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Thoughts on the past year of Journal of Headache and Pain

An Erratum to this article was published on 12 February 2008

It is time to outline the editorial activity carried out in 2007 and present the plans for 2008 to the readers of JHP.

I am proud to report that the 2007 Supplement dedicated to Aids for Management of Common Headache Disorders in Primary Care received an enthusiastic reception by several institutional organizations [1]. My personal thanks go to the European Headache Federation Board of Directors and to the Chairman of the Global Campaign to Reduce the Burden of Headache Worldwide for having shared with The Journal of Headache and Pain (JHP) such an outstanding consensus document. Thanks also to the WHO Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, which granted its approval for publication. The WHO Office of the Legal Counsel approved the document’s content by allowing the official use of both the WHO name and logo on the cover page of the Supplement.

This important recognition to the document and the journal had been anticipated by an introducing review of the WHO book, Neurological Disorders: Public Health Challenges, where headache disorders are defined as WHO strategic priority for the first time [2].

Concerning the regular issues, 2007 can be regarded as a year of adjustment: in view of a diminished growth of investments in the field of pharmaceutical research involving headache medicine, the budget of JHP remained virtually unchanged, the number of submitted papers increased in a physiological measure (7%) and time for review has been shortened even further, ranging around 20 days from submission to first decision and 34 days up to final decision. This dragster performance attracted a number of researchers. The quality of submitted papers increased sufficiently, considering the unquestionable handicap of the lack of impact factor (IF).

Undoubtedly, as many people by now demand, ISI inclusion represents our aim for the near future; JHP’s citation number is increasing and our virtual IF is steadily positioned at 0.7, not very far from the cut-off of the Clinical Neurosciences area, which is 1.2 this year.

We are close to our goal, but not close enough to be convinced that a submission to ISI would have a reasonable certainty of success. In this delicate phase of management, however, we are comforted by observing the enduring appreciation of the readership towards JHP’s editorial line. This can be deduced from the number of PubMed Linkouts and online accesses to full papers, which range around 1,450 downloaded papers per month on average since over a year. Provided that the quality of downloaded papers will be considered valuable by researchers and therefore included in the reference section of future manuscripts, 2008 represents the year of break through in terms of citations.

JHP is now at the last one-digit year of its first decade of life and such results must be considered rewarding, although not completely satisfying.

From this issue onwards, JHP’s layout will feature a few formal changes. The removal of information easily available online from the printed version and a freshening of the look of the printed issue constitute the epiphenomenon of a complete and definitive centralization of the production phase to Springer’s Heidelberg office. This relocation will bring benefits in terms of speed, regular publishing of accepted articles in Online First and maximal optimization of editorial mechanisms, converged in order to improve both the journal’s visibility and penetration.

Finally, I express my thanks to the referees who enthusiastically continue to keep the journal’s scientific activity trustworthy through their scrupulous, constructive and neither superficial nor needlessly abrasive reviews.

Holding this editorial course, JHP intends to contribute to the recruitment of new scientists in order to co-opt an ever-increasing number of researchers and clinicians into headache medicine, a multidisciplinary field which still sees uncovered areas such as emergency medicine. I am confident that with the cooperation of all of you, we will be able to meet again in a year in order to share the accomplished goals and discuss how to compensate unavoidable mistakes, planning in that way the future of the journal.

Paolo Martelletti



  1. [No authors listed] (2007) Aids for management of common headache disorders in primary care. J Headache Pain S1:1–47

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  2. Martelletti P, Steiner TJ, Bertolote MJ, Dua T, Saraceno B (2007) The definitive position of headache among the major public health challenges. An end to the slippery slope of disregard. J Headache Pain 8:149–151, 17563844, 10.1007/s10194-007-0382-y

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Correspondence to Paolo Martelletti.

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Martelletti, P. Thoughts on the past year of Journal of Headache and Pain. J Headache Pain 9, 1–2 (2008).

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