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The history of the first 40 years of Neurological Sciences

  • Antonio FedericoEmail author
  • Giuliano Avanzini
Editorial
  • 119 Downloads

A prestigious past

This year, we celebrate 40 years from the foundation of our Neurological Sciences, which is also the journal of the Italian Society of Neurology (SIN).

The first issue of the journal, at that time entitled “Italian Journal of Neurological Sciences,” was published in November 1979. Figure 1 shows the cover of the first issue and the list of the Editorial Board and Advisory Board members in the first page.
Fig. 1

Cover of the first published issue (a) and list of the Editorial Board and Advisory Board members in the first page (b)

This journal was founded by Renato Boeri, at that time Scientific Director of the Carlo Besta Neurological Institute in Milan, who was between the neurologists who greatly renewed the organization of the Italian Society of Neurology. He was the secretary of the SIN board whose president was Fabio Visintini, from Parma. The discussion for the foundation of a new journal was very long starting 2 years before the first issue appeared. An agreement was established with Masson as publisher, and the property of the journal remained to the Italian Society of Neurology.

The first Editor in Chief was Renato Boeri (Fig. 2), and Associate Editors were Giorgio Macchi as President of the Italian Society of Neurology and Luigi Amaducci as Secretary, Italian Society of Neurology. Carlo Loeb and Paolo Pinelli collaborated in the Editorial Board. The Advisory Board was composed of many Italian neurologists belonging to the different neurological schools, also by several Italian neurologists working abroad in the USA, Europe, or Australia.
Fig. 2

Prof. Renato Boeri

The list of the Editorial Board members throughout the years is reported in Table 1.
Table 1

Main appointed Editors contributing to Neurological Sciences over the years

Period

Editor in Chief

Associate Editor

Associate Editor ex officio

November 1979

Renato Boeri

Carlo Loeb

Paolo Pinelli

Giorgio Macchi

Luigi Amaducci

President SIN

Secretary SIN

1980–1981

Carlo Loeb

Paolo Pinelli

Luigi Bergamini

Tomaso Caraceni

President SIN

Secretary SIN

1982–September 1984

Carlo Loeb

Paolo Pinelli

G.A. Buscaino

Mario Manfredi

President SIN

Secretary SIN

December 1984–1987

Carlo Loeb

Paolo Pinelli

Elio Lugaresi

Domenico Mancia

President SIN

Secretary SIN

1988–1990

Carlo Loeb

Paolo Pinelli

Eugenio Ferrari

Agostino Baruzzi

President SIN

Secretary SIN

1991–October 1991

Carlo Loeb

Paolo Pinelli

Mirko Carreras

Antonio Federico

President SIN

Secretary SIN

December 1991–June 1993

Luigi Amaducci

Giuliano Avanzini

Gian Luigi Lenzi

Paolo Livrea

Nicolò Rizzuto

Mirko Carreras

Ferdinando Cornelio

Antonio Federico

President SIN

Vice President SIN

Secretary SIN

October 1993–February 1994

Giuliano Avanzini

Luigi Amaducci

Gian Luigi Lenzi

Paolo Livrea

Nicolò Rizzuto

Mirko Carreras

Ferdinando Cornelio

Antonio Federico

President SIN

Vice President SIN

Secretary SIN

March 1994–June 1994

Luigi Amaducci

Gian Luigi Lenzi

Paolo Livrea

Nicolò Rizzuto

Cesare Fieschi

Vito Toso

Antonio Federico

President SIN

Vice President SIN

Secretary SIN

September 1994–1996

Luigi Amaducci

Giuseppe Caruso

Gian Luigi Lenzi

Nicolò Rizzuto

Cesare Fieschi

Vito Toso

Antonio Federico

Corrado Messina

Domenico De Grandis

President SIN

Vice President SIN

Secretary SIN

President SINC

Secretary SINC

1996–1998

Antonio Federico

Gian Luigi Lenzi

Mario Manfredi

Nicolò Rizzuto

Luigi Amaducci

Bruno Jandolo

Leandro Provinciali

Giuseppe Caruso

Giancarlo Comi

President SIN

Vice President SIN

Secretary SIN

President SINC

Secretary SINC

1998–1999

Antonio Federico

Richard Frackowiak

Gian Luigi Lenzi

Mario Manfredi

Nicolò Rizzuto

Lewis P.Rowland

Bruno Jandolo

Leandro Provinciali

Giuseppe Caruso

Giancarlo Comi

President SIN

Secretary SIN

President SINC

Secretary SINC

April 1999–2001

Antonio Federico

Richard Frackowiak

Gian Luigi Lenzi

Mario Manfredi

Nicolò Rizzuto

Lewis P.Rowland

Vincenzo Bonavita

Bruno Jandolo

Leandro Provinciali

Luigi Murri

Lucio Santoro

President SIN

Vice President SIN

Secretary SIN

President SINC

Secretary SINC

2001–2002

Vincenzo Bonavita

Antonio Federico

GianLuigi Lenzi

Mario Manfredi

Timoty A. Pedley

Nicolò Rizzuto

Vito Toso

GianLuigi Mancardi

Luigi Murri

Lucio Santoro

President SIN

Vice President SIN

Secretary SIN

President SINC

Secretary SINC

2002–2003

Vincenzo Bonavita

Antonio Federico

Gianluigi Lenzi

Mario Manfredi

Timoty A. Pedley

Nicolò Rizzuto

Vito Toso

Gianluigi Mancardi

Paolo Girlanda

Paolo M. Rossini

President SIN

Vice President SIN

Secretary SIN

President SINC

Secretary SINC

2003–2004

Vincenzo Bonavita

Antonio Federico

Gianluigi Lenzi

Mario Manfredi

Timoty A. Pedley

Nicolò Rizzuto

Vito Toso

Gianluigi Mancardi

President SIN

Vice President SIN

Secretary SIN

2004–2006

Vincenzo Bonavita

Antonio Federico

Gianluigi Lenzi

Mario Manfredi

Timoty A. Pedley

Nicolò Rizzuto

Corrado Messina

Tomaso Sacquegna

Gianluigi Mancardi

President SIN

Vice President SIN

Secretary SIN

2006–2008

Vincenzo Bonavita

Antonio Federico

Gianluigi Lenzi

Corrado Messina

Timoty A. Pedley

Nicolò Rizzuto

Mario Manfredi

Fabrizio A. de Falco

Gioacchino Tedeschi

President SIN

Vice President SIN

Secretary SIN

2008

Vincenzo Bonavita

Antonio Federico

Gianluigi Lenzi

Mario Manfredi

Timoty A. Pedley

Nicolò Rizzuto

Giorgio Bernardi

Roberto Sterzi

Gioacchino Tedeschi

President SIN

Vice President SIN

Secretary SIN

2009

Vincenzo Bonavita

Stefano Cappa

Antonio Federico

Gianluigi Lenzi

Mario Manfredi

Timoty A. Pedley

Nicolò Rizzuto

Giorgio Bernardi

Roberto Sterzi

Gioacchino Tedeschi

President SIN

Vice President SIN

Secretary SIN

2009–2011

Alfredo Berardelli

Carlo Caltagirone

Stefano Cappa

Giancarlo Comi

Domenico Inzitari

GianLuigi Mancardi

Leandro Provinciali

Aldo Quattrone

Paolo Maria Rossini

Franco Taroni

Gioacchino Tedeschi

Giuseppe Vita

Antonio Federico

Giuseppe Micieli

Alfredo Berardelli

Gioacchino Tedeschi

President SIN

Vice President SIN

Secretary SIN

Treasurer SIN

2011–2012

Alfredo Berardelli

Carlo Caltagirone

Stefano Cappa

Giancarlo Comi

Domenico Inzitari

GianLuigi Mancardi

Leandro Provinciali

Aldo Quattrone

Paolo Maria Rossini

Franco Taroni

Gioacchino Tedeschi

Giuseppe Vita

Giancarlo Comi

Carlo Serrati

Alfredo Berardelli

Gioacchino Tedeschi

President SIN

Vice President SIN

Secretary SIN

Treasurer SIN

October 2012–2013

Antonio Federico

Alfredo Berardelli

Carlo Caltagirone

Stefano Cappa

Giancarlo Comi

Domenico Inzitari

GianLuigi Mancardi

Leandro Provinciali

Aldo Quattrone

Paolo Maria Rossini

Carlo Serrati

Franco Taroni

Gioacchino Tedeschi

Giuseppe Vita

Giancarlo Comi

Carlo Serrati

Alfredo Berardelli

Gioacchino Tedeschi

President SIN

Vice President SIN

Secretary SIN

Treasurer SIN

2013–2015

Alfredo Berardelli

Carlo Caltagirone

Stefano Cappa

Giancarlo Comi

Domenico Inzitari

GianLuigi Mancardi

Leandro Provinciali

Aldo Quattrone

Paolo Maria Rossini

Carlo Serrati

Franco Taroni

Gioacchino Tedeschi

Giuseppe Vita

Aldo Quattrone

Bruno Giometto

Carlo Ferrarese

Mario Zappia

President SIN

Vice President SIN

Secretary SIN

Treasurer SIN

2015–2017

Alfredo Berardelli

Carlo Caltagirone

Stefano Cappa

Giancarlo Comi

Domenico Inzitari

GianLuigi Mancardi

Leandro Provinciali

Aldo Quattrone

Paolo Maria Rossini

Carlo Serrati

Franco Taroni

Gioacchino Tedeschi

Giuseppe Vita

Leandro Provinciali

Elio Clemente Agost

Leonardo Lopiano

President SIN

Vice President SIN

Secretary SIN

2017–2019

Alfredo Berardelli

Natan Bornstein

Carlo Caltagirone

Stefano Cappa

Valeria Caso

Giancarlo Comi

Pietro Cortelli

Nicola De Stefano

Marianne De Visser

Massimo Filippi

Alla Guekht

Gianluigi Mancardi

Dafin F. Muresanu

Aldo Quattrone

Paolo Maria Rossini

Lucio Santoro

Massimo Zeviani

Gianluigi Mancardi

Roberto Eleopra

Mario Zappia

Antonio Toscano

President SIN

Vice President SIN

Secretary SIN

Treasurer SIN

From 1993 to 2012, the Editor in Chief was Giuliano Avanzini (Milan, Istituto Neurologico C. Besta) followed by Antonio Federico (University of Siena, up-to-date) (Fig. 3).
Fig. 3

Prof. G. Avanzini (a) and prof. A. Federico (b)

Together with many Italian neurologists, also important foreign neurologists joined the Editorial Board (Robert Frackowiak, Lewis Rowland, Timoty Pedley) and most recently, after 2017, colleagues from The Netherlands (prof. De Visser), Israel (prof. Bornstein), Romania (prof. Muresanu), and Russia (prof. Gueckt).

In the next months, the foreign group of Associate Editors will be further enriched with experts from Austria, Germany, China, Slovenia, Tunisia, Australia, and Taiwan, thus increasing our international impact, which is already reflected in the list of reviewers, the majority of whom are from international origin.

The journal was published every 4 months, in VIII format from 1980 to 1981. In relationship to the increase of the number of the submitted and published articles, the yearly issues were increased from 3 to 4 (1982–1985) and from 4 to 6 (1986–2012), while a larger format (IV) was introduced in 1996 (Fig. 4). In 2013, the issues per year were further increased to 12, thus establishing the current monthly periodicity.
Fig. 4

The new format (1996)

At the end of 1997, the SIN board decided to change publisher, with an agreement with Springer-Verlag Italia.

The cover was changed and the first issue was published in February 1998 (Fig. 5).
Fig. 5

The first issue edited by Springer in 1998, cover layout

In April 2000 also the journal title was changed to Neurological Sciences to underline the international dimension of the journal (Fig. 6).
Fig. 6

The front cover of the first issue with the journal title Neurological Sciences (a) along with the Editorial Board composition as appearing in the introductory journal page in 2000 (b)

In this year, the journal moved from 0.18 impact factor (IF) to more than one, and the IF increase was more evident after the name changed to Neurological Sciences.

In 2012, we performed a cover restyling and provided the journal with a more modern feature that still characterizes it nowadays (Fig. 7) [1].
Fig. 7

Current cover layout as restyled in 2012

The recent history

In 2013, Neurological Sciences took the innovative decision to make all primary research articles available online only. Research papers are available online in both html and PDF format with permanent free access to SIN members and journal subscribers, so it can be printed locally and distributed as required at no cost. The reason of this choice is mainly due to the changing scholarly literature landscape. The Internet has fundamentally changed publishing, and scholarly articles are now primarily accessed electronically.

Editorial Board revision

A large revision of the Editorial Board has been performed in 2018: 10 new members joined the Associate Editors panel and 34 new members joined the Advisory Board (Fig. 8).
Fig. 8

Editorial Board composition as revised in 2018

Editorial office activity

Nowadays, we are receiving a huge amount of contributions. After a slight decrease in 2016–2017, the trend was inverted in 2018, and in 2019, we expect to receive more than 1800 article submissions with a 37% increase vs the previous year (Fig. 9)
Fig. 9

Yearly submissions and acceptances in the publication years 2014–August 2019 (source: Editorial Manager)

The rejection rate in the period January–August 2019 is about 70%.

The significant growth of article submissions determined a slight increase in the peer review processing time (Fig. 10). In 2019, so far, the whole process has been completed in 125 days on average, while 44 days is the average time between submission and first decision.
Fig. 10

Overall peer review times in the publication years 2014–August 2019 (source: Editorial Manager)

As far as the geographical breakdown of submissions in 2018 is concerned, Asia-Middle East (50%) and European countries (43%) were the mainly represented areas, although the considerably high rejection rates recorded for Asiatic countries resulted in a reversed pattern of acceptance rates (Europe 56%, Asia-Middle East 40%) (Fig. 11).
Fig. 11

The pies describe the geographical distribution of article submissions (a) and acceptances (b) in 2018 (source: Editorial Manager)

Italian contributions accounted for the 24% of whole submitted papers in 2018, while noteworthy are the contributions from emerging countries such as China (29% of whole submitted papers), Turkey (9%), Iran and Korea (5.3% each), and India (3%).

Despite the modest contribution of US authors in 2018 (2.5% of whole submitted papers), the increase of US submissions in 2018 is noteworthy (+ 62% vs 2017) and a further 50% increase is expected in 2019 (Table 2). Significant submission increases are being recorded in 2019 so far also for German (10-fold increase), Brazilian (2.6-fold increase), Iranian (+ 84%), UK (+ 50%), Chinese (+ 46%), and Japanese (+ 35%) authorship (Table 2).
Table 2

Top 20 most submitting countries in Jan–July 2019 vs the same period of 2018 (source: Editorial Manager)

Author country

Subs July 2018

Subs July 2019

China

220

322

Italy

182

211

Turkey

72

85

Islamic Republic of Iran

39

72

Republic of Korea

40

49

Japan

23

31

USA

21

29

India

23

29

Brazil

8

29

Spain

13

18

Croatia

9

17

Germany

1

14

UK

6

13

Taiwan

4

9

Poland

6

9

Saudi Arabia

7

7

Portugal

8

7

France

2

7

Egypt

8

7

Mexico

3

6

Production flow

Despite the significant increase of submissions recorded in the most recent years, turnaround times of the production flow are in line with most of the peer-reviewed journals in the field (Fig. 12).
Fig. 12

Average times between submission of a manuscript and publication into a regular issue (source: Springer Nature MRPA-SRG)

Accepted articles are published online first before inclusion into a regular issue. Online-first articles are in citable form since articles metadata are sent to all relevant abstracting and indexing services immediately after online publication.

In the most recent years, the number of online-first articles published in Neurological Sciences is in line with the number of published articles in issues; this prevented large online-first article backlogs and articles staying long times in the online-first status (Fig. 13). An average of 30–33 articles per issue is currently published.
Fig. 13

Yearly article output. Bars indicate articles included in regular issues while the line represents online-first publications (source: SpringerLink)

In 2017, we published 362 articles in 12 regular issues and 50 articles in two supplements [Vol. 38, Suppl 1, STRESA HEADACHE 2017-International Multidisciplinary Seminar, Guest Editor: G. Bussone (May 2017) & Vol. 38, Suppl 2, Standardizations and guidelines in clinical and laboratory neuroimmunology, Guest Editors: A. Uccelli, G.L. Mancardi (October 2017)].

In 2018, we published 383 papers in 12 regular issues and 58 articles in one supplement [vol 39, Suppl 1, IX National ANIRCEF Congress: HEADACHES TURNING TO THE FUTURE, Guest Editor: F. Frediani (June 2018)].

Regular issues are timely published and turnaround times are sufficiently low. To date, 110 online-first articles are waiting to be included in regular issues; these may cover about 3.5 forthcoming issues.

Original articles and Letters to the Editors are the article types usually included at the highest rates in journal regular issues. Over the years, we managed to increase the number of Review articles (Table 3). This may positively affect the journal impact due to their significant contribution to the journal citation rate (see the “Citations” paragraph).
Table 3

Publications per article category in the years 2016–September 2019 (source: SpringerLink)

Article type

2016, n (%)

2017, n (%)

2018, n (%)

September 2019, n (%)

Original article

170 (51.50%)

183 (51.5%)

170 (44.5%)

154 (50.1%)

Letters to the Editor

75 (22.7%)

84 (23.7%)

114 (29.8%)

77 (25.1%)

Review articles

29 (8.8%)

32 (9%)

38 (9.9%)

25 (8.1%)

Brief Communications

33 (10%)

32 (9%)

33 (8.6%)

31 (10.1%)

Highlights

12

12

12

9

Quiz Cases

3

2

3

5

Editorial

1

3

3

1

History of Neurology

2

3

7

3

Healthcare organization

1

-

  

Neurological digression

1

1

  

News & Views

-

1

 

1

Simulation in Neurology

-

-

  

Updates in Clinical Neurogenetics

1

-

  

Obituary

1

2

  

Erratum

9

4

5

11

Usage

Journal articles are hosted in the SpringerLink journal homepage (https://link.springer.com/journal/10072). We recorded an increasing trend of full-text article downloads over the most recent years (2014–2018). If the trend is confirmed, in 2019, we expect a further 28% increase of article downloads vs the previous year (Fig. 14).
Fig. 14

Yearly full-text article downloads (years 2014–August 2019). The orange line indicates the growing trend over the years (source: SpringerLink)

Surprisingly, the largest percentage of SpringerLink users are coming from the USA (26%) although their contribution in terms of article submissions is very limited (2.5% of the whole 2018 submissions).

Noteworthy are the usage data coming from some emerging countries such as China, India, and Australia (Fig. 15).
Fig. 15

Visits by geography in 2018 (source: SpringerLink)

Citations

Neurological Sciences is included in the following abstracting and indexing services: Science Citation Index, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition, PubMed/Medline, SCOPUS, PsycINFO, EMBASE, Google Scholar, EBSCO, CSA, Academic OneFile, Academic Search, Biological Abstracts, BIOSIS, CSA Environmental Sciences, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, Gale, Health Reference Center Academic, OCLC, ReadCube, SCImago, and Summon by ProQuest.

Clarivate Analytics yearly releases the Journal Citation Reports including Impact Factor calculations (Fig. 16). Citations and source items details related to the last impact factor calculation (2018) for Neurological Sciences are reported in Fig. 17.
Fig. 16

Impact factor trend (citation years 2014–2018). The orange dotted line indicates the increasing IF trend over the years (source: JCR, Clarivate Analytics)

Fig. 17

Number of yearly citations and source items. Citation years 2014–2018 (source: JCR, Clarivate Analytics)

Despite the low contribution of the USA in terms of article submissions, the largest percentage of citing papers came from Italian and US authorship, followed by Chinese authors. The top 16 citing countries are displayed in the table below. Emerging countries (in orange) as a whole contributed 24% of overall citations (Fig. 18).
Fig. 18

Geographical breakdown of citations: top-citing countries. Bars indicate the number of times that listed countries cited Neurological Sciences articles included in IF (2018) calculation (Source: InCites, Clarivate Analytics)

Conclusions

In these 40 years, we assisted to a continuous increase of reputation of Neurological Sciences in the panorama of the world clinical neurosciences publications also confirming the good quality of the Italian Neurology. We are sure that this trend will continue in the future, attracting a large number of young researchers that with their enthusiasm and innovation will represent our future.

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Dr. Barbara Pedrotti (Springer-Verlag Italia) for the journal data retrieval and analysis and Giovanna Castelli, editorial assistant, for the continuous and efficient work for the journal in these 40 years.

Reference

  1. 1.
    Avanzini G. (2011) Neurological Sciences. Rivista della Società Italiana di Neurologia. In 100 anni della Società Italiana di Neurologia. Le Origini e Gli sviluppo. A. Federico, G. Alemà, G. Bernardi, V. Bonavita, M. Manfredi, N. Rizzuto, G. Zanchin EDTs. Quaderni di Neurologia SIN, Vol 1, p 281Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Fondazione Società Italiana di Neurologia 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Surgery and Neurosciences, Medical SchoolUniversity of SienaSienaItaly
  2. 2.Istituto Neurologico C. BestaMilanItaly

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