andrology, we highlight a few of the challenges ahead, with a call for the support of you, each of our readers.
The merging of two journals is a difficult undertaking under any circumstances, but particularly so when the journals represent two societies that are geographically, and in some regards culturally, different. It should be noted that the merger has been discussed previously, in fact on multiple occasions. So why was the merger accomplished now? We would suggest the following as some of the key reasons for the merging of the journals and the new creation of Andrology:
- While the prior two flagship journals overlapped in scope, each had particular strengths that if merged together result in the potential of an improved journal in both impact factor and coverage. There should be no mistaking that all involved in the merger hope for an improved impact factor, which reflects well upon our field as a whole and attracts attention from researchers, funding agencies, academic review committees, and the broader audience.
- The publishing industry is undergoing dramatic changes that have facilitated the easy establishment of niche journals, particularly ‘for-profit’ online journals that often provide inadequate peer review or editorial responsibilities that threaten to harm the quality of published information available to clinicians and researchers. Additionally, technological advances have revolutionized the positive options available in publishing. At this key juncture, it is imperative that the field of andrology has a flagship journal that evolves and implements technological advances from a position of strength and integrity, which the merger facilitates. In the coming issues, we will highlight some of the trends and options which all journals must navigate, but it is important that Andrology faces these challenges and makes decisions based on unwavering dedication to scientific excellence and publishing ethics.
- The development of Andrology was ultimately due to the dedication, vision, and persistence of key members of the two societies, including Ilpo Huhtaniemi and Marvin Meistrich (former chairmen of the publication committees of the European Academy of Andrology and the American Society of Andrology), the editors of the predecessor journals, the leaders of the two societies, and the representatives of our publisher, Wiley-Blackwell. Difficult and serious questions were faced throughout the process, and will continue to arise, but the dedication of those involved in the process of ‘making it work’ for the good of all has been unusual and necessary.
The history of the merger and information concerning the impact factor of the new journal during the two-year-long transition period was described in detail in a recent editorial published jointly in Journal of Andrology and International Journal of Andrology (Meistrich & Huhtaniemi, 2012). The two journals were occupying two top positions on bibliometric lists in this field, so Andrology begins with a respectable composite We shall post updated information on the Andrology website (www.wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/Andrology). We encourage you to look at this website, which has been active since April 2012. In addition to Early View of accepted papers, you can find on the website announcements of upcoming andrology meetings, highlights of the best papers and society-related information.
The two societies and publishing committees took care to balance the influence of the andrology communities on both sides of the Atlantic: the new editorial team comprises equal numbers of Americans and Europeans, and all other continents are represented on the board. We are happy that the board includes many world-renowned experts in andrology and reproductive medicine but besides scientific excellence, the editors are distinguished by their willingness to contribute constructively to the peer-review process.
So, with the foundation strong we ask for the continued support of you, the leading andrologists of the world. Ultimately the continued success of Andrology is dependent on the submission of your science to our journal and your participation in the peer review process. We, as co-editors, have committed to honest, fair, and rapid review of your work, as well as continued creative efforts to advance the quality of the journal. With the technological and scientific breakthroughs that continue to accelerate advances in science and medicine, and with your support, we anticipate that Andrology will fulfill its mandate to better support advances in the field of andrology.