Editorial : Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics

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Dixon, Suzanne D. MD, MPH

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Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics 36(2):p 57-58, February/March 2015. | DOI: 10.1097/DBP.0000000000000142
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This year brings to an end of one of my best professional experiences, having the honor to be the Editor-in-Chief of this publication, the Journal of Behavioral and Developmental Pediatrics. It has been an honor to be entrusted with these pages for the last 12 years. This period has brought many changes and challenges, new directions, and opportunities. The time seems short to me but looking back, a lot has happened.

The Journal has grown in numbers and diversity of subscribers and authors; we truly are an international journal with a presence far and wide. The composition of the Editorial Board reflects this expansion. We also now have a cadre of professionals earlier in their careers to add vitality, new perspectives, and sustainability to these pages.

Submissions have nearly tripled during this time, requiring the addition of 2 more Associate Editors, and enlarging both the Editorial Board and the reviewer panel. Given the numbers and complexity of the analytic tools that have come into our specialty, we also added Statistical Editors who help us all wade through the numbers. And I have been pleased to see more articles that come from Neurology, Genetics, and public policy groups. I hope we can grow even more into these areas. The number of published pages has increased substantially, and we expanded to 9 issues per year. The numbers are up: the Impact Factor has a long upward trajectory and the earned royalties that support the Society of Behavioral and Developmental Pediatrics continue to increase. We now have PAP (Publish Ahead of Print), so authors get their work seen earlier. And authors now have the choice of Open Access for their work or staying with the standard publication program.

We have added some new sections: Research Briefs, World Perspectives, and Quality Matters. We now also have a specific Web Editor to keep our web growth and vitality strong. Amazingly, we are also Tweeting and Friending all across the land. This is where future growth will be.

We changed the look of the Journal with a new font, better spacing and layout, a new logo and a color change. Although these were designed to give us more publishing space and a better appearance for the web, the new look looks fresh.

We have had the continuing offerings of the Challenging Cases, with the help of a second editor there, the Book reviews, the Journal Article reviews. This last section and the Review and Special Articles section have just rotated leadership, and so we can expect fresh directions and ideas in these areas, building upon many successes of the past editors.

The transformation brought by the conversion to electronic management in all aspects of journal operation has been monumental. Although each step of the process was painful, irritating, bumpy at first and chaotic, it was the best thing to happen. I was able to recruit Associate Editors and Section Editors and reviewers from all over the world without adding to cost or reducing efficiency. This has enriched the Journal enormously. Efficiency has actually improved rather dramatically. Expedited reviewing, quick decision-making, and turnaround time have given us an exceptional operational profile that we can continually monitor and improve. We are better and faster due to the cyberspace revolution.

Issues that will likely continue into the “next administration” are several: There is more competition in scientific publishing, with online only platforms, legitimate, and predatory both. JDBP will need to monitor and adjust course in response to this everchanging landscape. We need to get the best articles written in our field, from established investigators and from new bright lights as well.

We will need to broaden our reach even more in Primary Care, Neurology, Genetics, and Social Policy. This will be to keep in step with the field and hold on to and expand our subscriber base.

We must keep the relationship with LWW strong. I have had 6 publishers with whom I have worked over the years, and I appreciate all they each have done for JDBP. We have been eager consumers of their programs, resources, special expertise, and availability.

Lee Pachter, the new Editor, is the ideal person to take on these issues and the inevitable curve balls ahead. He has 18 years of Journal experience, working as an outstanding Associate Editor. He brings keen intellect, sharp insight, measured, and careful pacing and humor to the job, the last probably being the most important. Lee's areas of special expertise include the factors around racial and ethnic diversity, and I hope he can bring wide journal participation from that perspective. He has been seminal in the incredible success of the New Century Scholars program that nurtures pediatricians in training to assume strong roles in academic life and public affairs. I hope he will bring some of those outstanding people on board at JDBP. His ties with the General Academic/Ambulatory group should also be helpful in bringing in colleagues in this group.

I will miss many things about this job. The growth and evolution of the Journal has been exciting, and I will miss the challenges that come with change. I have loved recruiting and working with such wonderful colleagues all around the world great thinkers, innovators, and supporters of JDBP. Any successes I have had are due to the people with whom I have worked. Thank you. I will miss the early morning conference calls with the Associate Editors. These are intellectually stimulating, giving me new information, insights, and advice and a touch of two of humor. Finally, I will miss working with Mary Sharkey, the Managing Editor. She is the hub of the wheel, the center of the JDBP universe and has been a personal support to me. Her steady presence, her expertise in all aspects of the journal operations, her reliability and wonderful people skills make it all happen. Thank you, Mary.

I am very grateful to have had this opportunity. I leave behind a very strong lineup in journal leadership positions who will stay in place and support Lee in this transition. It is now a dream team. I wish Lee every success in one of the best jobs around.

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