Being Editor-in-Chief of Proceedings of the Royal Society B is both enjoyable and a privilege. This is made so by the quality and breadth of the submissions and by the slickness of the operation provided by the Royal Society Publishing Department. Year 2012 was again a very successful year for Proceedings B. At the time of writing, submissions were projected to reach almost 3000, a rise of some 12 per cent on submission levels from the previous year. A corollary of this is that our rejection rate is very high (around 85% of all submissions), and we must unfortunately reject many good and interesting papers. The journal's Impact Factor has again increased, this time reaching 5.415, boosting the journal's ranking in the biology category of ISI to 8th out of 84 and our turnaround time remains impressively fast. We continue to maintain our strength in core areas, such as ecology, evolution and behaviour, while at the same time increasing the proportion of content in other areas, such as health and disease, genomics, neuroscience, physiology and plant science. We have also maintained a healthy geographical spread in terms of submissions, with more authors coming from North America, Asia and Australasia than ever before.
During the year, we published our second special feature, ‘Genomics of adaptation’, guest edited by Associate Editor Jacek Radwan and Wieslaw Babik. This special feature bought together several papers dealing with various aspects of adaptation genomics. The introductory article by Radwan & Babik  provided an overview of the most important research questions and how they have been approached by recent genomic studies. A research paper by Nosil et al.  used hundreds of thousands of genetic markers to understand factors affecting genomic divergence in an insect underlying ecological speciation. Reviews addressed the issues of the genomic nature of response to selection , gene duplication as a mechanism of genomic adaptation to a changing environment  and the quantitative assessment of gene re-usage in the process of adaptation .
Another important highlight from 2012 was the publication of the first of our ‘Perspective’ articles: invited contributions from newly elected Fellows and Foreign Members highlighting their field of research to the readers of Proceedings B. Both Andrew Balmford and David Milner provided thoughtful insights into their respective fields and the advances and challenges the future may hold in their papers: ‘What conservationists need to know about farming’  and ‘Is visual processing in the dorsal stream accessible to consciousness?’ .
As always, Review papers played a key role in 2012 and I would like to thank our Reviews Editor, Mike Siva-Jothy, for his continued dedication. Notable reviews included the invited review by the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution biannual award winner, David Schindler: ‘The dilemma of controlling cultural eutrophication of lakes’  and the first in our series of Darwin reviews: ‘Evolutionary medicine: its scope, interest and potential’ by Stephen Stearns .
I would also like to take this opportunity to let you know about a very important new change that will be taking place at Proceedings B in 2013. From the first issue of 2013, we will be implementing a new workflow; namely continuous publication. This means that articles will be published directly into an issue and given full citation details immediately upon publication. The benefits are clear: authors still have their paper published rapidly after acceptance but with the added benefit of full citation details being available to them immediately, thus avoiding any problems caused by a delay between online and issue publication.
Finally, I would like to thank all my fellow Editors, Associate Editors and the Proceedings B team for their very considerable input to the running the journal. Together we strive to continually improve the journal and any feedback from you on how this can be done would be much appreciated. Please do get in touch.
- © 2012 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.