Cerebral Cortex is in its 15th year of existence, and there is much good news to report. According to Science Watch, it is listed among the ten best journals in neuroscience of the millennium (so far), just after notable general publications like Nature, Science, and Neuroscience, and is first among specialized journals. Over the past three years, Cerebral Cortex's impact factor has remained high, ranging between 5.7–6.7, an indication of the exceptional quality of manuscripts published in the journal. This is a tribute to the vigor and excitement in our field and our contributors, but it is also a tribute to the standards of our referees.
Paradoxically, this success also presents some new problems. There has been a tremendous increase in the number of manuscript submissions that has forced us to have an intolerably high rejection rate and to decline to publish even some papers that by any standard are high-quality contributions with useful information in our field. In spite of the high rejection rate and due to the steady increase in submissions, we have developed a backlog of accepted papers that are waiting to be published. We have implemented two solutions for the backlog: 1) accepted manuscripts will be available to the public soon after acceptance, before appearing in print, via Advance Access online; 2) Cerebral Cortex will publish 600 additional pages this year to alleviate the backlog of accepted manuscripts. So expect thicker issues for the remainder of the year.
The increase in submissions likewise increases the costs associated with reviewing, handling, editing, and publishing the papers. Therefore, like many journals in the field, we are forced to increase our page charges from $30 to $40 per page, which is still less than most comparable publications. This change will start with submissions published in Volume 16 of 2006.
According to the journal's policy, we will be replacing some of the current Associate Editors with new Associate Editors in the near future. Our Associate Editors, as well as ad hoc reviewers, are responsible for the quality and integrity of the manuscripts we publish in Cerebral Cortex, and we should be grateful to them for their hard work. To maintain continuity, new Editors will be announced in a future issue among those who remain on the Board.