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00005768-200801000-0000100005768_2008_40_1_young_editorial_1editorial< 18_0_1_0 >Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise© 2008 American College of Sports MedicineVolume 40(1)January 2008pp 1-2Editorial[Editorial]YOUNG, ANDREW J. Ph.D., FASCM Editor-in-ChiefIn keeping with tradition, MSSE® will begin this new year, my third as Editor-in-Chief, with a report on the state of the journal. I hope you will agree with me that, overall, our journal is in good health.We continue to refresh both the journal's appearance and operation. Three new Associate Editors and five new Editorial Board members were appointed to replace long-serving editors and board members whose terms ended this year. Also, I'm sure that you noticed, a sidebar panel on the right edge of the first table-of-contents page now serves to draw attention to specific contents in that month's issue by reprinting interesting illustrations from some of the articles. In addition, the table of contents now uses color highlighting and fonts to more effectively distinguish the topical sections and subsections. Also regarding the table of contents, I have received messages from readers questioning the rationale for names used to organize sections and subsections of the contents. Therefore, this year, the Associate Editors and I will consider whether a more rational organization and classification nomenclature for the table of contents is needed.Annual manuscript submissions appear to have leveled, after two years of dramatic increases. As of August 2007, this year's submissions are on-track to reach 1000 or more, with domestic submissions increasing by 4% and international submissions declining by 4%. Despite the high number of submissions, submission-to-acceptance time averaged (through October 2007) 96 days, and submission-to-rejection time averaged 42 days. For accepted manuscripts, the "in-press" time (again, through October 2007) averaged 140 days. Thus, many manuscripts are printed within 8 months of submission. Certainly, we can improve turnaround times, but I think that the Associate Editors are providing submitting authors responsive "customer service."The Associate Editors and I remain focused on ensuring that MSSE®'s scientific content is of high quality. Manuscript evaluation is rigorous, with only about 30% of submissions being accepted for publication. To assist authors in preparing top-quality manuscripts, we plan to publish a set of guidelines for analyzing and reporting research data in exercise science and sports medicine, during the coming year. Through selective invitations to ACSM-sponsored symposia presenters, I aim to ensure that our content matches our wide readership interests, and during 2007, the journal published papers summarizing two Annual Meeting symposia, and one "named" lecture. In addition, two more articles in the new "Contrasting Perspectives" series were published in 2007, and I received many favorable comments about this new type of article. I encourage readers and interested authors to send me ideas for new topics to be debated in this format.It's difficult to assess the impact of these steps on the quality of our content. However, MSSE®'s impact factor in Thomson Scientific's 2006 Journal Citation Report increased from 2.831 to 2.909, making our journal the second-most-cited among those publishing original research in sports sciences. Consistently ranked among the top five journals for impact in sports sciences for the past six years, MSSE® has established itself as one of the most influential journals in our field.During the past year, several cases of potential author misconduct have been referred to me, and it became apparent that MSSE® needed a clear and consistently applied editorial policy for such situations. Therefore, the Associate Editors developed a new policy defining the scope of actionable author misconduct, detailing the steps that will be taken to investigate allegations of misconduct, and reserving the right to impose appropriate sanctions. That policy is now included in the "Information for Authors," beginning with this issue. Duplicitous, redundant, and overlapping publication is an area of particular concern. Simply put, MSSE® requires authors to certify that their submissions have not been previously published and are not under consideration for publication in any publicly accessible domain, to include lay press, electronic (i.e., Internet) media, or government technical reports. Authors also agree not to submit the manuscript for publication consideration elsewhere while that manuscript remains under consideration by MSSE®. The Associate Editors and I support the principles for responsible authorship established by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, "Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals," at http://www.icmje.org .In response to feedback from authors and readers, the Associate Editors and I reconsidered MSSE®'s editorial policy regarding letters submitted for publication. With the approval of ACSM's Executive Committee, I will now consider letters that address ACSM's published pronouncements (i.e., Position Stands, Consensus Statements), if those letters question, in a scholarly manner, the science discussed and cited as the basis for the position. Letters that directly condemn ACSM official position or policy, or criticize the College's process for deriving the pronouncement, to include questioning qualifications or composition of authors or reviewers, will not be considered. When such letters are found acceptable for publication, the chair of the writing team for the Position Stand or Consensus Statement will be invited to submit a response letter for publication. The chair of the Pronouncements Committee will be notified as well, and may choose to join in the response. All of the writing team will be eligible to sign the response letter, at the discretion of the chair of the writing team. As Editor-in-Chief, I continue to be the sole judge of whether letters meet the standard for publication. We continue to prohibit letters regarding content published more than 12 months previously, letters concerning articles or policies published by other journals, and letters about other letters.I acknowledge and thank the submitting authors for sharing the fruit of their research with you, in our journal. I also express my great appreciation for the critical contributions of the Associate Editors, Editorial Board, invited reviewers, and especially, MSSE®'s Managing Editor Ken Wilson, Editorial Services Office Manager Lori Tish, and Editorial Assistant Angela Chastain. Lastly, I thank all of our readers for providing me great feedback and suggestions for moving MSSE® to the next level.ANDREW YOUNG Ph.D., FASCMEditor-in-ChiefEditorialYOUNG, ANDREW J. Ph.D., FASCM Editor-in-ChiefEditorial140