Celebrating twoness at Science Immunology

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Science Immunology  06 Jul 2018:
Vol. 3, Issue 25, eaau2567
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aau2567


Science Immunology’s second anniversary invites a pause for editorial reflections.

Ifor R. Williams


Welcome to the second anniversary issue of Science Immunology, with a theme centered on the number “two.” A pair of commissioned Review articles anchor the issue, covering emerging therapeutic opportunities for use of interleukin-2 (IL-2) to promote human regulatory T cell function (1) and the mechanisms used by group 2 innate lymphoid cells to establish and perpetuate type 2 immunity (2). The front matter of this issue opens with two Editorials that consider both what the journal has achieved to date and where we are headed going forward. The cover image features two of the 15 moai statues from the Ahu Tongariki platform on the Polynesian island of Rapa Nui (Easter Island). A Research Article by Yang et al. in this issue explores the role of a mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) protein complex in regulating whether T cell precursors enter the αβ or γδ T cell lineages; the macrolide drug rapamycin was discovered as a natural product of a Streptomyces strain isolated from a soil sample collected on Rapa Nui in 1972 (3).

Anniversaries of a scientific journal offer multiple opportunities, including celebrating the milestone reached and giving thanks to those who have contributed to the journal’s accomplishments. Anniversaries are also a chance for editors to review the body of work published to date and consider what strategic realignments might help improve the journal’s potential to achieve its goals.

Science Immunology has been striving since its inception to be a broad platform for the publication of exciting findings that span the full breadth of the field of immunology from an international group of contributors. The first 24 issues have included 123 Research Articles on a diverse array of topics contributed by corresponding authors from four continents. Within this wide scope, human immunology remains a key priority area, strengthened by the journal’s valuable relationship with the Federation of Clinical Immunologic Societies (FOCIS), now recognized as the Strategic Contributor to the journal. A recent example of the type of human immunology work we are publishing is two companion papers that report autosomal recessive defects in the transcription factor ZNF341 as a previously unrecognized genetic cause of hyper–immunoglobulin E (hyper-IgE) syndrome, which were released in association with the 2018 FOCIS annual meeting (4, 5). Not only did this research identify an additional genetic defect responsible for the autosomal recessive form of hyper-IgE syndrome, it also revealed a new layer of transcriptional regulation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) expression and IL-17 production that had not been previously appreciated, despite extensive investigation of these molecules in mouse systems.

Gaining visibility and acceptance among authors in the field is always important for a new journal. One way to make progress toward these goals is to consistently offer authors enhanced services that encourage them to consider the journal again when a future paper is ready for submission. The companion editorial in this issue (6) describes the “author-centric” philosophy used at Science Immunology that places a high priority on providing responsive guidance to authors on their revision plans to address concerns raised by peer reviewers. Another area of focus for the editors has been to work hand-in-hand with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) press package team so that summaries of each newly published paper are broadly communicated to science journalists and followers of the portfolio of Science Immunology social media accounts. Analysis of immediacy metrics is consistently showing that Science Immunology articles are receiving immediacy indices that are on par with or better than papers published by our chief competitors among immunology specialty journals. Scientists publishing in Science Immunology can be confident that summaries of their findings will be broadcast widely to peer scientists and the lay public via scientifically accurate social media posts and press stories, increasing awareness of the core research findings and encouraging these audiences to circle back and read the primary source.

The editorial team at Science Immunology thanks all of our contributors and welcomes feedback from authors and readers on what we are doing well and what we can do better. As we move into our third year, we will continue to travel widely to meetings and laboratories to keep our fingers on the pulse of emerging work across the broad spectrum of immunology research.


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