After more than eight years, the Editor-in-Chief of Neuroscience, Juan Lerma, will soon end his role at the helm of IBRO’s flagship journal. IBRO extends its heartfelt appreciation for his outstanding service throughout this period and for his commitment to helping IBRO achieve its mission. 

Prof. Lerma shared some words with IBRO about his experience as Editor-in-Chief:

What motivated you to become Neuroscience’s Editor-in-Chief?

The truth is that I had never thought of doing editorial work, but when I was offered the position of Editor-in-Chief of Neuroscience, I thought that this could be a good way to continue serving IBRO. At that time, I was chairing the Pan-European Regional Committee (IBRO-PERC). So, I knew IBRO well and understood that I could be of help.

What do you think have been your biggest achievements as an Editor-in-Chief?

When I analyzed the situation of the journal in relation to IBRO as an organization, I realized that most people did not make any connection between the journal and IBRO, despite the fact that the income provided by the journal constituted more than 90% of IBRO’s budget. Therefore, from the very beginning, I tried to raise awareness of the direct relationship between IBRO and Neuroscience. For that, we placed the IBRO and the journal logos on the first page of each paper, connected by a thin line. Now I think there is a general understanding that all the grants for fellowships, mobility programs, schools, etc, are due to the activity of the journals and that publishing in Neuroscience is key for IBRO to develop all its activities.

We also initiated a campaign to improve the format of the papers and started working with authors to make the figures look more professional and homogeneous, by establishing clear guidelines on how to represent the data. In fact, Neuroscience is one of the few journals, if not the only one, that discourages using bar plots to represent data and requires that the single data points be included in the figures. All of this allows the analysis of the data’s quality more easily.

Would you like to highlight any article, review, special issue, or anything else from your time as an Editor-in-Chief?

During my time as Editor-in-Chief, numerous highly cited articles and reviews have been published. Perhaps I should point out that a few years ago we started a series of Special Issues dedicated to the memory of great neuroscientists who had passed away.  We started with a special issue dedicated to Ricardo Miledi, and others have been published paying tribute to Thomas Jessell, Friedrich Bonhoeffer, Ivan Izquierdo, and Masao Ito, who was the 4th President of IBRO from 1980-84. The last one of this series is currently being edited and is dedicated to the French physiologist Philippe Ascher, who passed away recently.

I would also like to point out that we have sometimes published non-scientific papers of general interest, such as one analyzing the impact of predatory journals in the field of neuroscience and neurology, and the other describing the use of ChatGPT in writing scientific papers, both of which have been very well received by our readers, judging by the number of citations.

IBRO thanks Prof. Lerma for his remarkable dedication as Neuroscience’s Editor-in-Chief and wishes him all the best in his future endeavors! 

On this note, from 1 January 2024, IBRO will welcome a dynamic team of Chief Editors as the new editorial leaders of Neuroscience. The team of Chief Editors that will continue Prof. Lerma’s work, which consists of three excellent neuroscientists from different scientific backgrounds and continents, will bring their expertise to support the journal publishing impactful and diverse research findings. Meet the new Chief Editors!