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Although the idea for an official journal for the ICNA was originally conceived at the Executive Board meeting held at Cape Town, South Africa, in February 2008, JICNA did not officially launch until February 2015, making it the first peer-reviewed fully open access e-journal in Child Neurology. Unlike most other official Scientific Journals of various International Associations, JICNA is unique in that the entire production workflow is managed in-house, which has enabled it to be free of any publication costs for the authors. This is entirely in keeping with the association and its journal’s ethos of breaking down barriers in disseminating scientific research across resource-rich and poor settings, facilitating timely and equitable access to scientific knowledge.

In the last two years, we have witnessed how the global pandemic has impacted every aspect of our professional, public, and personal lives. In the field of scientific publishing, we saw the unprecedented rise of preprint servers while researchers competed to put their preliminary results out in the public domain. Although the drive for a fast turnaround on scientific research data was building up in the last few years, the pandemic made it take off [1]. These developments may herald revolutionary changes that are about to happen not only in how science is communicated but also in scientific research is done.

An important hurdle in the fast throughput of scientific research is the peer-review process. Several innovative methods have been proposed to address this, from creating a pool of ‘rapid reviewers’ from all career stages to researchers curating preprints themselves. Initiatives like “Review commons” enable manuscripts along with their reviews to be published on preprint servers like bioRxiv before submission to participating journals[2].

While JICNA has not been affected by any financial impacts in the current climate, unlike the traditional publishing industry, the difficulties in getting submissions peer-reviewed in a timely fashion have been a significant hurdle in its workflow [3]. We are extremely grateful for a dedicated team of ICNA members from across the world who have contributed their time and expertise in this regard. A credible peer-review process is vital for ensuring the integrity of scientific research that is published. JICNA Editors adhere to a rigorous double-blind review policy which provides a complete and proper peer review process. There is, however, a critical need for more peer reviewers, and we are reaching out to the ICNA member community and their extended networks to contribute to this vital academic exercise.

We are always open to innovative ideas and recommendations for recruiting top-quality reviewers. We acknowledge that many of our reviewers are in massive demand for their expertise and often have to dedicate a significant amount of their time to this, wholly voluntarily. We sincerely apologize for the occasions when a peer-review process delay has resulted in author frustration while we adopt robust reviewer recruitment processes.

As we emerge from the pandemic, with scientific research and publishing poised to adapt to the seismic changes brought on by the current circumstances, we must surmount all barriers while maintaining the integrity and ensuring the widest dissemination of scientific knowledge. Our aim ultimately is better care for children with neurological disorders & neurodisability worldwide.


peer-review open access scientific publishing

Article Details

How to Cite
Hameed, B., Hartmann, H., & Newton, C. (2021). Editorial. Journal of the International Child Neurology Association, 1(1).


  1. Callaway, Ewen. ‘Will the Pandemic Permanently Alter Scientific Publishing?’ Nature 582, no. 7811 (3 June 2020): 167–68.
  2. Review Commons. ‘Homepage’. Accessed 01 September 2021.
  3. eContent Pro. ‘A Closer Look at the Common Challenges in Peer Review’. Accessed 30 September 2021.