The International Child Neurology Association is happy to annouce the launch soon of a peer-reviewed child neurology journal, the Journal of the International Child Neurology Association (JICNA).

So why start another journal on Child Neurology? There are already many excellent journals on child neurology, most of them affiliated to national and regional organisations of paediatric neurologists. However this is not a truly international journal of child neurology, although all of the current journals accept publications from every continent, some of the continents, notably Africa and South America are under-represented. All the current papers are paper based, some provide open access on the payment of a fee, or after a period of an embargo.

Since they are printed and distributed by commercial Publishers, they are often restricted in the number of papers they can accept. Furthermore, these journals reject over half of the papers submitted to them. The JICNA aims to address some of the difficulties with the present model of publishing. Firstly it will be entirely web based, with no paper based copies, although PDF of papers will be available through the web site. In the future JICNA may be involved in printing programmes and abstract books. Secondly it intends to publish the papers as cheaply as possible.

Initially this will be free, but modest payments may have to be introduced if funds cannot be raised through donations or advertising to cover the expenses of copy-editing and running the journal. Since it is not attached to a commercial publisher, it should be possible to keep these expenses to the minimum. Thirdly, it aims to publish the papers as quickly as possible. Since the process is entirely internet based, this should expedite the process, and the reviewers will be asked to review the papers within 14 days. As soon as the paper is accepted and copy-edited, it will be posted on the internet. The paper will be integrated into ICNApedia, allowing readers to access the interesting and useful material on this website.

All the papers will be peer-reviewed, and we are fortunate to be developing an editorial board of recognised experts in their field to help with this process, although we will be asking members of ICNA and other experts to review papers as well. We are still looking for members of the Editorial Board who will be active.

The current criteria are: i) submit at least one paper to the journal within the next 6 months and ii) review 3 papers within 2 weeks of receiving them. If you are interested in joining the Editorial Board, please contact me on the e-mail addresses below.

The papers will be deposited on the web, and initially in the databases such as PubMed Central. We aim to have the journal registered with the Directory of Open Access Journals, and cited by PubMed and other search engines. But to achieve these goals, the journal needs to be in existence for more than a year and publish at least twenty papers.JICNA will only achieve these goals and flourish if it receives papers to publish, and is read and referenced by child neurologists all over the world. We have to start somewhere, and the authors who submit the initial papers will be brave. But they will also be the involved in a new publishing event in child neurology.


Charles Newton