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Lipids: 50th Anniversary Celebration and the Future

A golden anniversary is something we hold in high esteem as 50 years of doing anything, especially doing it well, is certainly a difficult achievement. Hence, we tend to celebrate things that reach 50 and this is the year when we celebrate the 50th volume of Lipids. We have a lot planned and I will highlight for our readers a few of the key events that will occur over the year.

In 1966 the first volume of Lipids was published by the American Oil Chemists’ Society under the guidance of our founding editor-in-chief, Dr. A. Richard Baldwin. Dr. Baldwin was editor from 1966 to 1967 and was followed by Dr. Walter O. Lundberg, who was editor from 1967 to 1974. Dr. Ralph T. Holman served as editor-in-chief from 1974 to 1986, and shared editorial responsibilities with incoming editor-in-chief Dr. Wolfgang Bauman in 1986. Interestingly, my first first-author paper was published in Lipids during Dr. Bauman’s tenure, which last from 1986 to 1994. Dr. Bauman was followed in 1995 by Dr. Howard Knapp. It was later in Dr. Knapp’s tenure that we began to explore publishing options and some additional changes in editorial board structure. In June of 2006 I became the sixth editor-in-chief and have guided the journal through a number of important and necessary changes, many of which were initiated during the transition period between Dr. Knapp and myself.

A lot has changed with Lipid since the first issue of the first volume, including our publishing arrangement with Springer Press and the use of ScholarOne Manuscripts as our electronic submission and manuscript management platform. Our close association with Springer Press has provided a broader access to libraries across the world and has provided a much greater visibility. This provides a platform that enables the seamless management of our submission process through the peer-review process, essentially streamlining the entire pre-publication management of all manuscripts. In 2013 we introduced the use of iThenticate to examine each and every manuscript for plagiarism. This, combined with our already effective scientific misconduct surveillance, has continued to provide a journal with high integrity and minimal issues that plague many other journals.

So, what is planned? First and foremost, I have selected five papers published in Lipids over the years as our top-five papers. These five papers were selected from many excellent papers published in Lipids over the last 49 volumes. The selection criteria were based on the number of citations, representative of the broad areas of research published in Lipids, and reviews were excluded from selection. The top two papers with regards to citations are from George Rouser and colleagues, but only one made the fab-five list. The remaining papers were selected on the basis of the rather broad topics published in Lipids over the years. Needless to say, these are not the top-five papers with regards to citations, but are all in the top 25. I limited myself to selecting only five, a very tough task indeed. These papers are found below and ranked on the basis of the number of citations.Footnote 1

1. George Rouser, Siakoto AN, Sidney Fleischer (1966) Quantitative analysis of phospholipids by thin-layer chromatography and phosphorous analysis. Lipids 1:85–86. Cited 1,377 times.

2. Yeoham Park, Karen J. Albright, Wei Liu, Jayne M. Storkson, Mark E. Cook, Michael W. Pariza (1997) Effect of conjugated linoleic acid on body composition of mice. Lipids 32:853–858. Cited 1,145 times.

3. William A. Pryor, Stanely JP, Blair E (1976) Autooxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids: II. A suggested mechanism for the formation of TBA-reactive materials from prostaglandin-like endoperoxides. Lipids 11:370–379. Cited 511 times.

4. John K.G. Kramer, Vivek Fellner, Michael E.R. Dugan, Frank D. Sauer, Magdi M. Mossoba, Martin P. Yurawecz (1997) Evaluating acid and base catalysts in the methylation of milk and rumen fatty acids with a special emphasis on conjugated dienes and total trans fatty acids. Lipids 32:1,219–1,228. Cited 502 times.

5. Julie A. Conquer, Mary C. Tierney, Julie Zecevic, William J. Bettger, Rory H. Fisher (2000) Fatty acid analysis of blood plasma of patients with Alzheimer’s disease, other types of dementia, and cognitive impairment. Lipids 35:1,305–1,312. Cited 387 times.

In addition, to celebrate this unique milestone, the American Oil Chemists’ Society is hosting a symposium, sponsored by Avanti Polar Lipids, at the 106th AOCS Annual Meeting, entitled “Lipid binding proteins: fatty acid metabolism, trafficking, and signaling from gut to brain”. This symposium will focus on the role of fatty acid binding proteins and other lipid binding proteins on fatty acid trafficking and signaling with an emphasis on overall lipid metabolism. The first plenary speaker is Dr. Judy Storch of Rutgers University, a world-renowned expert who will delineate the role of these proteins in facilitating lipid absorption from the intestinal tract. The second plenary speaker is Dr. Friedhelm Schroeder who will present his recent work on the role of polymorphisms in liver fatty acid binding protein and the impact of these changes on liver lipid export and the onset of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). I will present a plenary lecture on the role of lipid binding proteins in brain lipid metabolism and their role in neurodegenerative diseases. Each of the speakers will provide a review of the topic to be published in the journal through the sponsorship of Avanti Polar Lipids.

These reviews will be combined with a set of reviews on plant lipid biochemistry that is being coordinated by Dr. Randall Weselake, a long-serving Lipids associate editor. These reviews are from some of the most outstanding members of the plant lipid biochemistry field from around the world and will add to our tradition of publishing in this unique area of lipid biochemistry.

This will be a great year and I look forward to guiding Lipids through the beginning of the next 50 volumes. The stability of the journal is a testament to the dedication of the six editor-in-chiefs who have given the journal a broad base that is recognized worldwide. Let the next 50 volumes be as successful as the last 50 and a thank you to all of the authors, reviewers, associate editors, senior associate editors, and editorial coordinators that have given us the opportunity to have such a great journal.


  1. I thank Ms. Dawn Hackman, librarian at the Harley French Library at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of North Dakota, for her assistance in gathering the citation data for Lipids using Google Scholar. The listing of the entire search may be found at

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Correspondence to Eric J. Murphy.

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Murphy, E.J. Lipids: 50th Anniversary Celebration and the Future. Lipids 50, 1–2 (2015).

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