Editorial: PRL Standards Update, and Thanks (July 1, 2010)
(Published 1 July 2010)
One year ago we initiated an effort to reinvigorate the standards for publication in PRL. Some effects are already clear. Submissions to the journal have decreased by about 10%, a drop that is unprecedented in PRL’s history of nearly relentless growth. Published Letters have also decreased, by about 20%. In addition, the fraction of papers that we editors turn away without external review has decreased from about 30% to about 20%. Further, we see no decrease in the number of Letters of greater than usual interest, as measured by our weekly selections for Physics and for Suggestions. It is also of interest that authors and referees alike refer frequently to the language we adopted last summer, and explain why a manuscript does, or does not, have the needed impact, innovation, or interest for publication as a Letter.
Taken together, all these indicate that both authors and referees have embraced our effort, and that as a result PRL has improved, and continues to improve. We thank everyone for their thoughtful focus on PRL’s reinvigorated standards.