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March 22, 2021

JAMA Neurology—The Year in Review, 2020

Author Affiliations
  • 1Editor, JAMA Neurology
  • 2Department of Neurology, Weill Institute for Neurosciences, University of California, San Francisco
JAMA Neurol. 2021;78(5):521-522. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2021.0123

The last 12 months have been unprecedented here at JAMA Neurology. In the setting of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the journal had to rapidly evolve to handle a record number of manuscripts and respond to the needs of our readers to be informed of the most timely and important neurological information about the virus. We received more than 400 submissions related to COVID-19, and we were able to publish very quickly those select contributions that we felt truly were important for neurologists on the frontlines, including the initial experience of neurological complications from Wuhan province, China, and important observations on the pathobiology of nervous system involvement.

The year was record setting (Table)1-4 for the 3498 manuscripts overall that we received, nearly 2500 of which were original research. While some of this nearly 50% growth in submissions was related to COVID-19 manuscripts, these only accounted for approximately half of the increase compared with the year before. With our impact factor rising again to 13.6, the quality of manuscripts across a diverse set of neurologic topics in JAMA Neurology has never been higher, including an ever-increasing number of clinical trials that directly impact neurologic practice.

Table.  JAMA Neurology Statistics for 2020
JAMA Neurology Statistics for 2020

In the setting of these record numbers, the work of our editors, editorial board members, peer reviewers (whose names are listed herein),5 and authors has never been so important and impressive. I want to especially thank those members of our editorial board and leadership team whose terms ended in 2020, including John P. Betjemann, MD; Amy A. Gelfand, MD; Steven T. DeKosky, MD; Bryan J. Traynor, MD, PhD; and Randolph S. Marshall, MD, MS. Despite huge increases in volume, our times from receipt to first decision with peer review (35 days) and without peer review (3 days) actually decreased, reflecting again our commitment to helping authors get a rapid decision when they submit to the journal. Our acceptance to publication and receipt to publication times did not increase, despite the challenges of publishing in the midst of a pandemic; this accomplishment is a testament to the incredible dedication and expertise of Editorial Manager Kate Denevan and a wonderful team at the JAMA Network offices in Chicago, Illinois. Our journal continues to be highly selective, with an overall acceptance rate that decreased to 7% (4.8% for research manuscripts), reflecting continued difficult decision-making as we try to choose for publication those articles that are most important to our readers and the greater scientific community.

We continue to emphasize that the impact factor is just one of many important measures of a journal’s success, and our close relationship and accessibility to our authors remains a strength. When you publish in JAMA Neurology, your work garners tremendous visibility in the neurologic community and beyond due to our extensive press releases, rapid online publication, and the utilization of social media. Once again, our media metrics also rose to new heights, including multiple articles with extremely high numbers of views1-3 and Altmetric scores (which measures news and social media attention).1,2,4 In 2020, more than 6.7 million article views and downloads occurred on our website https://jamaneurology.com, and key information was disseminated nearly daily to our more than 86 000 followers on Twitter (@JAMANeuro) and Facebook. While our monthly print editions remain the traditional format of the journal, our weekly Monday morning online content, posted on our website and sent to the nearly 80 000 individuals who receive our electronic table of contents, has continued to emerge as the face of JAMA Neurology for many readers.

In the 4 years that our team of more than 2 dozen individuals have stewarded this journal, we have listened to your helpful suggestions, allowing the journal to better serve the needs of our diverse readership. Our combination of research, opinion, and clinical review and education reflects an increasing excitement around advances across the entire spectrum of neurologic disorders. Never have we been so grateful to our readers and authors than in the depths of this incredibly challenging year; you have chosen to be a part of our journal’s family, and we are incredibly humbled. We hope that you will continue to send us your ideas as to how the journal can better serve you going forward. We have tremendous pride in how JAMA Neurology navigated 2020, and we hope that it has been a helpful part of each of your lives during the pandemic. We all are certainly looking forward, more than ever, to an even better 2021.

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Article Information

Corresponding Author: S. Andrew Josephson, MD, Department of Neurology, Weill Institute for Neurosciences, University of California, San Francisco, 505 Parnassus Ave, Box 0114, San Francisco, CA 94143 (andrew.josephson@ucsf.edu).

Published Online: March 22, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2021.0123

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.

Mao  L, Jin  H, Wang  M,  et al.  Neurologic manifestations of hospitalized patients with coronavirus disease 2019 in Wuhan, China.   JAMA Neurol. 2020;77(6):683-690. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2020.1127PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
Zubair  AS, McAlpine  LS, Gardin  T, Farhadian  S, Kuruvilla  DE, Spudich  S.  Neuropathogenesis and neurologic manifestations of the coronaviruses in the age of coronavirus disease 2019: a review.   JAMA Neurol. 2020;77(8):1018-1027. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2020.2065PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
Politi  LS, Salsano  E, Grimaldi  M.  Magnetic resonance imaging alteration of the brain in a patient with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and anosmia.   JAMA Neurol. 2020;77(8):1028-1029. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2020.2125PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
Nguyen  A-L, Vodehnalova  K, Kalincik  T,  et al.  Association of pregnancy with the onset of clinically isolated syndrome.   JAMA Neurol. 2020;77(12):1496-1503. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2020.3324PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
 JAMA Neurology peer reviewers in 2020.   JAMA Neurol. Published online March 22, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2021.0212Google Scholar
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