Reasons to rename journals: Responses from two editors

By Elizabeth Berry, Marketing Manager, Journals, SAGE Publishing

bThe two official journals of SLAS (Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening) will begin their 22nd year of publication in 2017 with new titles and taglines. The Journal of Biomolecular Screening (JBS) will become SLAS DiscoveryTM (Advancing Life Sciences R&D) and the Journal of Laboratory Automation (JALA) will become SLAS TechnologyTM (Translating Life Sciences Innovation). Interested in learning more about some good reasons for renaming journals, I asked Robert M. Campbell, editor-in-chief of SLAS Discovery, and Edward Kai-Hua Chow, editor-in-chief of SLAS Technology, about what went into these decisions. Read on to see their responses.

“The decision was made after discussion at editorial board meetings routinely circled back to concerns that the titles no longer accurately reflected the work that was being published,” said Campbell. “They were limiting our prospects for recognition and growth.”

The SLAS life sciences community thrives at the intersection of discovery and technology – ranging from basic research to applied research. SLAS’s two journals align directly along these axes, offering distinct yet complementary networks of knowledge. Their strength was being diluted by outdated, misleading titles that were not telling the whole story. They created confusion and discouraged new readers and authors,” said Chow.

“Times have changed since the journals were launched in 1996. Science, technology and terminology have evolved; SLAS has evolved. The SLAS journals kept pace with this evolution, expanding to reflect the science and technology that mattered most to our Society members,”Chow continued. “This will not change. The current editorial aims and scope of each journal remain intact as do their editors, editorial board members, our publishing company, number of issues and pages per year, etc.”


“With guidance from our partners at SAGE Publishing, two strategic task forces worked through a healthy and comprehensive, two-year process of reflection, re-evaluation and due diligence,” commented Campbell. “We evaluated performance metrics, trends, and consulted stakeholders at all levels via formal surveys and informal interviews. We queried editorial board members, authors, Society leaders, advertisers and readers. The conclusions were consistent — the names needed to change. The challenge was deciding how exactly to change the names. The solution was hiding in plain sight – in the definition of the SLAS community.”

“The new names are fresh, crisp and clear, and they do a great job of reinforcing the relationship between the journals and the Society and their shared educational,” added Chow.

For more information about SLAS Discovery and SLAS Technology, click here.


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