The first issue of the new ACS journal Medicinal Chemistry Letters appeared last week, as a fast-tracked companion to the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. The editor in chief Dennis Liotta promised rapid communication of breaking news in the field (with non-onerous publication requirements), coverage of relevant patents and aims to cover subjects from pharmacology to drug screening, optimization and metabolism and also to cover techniques to add to the medicinal chemist’s tool box. Also promised are occasional opinion pieces of an Op-Ed type, though exactly what these may be is unclear – I was thinking that the Perspectives articles in some other journals might be the equivalent.
So this is all very well and good, but do we really need another journal? Is there not enough to keep up with? I noted when I discovered the Table of Contents web page from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh that there are over 700 chemistry journals in their files.
I do recall the launch of Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters, which did seem to fill a needed niche in the journal landscape and quickly became established as a well regarded journal, much more so than the full paper Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry that followed. Certainly there is room for two such journals, especially if the work published is of good quality. I also hope that a journal born now will have a considerable online presence with the accompanying social media interactions. We shall see.