Robert Parton (left), Richa Rikhy (centre) and Simon Cook (right)

Robert Parton (left), Richa Rikhy (centre) and Simon Cook (right)

I often hear it is getting harder and harder to publish a paper. I assume that when people say this, they are talking about respectable journals, rather than predatory journals with dubious review processes. They might also be referring to ‘bling’ or ‘glam’ journals, where it can take more than a year and many rounds of revision to get accepted. For me, publishing a paper has always been associated with a roller-coaster of emotions – from the excitement that it's finally submitted to the annoying frustration of editorial rejections (and, yes, it does happen to me too, more than you might think). Then there are the reviewers who either don't appreciate why the study is important or are just determined to make life harder without improving the overall scientific message of the paper. It sounds like it is all doom and gloom, so why do we even bother? Maybe it's easier to just post all our manuscripts on bioRxiv and leave it at that. Maybe it will come to that at some point but, until then, we are all at the mercy of a system in which we are assessed by the peer-reviewed papers we publish.

Fortunately, at JCS it doesn't take you years to publish your work. On average, papers go from submission to online publication in under six months and with just one round of major revision. In fact, a statistic we're proud of is that over 95% of revised submissions get accepted; in other words, if we invite you to resubmit, we'll try our hardest to work with you to get your work published. We are also extremely fortunate to have academic editors, embedded in their respective fields, who are adept at selecting the appropriate reviewers and acting on their advice and recommendations to help you publish your research. Like me, they understand the frustrations of being an author and will always bear this in mind when handling articles. It is not a job for everyone, but we've been lucky to have some fantastic editors work with us over the years. But it is with a heavy heart that I have to announce that three of our editors – John Heath (Editor since 2004), David Stephens (Editor since 2015) and Mahak Sharma (Editor since 2020) – have decided that it's time for them to step down. I am sorry to see them leave but I would like to thank them for the time they have given to JCS to ensure the journal always publishes high-quality research, as well as the advice and help they have given me over the years.

Being an editor is not a job for everyone and finding the right people is not easy. We aim to appoint people who are respected and trusted by their communities, and who have a genuine interest in helping authors to publish good quality science (irrespective of how ‘fancy’ or ‘trendy’ it is, or how well it will cite). We also need to ensure we have editors who – between them – can cover the full breadth of cell biology papers we publish and who are representative of our global community. Finally, we really want our editors to believe in our ethos of being a community-focussed journal that, like our publisher, is run by scientists for the benefit of our community. I am therefore pleased to announce that we have appointed three new editors – Robert Parton, Richa Rikhy and Simon Cook – who fit the bill perfectly.

Rob studied at the Universities of Edinburgh and Leicester before moving to the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany. He received Royal Society and EMBO postdoctoral fellowships to work with Gareth Griffiths and Kai Simons before becoming a junior group leader studying plasma membrane domains and cell surface dynamics. In 1996, he moved to the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, where he is currently a group leader in the Institute for Molecular Bioscience and Deputy Director of the Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis. His group uses a range of techniques, including advanced light and electron microscopy, and a number of experimental models including zebrafish, tissue explants and cultured cells. His main research areas include microdomains of the plasma membrane, with a particular focus on caveolae, lipid droplets and their role in fighting infection, and novel pathways of endocytosis. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, an Associate Member of EMBO, and an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow.

Richa is a Professor and Wellcome Trust DBT India Alliance Senior Fellow in the Biology Department at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Pune, India. For her PhD, Richa worked with K. S. Krishnan at the Department of Biological Sciences in the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, India, where she studied the mechanisms regulating dynamin dependent synaptic vesicle recycling in the Drosophila neuromuscular junction. During her post doc with Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz at the Cell Biology and Metabolism Branch in the National institute of Child Health and Development, NIH, Bethesda, USA, she studied the mechanisms by which trafficking and mitochondrial dynamics regulate early embryogenesis and stem cell differentiation in Drosophila. Richa started an independent research group in 2010. She studies the role of BAR domain-containing proteins in epithelial morphogenesis in embryogenesis in Drosophila. She also studies how mitochondrial dynamics and activity regulate actin remodelling, polarity formation and differentiation of epithelial cells in Drosophila.

Simon became interested in signal transduction during his Biochemistry degree at Royal Holloway College, University of London before going on to do a PhD in Michael Wakelam's laboratory at the University of Glasgow, studying phospholipase C and D signalling. He then joined Frank McCormick's lab at ONYX Pharmaceuticals in the San Francisco Bay Area as a post-doc studying the RAS-RAF-MEK-ERK1/2 pathway. He remained at ONYX as an Associate Staff Scientist, Staff Scientist and member of the RAS Group Steering Committee, and also served as Project Manager for the Inflammation Project. Simon then joined the Babraham Institute as a Tenure-Track Group Leader and held a Cancer Research UK Senior Cancer Research Fellowship from 2000 until 2006. From 2013–2021, he coordinated Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation activities within the Institute. Since 2020, Simon has led Babraham's Signalling Programme and he is currently Institute Director. His research focuses on protein kinase signalling pathways, their regulation and their role in controlling cell proliferation, cell survival and senescence. His translational work with Biotech and Pharma focuses on how these pathways are deregulated in inflammation, cancer and ageing.

Please join me in welcoming Rob, Richa and Simon to the team. If you see them – or any of our editors – at meetings and conferences, please do reach out to them if you'd like to discuss a possible submission or just to say hello. You can also contact us at jcs@biologists.com if you're interested in submitting to the journal or if you have any feedback for us. We'd love to hear from you and help you publish your exciting cell biology research.