Recent literature highlights at Retrovirology are described. Predictions are made regarding “hot” retrovirology research trends for the coming year based on recent journal access statistics. Changes in Retrovirology editor and the frequency of the Retrovirology Prize are announced.
I recently wrote an editorial in Cell and Bioscience on the use of a novel algorithm to predict the future H-index of a scientist and his/her likelihood of “success” . In a similar vein, as we approach the end of a calendar year, I examined access statistics of recently published Retrovirology papers to predict areas of highlighted interest for the coming year.
In parsing access frequencies over the preceding 12 months to recent Retrovirology papers, a few trends stood out. First, a disproportionately large number of highly accessed papers focused on cellular restriction factors and their activities on HIV-1 [2-5], and in particular on the newly discovered and characterized SAMHD1 protein [6,7]. Second, papers on cellular innate immunity to retrovirus infection also captured interest [8,9]. Third, the topic of nuclear import of HIV-1 pre-integration complex remains popular [10,11]. Lastly, a paper published in Retrovirology only 10 months ago on microRNA changes in HIV-1 infected individuals  remarkably has elicited more than 4,400 accesses already, suggesting significant timely and topical interest. Twelve months from now, I will revisit these papers and their research areas to check how their citation frequencies bear out the interest reflected by their access frequencies.
This year marks a first change in Retrovirology editors. Michael Lairmore, an editor of Retrovirology since its inception in 2004, assumed the Deanship of the Veterinary College at the University of California, Davis. His new academic responsibilities precluded his continued editing duties with Retrovirology. With Michael Lairmore’s departure, we welcome Persephone (Seph) Borrow of Oxford University as a new editor of Retrovirology. Seph brings to us added expertise in the immunology of retroviruses, and the journal will look to her leadership in expanding the publishing of papers in this research area.
Retrovirology is also making a change in the frequency of the Retrovirology Prize, which was awarded to Masao Matsuoka of Kyoto University in 2011 . To date, the Retrovirology Prize has been awarded annually. However, going forward, with a view towards increasing the selection stringency of our prize winners, the editors have decided to award this Prize on a biannual basis. The aim is to award the Retrovirology Prize in the same year as and at our biannual Frontiers of Retrovirology meeting ( http://www.frontiers-of-retrovirology.com/ webcite). The rules for nomination and candidacy of the Retrovirology Prize remain the same, except that there will no longer be a distinction made between HIV vs. non-HIV virologists. With this editorial, we invite nominations for the 2013 Retrovirology Prize, which will be awarded at the Frontiers of Retrovirology meeting September 16–18 at Churchill College, Cambridge University, England.
The opinions expressed in this editorial represent KTJ’s personal views and do not necessary reflect the views of his employer, the National Institutes of Health, USA. Research performed in KTJ’s laboratory is supported by intramural funds from the NIAID, NIH. The author thanks Mark Wainberg and Ari Fassati for reading this editorial.