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A New Era for the Harvard Review of Psychiatry

Roffman, Joshua L., MD, MMSc

doi: 10.1097/HRP.0000000000000221
Note from the Editor in Chief
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Editor in Chief

As the Harvard Review of Psychiatry begins its 27th year, we enter a new chapter in the life of the journal. After a 16-year tenure as Editor in Chief, Shelly Greenfield, MD, MPH, has concluded her remarkable service to the journal. As someone who has worked in various editorial roles under Dr. Greenfield’s leadership at HRP for 15 of those years, I feel enormously grateful to have benefited from her vision and mentorship.

Indeed, while it is a comfort to know that her office is just down the hall from our editorial staff meeting space, it is fair to say that Dr. Greenfield’s voice has been firmly imprinted. Even in the short time since our editorial transition, I have asked myself “What would Shelly do?” more times than I can count. That said, anyone familiar with this journal’s pages can appreciate the value that Dr. Greenfield has added during her time at the helm. Our print and online readership has continued to grow; our published articles have done well based on both conventional measures such as citations and Impact Factor, and newer ones like Altmetric; and most importantly, we continue to attract outstanding manuscript submissions from all corners of the globe and from across our broad field of psychiatry.

This transition comes at an exciting time for clinicians, trainees, and investigators alike. With insights from genomics and translational neuroscience surfacing at a rapid clip, it seems likely that substantial changes are on the horizon for the practice of psychiatry—perhaps more so than in any other area of medicine. New tools in bioinformatics and mobile technology are changing the way that we learn from our patients, communicate with them, and conceptualize treatment approaches. Efforts to link psychiatric phenomena to underlying mechanisms on the levels of circuits and cells may ultimately change our diagnostic system to one that is better rooted in brain biology. At the same time our field faces substantial challenges—an evolving health care system, persistent disparities in treatment availability, and stubbornly inadequate research funding—that call out for innovation, advocacy, and creativity.

Mental health providers at all stages of their careers, and in all practice settings, will be looking for ways to stay current in light of this changing climate. Investigators who are emerging from conventional “siloed” research programs to join the new wave of team-based science will need guidance and context. And medical students—who in the United States are choosing psychiatry in record numbers, with a 44% increase in those matching to psychiatry residencies in last five years alone—along with residents and fellows will seek an accessible academic forum to complement their practical and didactic training. At HRP we have always endeavored to balance the needs of this broad constituency, a challenge we will continue to embrace as our field moves toward potentially transformative changes in coming years.

While our mission remains the same, our content and formatting will continue to evolve, to keep our readers one step ahead of the changing landscape in psychiatry. Whether evaluating new treatment approaches in psychopharmacology, psychotherapy, or neurotherapeutics—for conditions that occur across the lifespan—we aim to provide thoughtful, incisive synthesis and critique of recent literature. We convey important insights that are meaningful to the field at large, drawn from research in global and public health, service delivery, psychiatry training, translational neuroscience, and other domains. In coming months, changes in what this content will look like—and where you will find it—will harness conduits that bring this content to our readers more rapidly and efficiently. You may have already noticed some of these changes, with more of our articles published online ahead of print, an increased presence on Twitter and other social media, and video abstracts of featured articles on the HRP website.

In this spirit, we will soon introduce a new article format for HRP, entitled “Disruptive Innovation.” These brief (1500 words, 15 references maximum), provocative, but well-reasoned essays will provide thought leaders in psychiatry a unique platform to challenge orthodoxy in psychiatric research, practice, and education, and to propose bold new ideas that may help shape the future of our field. Disruptive Innovations articles will be highlighted through our social media platforms and dedicated media alerts, with the goal of encouraging broader conversations in clinical, academic, industrial, and public policy arenas. This is the first of several changes we will be introducing to make HRP an even more relevant and accessible resource for our readers, and to encapsulate the leading edge of our field.

I will close by again thanking Shelly Greenfield and our phenomenal core staff—Stephen Scher, PhD, JD (Senior Editor), Dawn Sugarman, PhD (Communications Editor), and Paulo Lizano, MD, PhD, and Eleni Maneta, MD (our new Deputy Editors)—for their consistently outstanding work, collegiality, and long-term dedication to HRP. I am proud of the work of our Assistant Editors, who as trainees have their fingers on the pulse of our field, and of our Field, Associate, Column, and Clinical Challenge Editors, who are essential in shepherding our manuscript submissions through the peer review process. As always, we are enormously grateful to the Harvard Medical School Department of Psychiatry Executive Committee, and to the other members of our general editorial board, for serving as ambassadors of the journal, and for inspiring new ideas for content and outreach. I would also like to acknowledge our partners at Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, who help ensure that our content reaches a broad audience, both in print and online.

Please do not hesitate to reach out at any time should you have comments or suggestions about the journal. My email address is jroffman@partners.org. If you have specific questions about the suitability of a potential article for HRP, or other questions about the manuscript submission or review process, please contact Dr. Sugarman at dsugarman@mclean.harvard.edu. We look forward to hearing from you. And thank you again for your support of the Harvard Review of Psychiatry.

© 2019 President and Fellows of Harvard College