Announcing a New Journal from The MIT Press

[CN logo

Journal of Contemporary

A Fully Electronic Journal of Neurology Available on the Internet


Keith H. Chiappa, M.D.,
Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
Associate Editor
Didier Cros, M.D.,
Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston

Editorial Board

Current neurological journals, all in print format, are not compatible with the pace of contemporary medicine. Publication lags of 6-9 months are the rule and there is no possibility of a dynamic dialogue concerning a paper in the weeks after its publication. Paper journals must come by mail (expensive and slow), take up considerable space (much of it is of no interest to a particular individual) and are easily lost (especially the one you need). Therefore, The MIT Press has launched a completely electronic journal, Journal of Contemporary Neurology, which is available on the Internet. The journal has a broad scope encompassing both clinical and basic science topics of human neurology in health and disease, and related fields, and pertinent studies in other species.

In addition to original clinical and research articles, the journal will publish selected views and reviews, 'pros' and 'cons' debates on controversial topics, book reviews, a newsletter and calendar of events in neurology and related fields, and classified ads (e.g., professional job opportunities, fellowships).

A large editorial board of senior scientists and clinicians from all areas of neurology has been assembled to manage the review process. Articles undergo a blinded review process in which evidence of authorship and origin are removed as much as possible. When a manuscript is received, the editor/associate editor assigns it to one or more member(s) of the editorial board for review and to one or more external reviewer(s), the latter selected in consultation with the board member(s). The reviews are due in 2 weeks and upon their receipt the editor/associate editor, in consultation with the board member, makes the final decision regarding publication, modification or rejection. Letters to the editor are reviewed by the editor/associate editor and the board member(s) who reviewed the manuscript. The aim is for a 1 month publication time from the date of submission.

Letters to the editor are reviewed and published within 2 weeks, allowing timely discussions to evolve rapidly and interactively. This section is expected to be a major source of interest and participation in the journal but these submissions are subject to the editorial review process. Authors will also be encouraged to accept direct correspondence via the Internet. This is perhaps the most exciting feature of Journal of Contemporary Neurology. Subscribers are able to request a specific view of all letters related to a given paper, allowing rapidly evolving discussions to be followed easily. Views, reviews and 'pros' and 'cons' articles on controversial topics are also expected to stimulate debate for the Letters to the Editor section.


The journal is published article-by-article as soon as each is ready, with articles numbered consecutively through the calendar year (e.g. 1995:2). After the review and the editorial processes the article will then be available in HTML and PDF formats from the Press's fileserver via WWW or native FTP. Non-subscribers are able to browse through the abstracts via Internet but do not have access to the full article. Subscribers are notified of the presence of a new article with the notification including the article number, title, author, abstract, and location. Subscribers identify their key areas of interest so that notification is tailored to their specific needs. Subscribers have unlimited access to the published articles as well as the backfile of articles. Libraries have liberal use of the material within their local campus environments. The journal is archived at the MIT Libraries and the Scholarly Communications Project at Virgina Polytechnic Institute. The standard indexing and abstracting services are expected to include the journal in their guides to research.


Articles should be submitted in hardcopy and on floppy disc (3.5 inch) in Word, Word for Windows, or WordPerfect formats. There should be single line spacing, no hyphenation or justification, no page titles, subtitles or numbering, and hard carriage returns should be used only to separate paragraphs and headings. The discs must be clearly labeled with the article title and authors, the font type used to produce the disc and the word processing program (with version number) used. The article should be the only file(s) on the disc and should perfectly match the hardcopy version. Illustrations should be either separate graphics files (such as TIFF, JPEG, GIF, PostScript, or bit-mapped image) or hard-copy, which will be scanned in as bit-mapped images. If color figures are submitted as hardcopy, there will be a charge for digital conversion. There must a summary of no more than 200 words which states the purpose, methods, results and conclusions. The remainder of the manuscript should follow the standard format of introduction, methods, results and conclusions. Figures should have a legend which explains all symbols and abbreviations and from which the figure can be understood without referring to the text. References should be cited in the text by the first author(s) name(s) followed by the publication year, in chronological order; for more than 2 authors give only the first authors name followed by 'et al'. The reference list should be arranged in alphabetical order. Any reference not published cannot be cited (e.g., in preparation or submitted for publication), except for those accepted for publication which should be listed as 'in press' with the journal name. A copy of any manuscript cited as 'in press' should accompany the article submitted to this journal.

The references should be listed with the author's last name without a following comma, initials without periods, comma between authors, semicolon after last author's initials, title, period, journal name in standard abbreviation without periods, no punctuation, journal volume, optional volume number in round brackets, colon (no spaces between volume, volume number and colon), optional single space, page range separated by a hyphen without spaces, comma, year of publication, e.g.;

Hill RA, Chiappa KH: Electrophysiologic monitoring in the intensive care unit. Canad J Neurol Sci 21(2):S12-S16, 1994.

Books should include the publisher's name and the year of publication at the end of the citing.

Book chapters should have the following format after the chapter title: In: abbreviated editors' names (last name initials), comma, eds, preiod, book title, period, publisher's name, colon, page range separated by a hyphen, comma, year of publication, e.g.;

Kiers L, Chiappa KH: Motor and somatosensory evoked potentials in spinal cord disorders. In: Young RR, Woolsey RM, eds. Diagnosis and management of disorders of the spinal cord. WB Saunders: 153-169, 1995.
Abstracts can be cited.


Dr. Keith Chiappa
Clinical Neurophysiology Laboratory
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, MA 02114
Tel: 617-726-8737 Fax: 617-726-2019


Subscriptions are $75 for individuals and $200 for institutions.
Canadians add additional 7% GST.
Prices are subject to change without notice.
Prepayment is required. Send check drawn on a U.S. bank in U.S. funds, MC VISA or AMEX number as well as mailing address and email address to:

MIT Press Journals
55 Hayward Street
Cambridge, MA 02142 USA

Tel: 617-253-2889
Fax: 617-258-6779

The journal will also serve as the official organ for societies by providing them space for publication of meeting abstracts, newsletters and announcements. The governing boards, offices, constitutions and promotional material for these societies may also appear, much as in the home page of Journal of Contemporary Neurology. Inquiries regarding this service should be directed to the Editor.


Submissions, their contents, and authors must conform to the following editorial policies, and any other reasonable stipulation of the editor:

  1. Submissions should not be published elsewhere and should not be under simultaneous consideration by another journal. Any possible overlap with articles published elsewhere should be explained in writing to the editor.

  2. Human studies must have had appropriate prior approval and this should be described in the text.

  3. Funding sources and actual or potential financial conflicts of interest must be disclosed directly to the editor in an accompanying letter. This information will be published in the article in a suitable format.

  4. In clinical studies the statistical analysis used in the submission should be the original planned prior to enrollment of any subjects, or reasons should be stated for any difference. All original enrollees should be accounted for.

  5. Co-authors should have made a significant intellectual or practical contribution. This journal does not recognize "honorary authorship." Each author should append a signed statement indicating that s/he has reviewed and approved the submission to the extent possible, given individual expertise.