As the SOT Board of Publications (BOP) conducts its search for the next Toxicological Sciences (ToxSci) Editor-in-Chief, we wanted to take a moment to thank current Editor-in-Chief Gary W. Miller, PhD, for his leadership and stewardship, as well as to reflect on the journal’s rising reputation and quality over the last six years, and to set the stage for the next Editor-in-Chief.
In July of 2013, the BOP wrote, “We look forward to his vision and enthusiasm as he initiates his leadership of the journal and continues ToxSci's rise in prestige and significance to the toxicology community,” when they announced Dr. Miller’s three-year appointment as ToxSci Editor-in-Chief.
Dr. Miller embraced this role, stating in his first ToxSci editorial, “As the intellectual output of [SOT], we can and will publish the most influential articles in the field of toxicology. Our goal should be to elevate the standing of the field within the arena of science.” And he has worked tirelessly toward this end during his six-year tenure at the helm of Toxicological Sciences.
Under his leadership, the journal has continually evolved, making enhancements to further its mission of featuring the best research and discoveries in toxicology.
Within his first year, Dr. Miller expanded the number of highlighted articles in each issue from one to four and solicited the assistance of the Associate Editors in providing explanations as to why each selection was chosen in a new regular feature titled “Look Inside ToxSci: From the Editor’s Desk.” That same year, he worked with the journal’s publisher to redesign the ToxSci cover in order to highlight more of the science inside each issue.
In his second year, Dr. Miller introduced a new type of review article, a Contemporary Review in Toxicology, writing in a November 2014 editorial “Our field needs an outlet for outstanding reviews of recent and emerging trends within the discipline. …The Contemporary Reviews in Toxicology are here to serve the toxicology community. We do not anticipate publishing more than one review per issue, but we want these reviews to be readable, memorable, and influential.” Today, articles published in this category have become a useful resource for people seeking information on timely, updated subjects in a broad spectrum of toxicological interests.
Year three marked the start of ToxSci’s partnership with the Dryad Digital Repository. In multiple ToxSci editorials, Dr. Miller wrote about the importance of data sharing for reproducibility and robustness of the research in the bioscience field. With Dryad, ToxSci submitting authors have a place to store and share their raw datasets. “Authors will have the assurance that the dataset be available for a minimum of 10 years with no additional cost. This allows their valuable data to be made available to the scientific public in a manner that facilitates quality control and apportionment of credit,” Dr. Miller wrote in a January 2016 editorial. The initiative reflects Dr. Miller’s commitment to elevating the stature of ToxSci.
With the assistance of publisher Oxford University Press, ToxSci transitioned to a new web platform during Dr. Miller’s fourth year. This effort enhanced readers ability to interact with the content in a digital format. That year, Dr. Miller also encouraged toxicologists to consider preprints of their research. To this end, Dr. Miller worked with the preprint platform bioRxiv to rename its “pharmacology” section to “pharmacology and toxicology” and encouraged authors to submit reports that had previously been shared on preprint servers to ToxSci.
This year, his fifth as Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Miller has been curating special content about toxicology’s past and future in recognition of the journal’s 20th anniversary. He has also actively promoted the journal at a number of national and international conferences. In addition, throughout his two terms in office, Dr. Miller has continually expanded and updated the ranks of his Associate Editors. With this effort, the journal is being guided by a group of outstanding individuals recruited from a variety of specialties and from different global regions to ensure that ToxSci fulfills its mission of publishing the most influential toxicological research around the world.
What advancements will Dr. Miller make to ToxSci in his final year as Editor-in-Chief? Time will tell, but without a doubt, he will be engaged in welcoming and assisting the next Editor-in-Chief with his/her transition into this prestigious position.
Following the example of Dr. Miller and all the previous ToxSci Editors, the new Editor-in-Chief is expected to exhibit leadership and strategic vision for the journal, a commitment to its mission of publishing the most influential research in toxicology, and the highest level of integrity and professionalism. The desired individual will have strong credentials in toxicology and will value excellence in research and scholarship.
Individuals interested in serving as the next Toxicological Sciences Editor-in-Chief should submit a letter stating their interest in the position, a brief statement of his/her editorial philosophy and goals for the journal, a sample editorial, and curriculum vitae to Wei Zheng, Chair of the Board of Publications, via email c/o Tonia Masson. Questions about the position also can be directed to Ms. Masson. The review process will begin by June 1, 2018, and applications will be considered until a new Editor-in-Chief has been identified.
Thank you again to Dr. Miller for his exemplary leadership of and dedication to Toxicological Sciences.