It is an honour to be appointed as the new Editor-in-Chief of Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology and I look forward to the challenge of following in the footsteps of five distinguished editors to lead the journal forward in the coming years. My immediate predecessor, Dr Stephen Wharton, guided the Journal with dedication and flair in the past 7 years increasing its international standing to gain its current ranking of 8th out of 77 pathology journals listed in the ISI Pathology category, with a rising impact factor of 4.837. On behalf of the British Neuropathological Society, the editorial team and our publishers, Wiley-Blackwell, I would like to thank Dr Wharton for all of his hard work leading to these achievements. We both appreciate the vital role that the editorial team and reviewers have played in this success and extend our gratitude to all those who have contributed to these activities. The constant professional support of our publishers, Wiley-Blackwell; in particular, Ms Elizabeth Whelan and her team, has been invaluable.

Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology, the Journal of the British Neuropathological Society, was established in 1975, 25 years after the founding of the Society, under the editorship of Professor John Cavanagh who served in this position until 1989. The Journal was subsequently under the energetic leadership of Professors Roy Weller and James Lowe who have continued to play an active part in recent years. The influence and work of Professor Cavanagh has been honoured by the Society with the foundation of the Cavanagh Prize, awarded every two years to a young neuroscientist who has made a significant contribution to the field of neuropathology. In his opening editorial Professor Cavanagh commented that the discussions of the Society ‘are in the forum of the world’. I believe that this message remains as important today as it was 38 years ago; that the goal of Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology is to further our understanding of neuropathology and underlying disease mechanisms by publishing high quality scientific research and to be in the forefront of scientific discussion in this field.

Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology plays an important role in the British Neuropathological Society, of which I have been an active member for many years. I look forward to working with the President, Professor Seth Love, and his successors to maintain the mutual support between the Society and the Journal. Together we aim to continue the approach of sponsoring lectures at meetings including the International Society of Neuropathology and the European Confederation of Neuropathological Societies, to promote neuropathology on the international stage.

Looking forward I will continue to develop the international profile of Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology. The readily available measure of the impact factor is clearly important for all authors and journals but I believe that there are other markers of quality. Service to our authors and adherence to ethical standards in publishing should be paramount. For authors it is important to have an efficient and fair review process with rapid indexing and availability on-line after acceptance. I will work with the editorial team and publishers to facilitate this. I am fortunate that many experienced and enthusiastic colleagues have agreed to join the editorial team and others, who have worked with the Journal for varying periods of time, have agreed to stay on. There will be a group of seven Executive Editors representing a wide range of specialist interests and they will handle the review process for papers. The Editorial Board will be expanded enabling the review of a larger proportion of papers within the Board. Where good quality papers are judged to be unsuitable for publication in Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology authors will be offered the option that these are forwarded, together with the reviews, to the Wiley open access journal Brain and Behavior.

Our readers remain in the focus and for them we must provide novel, insightful and relevant papers with a broad approach to neuropathology and neuroscience. Accessibility of published material is important and Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology participates in the Wiley-Blackwell Open Access program, OnlineOpen. Wiley-Blackwell also makes Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology available to institutions in a number of developing countries at reduced, or no cost, supporting scientists from all backgrounds. Our comprehensive review papers and, in particular, the annual review edition, have proved extremely popular with readers and these will continue. A new venture for the Journal is the appointment of a Social Media Editor and I welcome Dr Abi Li to this position. It is vital that we engage in new approaches to promote access and awareness of the Journal and its content to a global readership, we will be at the forefront of such developments.