American Society For Nutrition

Interview with Dr. Teresa Davis, Editor, Journal of Nutrition

Interview with Dr. Teresa Davis, Editor, Journal of Nutrition

Excellence in Nutrition Research and Practice
A Conversation with The Journal of Nutrition Editor Teresa A. Davis, PhD

While the number of publications devoted to nutrition research has risen sharply in recent years, ASN's journals- The Journal of Nutrition, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and Advances in Nutrition, remain the most trusted sources of rigorous, cutting-edge research in the field. To learn what keeps one of ASN's publications top-ranked, we spoke with JN Editor Teresa A. Davis, PhD, who became Editor on January 1, 2014.  Dr. Davis is a Professor of Pediatrics at the Children's Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine and a Past President of ASN. In this interview, she discusses JN's submission process, her goals for the publication, and some exciting changes readers can expect to see in future issues.

Interviewer: Tell us a bit about your role as Editor-in-Chief and your overall goals for the publication.

Dr. Davis: As Editor of The Journal of Nutrition, I preview all manuscripts that are submitted to the journal to determine if they meet our scientific quality standards as well as whether they are within the scope of the journal.  Some of those manuscripts that don't meet the criteria may be rapidly rejected so that authors avoid the delay of a full review, but those that do meet the standards are sent to an Associate Editor to solicit peer reviewers.  Once the peer reviews are complete, I review them and may advise Associate Editors on whether a manuscript should be rejected or accepted with major or minor revision.

small    JN

I am also involved in setting the overall scope of the journal. JN accepts a broad range of manuscripts from across the field, including genetic, molecular, chemical, epidemiological, clinical, and public health nutrition research. We accept research that utilizes genetic and molecular techniques, and cell, animal, human, and population models. It is important to us that we appeal to a broad readership, in order to give a broad audience to the very best research in the field.  

My overall goal for the journal is to ensure that we publish the highest quality of research and that we always maintain rigorous standards for that research. There is a lot of interest in the scientific community and public sector about nutrition right now and a lot of the research that gets published in other journals to satisfy that interest is not well designed from a nutrition standpoint. We want our readers to always be able to trust the scholarship published in JN.  

Interviewer: Are there any changes to the journal that you plan to make in order to bring those goals to the forefront in future issues?

Dr. Davis: We have had a few changes.  We are, for example, expanding the commentary section of the journal.  In this section, leading authorities in the field offer their reaction to original research in the journal in order to highlight novel, important research and provide additional context to the research article. We are also trying to improve author satisfaction with the submission review process.

Interviewer: What would you like authors to know about the submission process for JN?

Dr. Davis: I want them to know that our review process emphasizes the clarity and quality of the research, rather than rigid JN style.  Some people may also be unaware that they can send a letter to me with an abstract or an idea for a manuscript, inquiring as to whether it is within the journal's scope.  So prior to the submission process on the journal website, which can be found here, they can reach me at jnutr@bcm.edu.

Additionally, I would like for both authors and readers to know that JN has a very fast turnaround time, compared to most other scholarly journals.  From submission to acceptance of the manuscript, the process generally takes three months or less.

Interviewer: What would you say to ASN members and JN readers looking to get more involved in the publication?

Dr. Davis: I invite anyone interested in reviewing for JN to register in its database.  Once they have done so, they can enter the keywords related to their area of expertise.  We will then let the Associate Editors know that they are willing to review. From those ad hoc reviewers are chosen the Editorial Board members and the Associate Editors. I would additionally like to encourage anyone interested in reviewing to join ASN and join one or more of ASN's Research Interest Sections (RIS), because they are excellent venues for meeting leading experts in their area and letting others know about their expertise and their interest in contributing to the science of nutrition.

May 2014