Dear Readers,

It is truly an honor for any publisher to produce a journal with such a long and distinguished history as Acta Cytologica - the official journal of the International Academy of Cytology.

For 60 years, Acta Cytologica has been delivered to all key cytology laboratories across the globe. Together with Karger Publishers, a company with 127 years' experience in medical and scientific publishing, Acta Cytologica stands as a mark of quality that you can literally hold in the palm of your hand.

Acta Cytologica and Karger Publishers both have distinguished histories and are united in looking towards the future. We are in constant discussion on how to improve our service to authors and readers. One such example is the recent introduction of altmetrics to the journal, which allows authors to track the impact their paper is having online.

Naturally, any discussion of the future of Acta Cytologica must also address the controversy of our Journal Impact Factor (JIF). We strongly objected to Acta Cytologica losing its JIF in 2014. Recently, we lodged a formal appeal against this decision. As a result, Clarivate Analytics (the company that owns the JIF) have kindly agreed to expedite their reevaluation of the journal.

Below, please find a summary of the JIF and key points that pertain to Acta Cytologica.

• The JIF is a journal-level metric; it is the average number of times a journal's articles, specifically, those published over a 2-year period, were cited in a calendar year. (JIFs released in 2017 are based on the 2016 Web of Science activity to content published in 2014 and 2015.)

• JIFs are calculated for journals in the Science Citation Index Expanded™ and Social Sciences Citation Index databases (part of Web of Science), which are now owned by Clarivate Analytics (formerly the IP and Science Business of Thomson Reuters and prior to that, the Institute for Scientific Information).

Acta Cytologica does not have a JIF because it was deselected from the Science Citation Index Expanded in 2014.

• The reasons for the deselection were provided in 2017: (1) a consistently low JIF between 2008 and 2013 relative to journals in the same subject category; (2) a high self-citation rate in the same period.

• The journal is listed in Web of Science in a database called the Emerging Sources Citation Index. Acta Cytologica was admitted to this database in 2016. An evaluation for Acta Cytologica to join the Science Citation Index Expanded was set for 2019.

• Upon receipt of the reasons for deselection (in 2017), Karger Publishers issued an immediate appeal against the original decision to deselect the journal in 2014. By examining outputs from the Web of Science database, we believe that the deselection was unjustified on the following grounds. (1) At the time of deselection, Acta Cytologica actually had an increasing JIF. (2) The self-citation rate was comparable to other journals in the same field with consistently low JIFs, and Acta Cytologica was the only one of these journals to be deselected. (3) Acta Cytologica deselection was based primarily on its low ranking in the category “cell biology,” which is not its core field.

• Clarivate responded very quickly to this appeal, and moved the evaluation date from 2019 to the first quarter of 2018. They have also kindly reviewed the pieces of this Publisher's Note concerning the JIF.

Acta Cytologica remains the only truly international journal of cytology, and has a high print run for members of the International Academy of Cytology. This means your paper will be printed with the highest-quality images, and delivered to the door of 1,700 cytologists based in 85 countries.

• Citation data from Scopus indicate strongly that your paper is more likely to be cited in Acta Cytologica than at any time in its recent history - even when it had a JIF. We believe that this is due to the excellent reputation of our journal, our focus on quality and peer review, and our international reach.

• The same citation data show that papers in Acta Cytologica are generally cited as often as most cytology journals with a JIF.

• Absolutely! Your paper will be listed in MEDLINE, Scopus, and Web of Science, i.e., all of the major databases.

• The lack of JIF does not affect the findability of your research at all.

• Clarivate does listen to the scientific community when deciding which journals to include in their databases.

• Please show your support of Acta Cytologica by signing an online petition for the reintroduction of the JIF, at:

• We are targeting 1,000 signatures, and every signature counts

We would like to thank each and every one of our authors and readers for their support. Without you, there could be no journal, and for this we are very grateful. If you would like to become more involved, please do not hesitate to contact our Editorial Office (

Last, but certainly not least, we would like to thank our Editorial Board, Peer Reviewers, and the International Academy of Cytology. The quality of their work is clearly reflected in the success of this journal, and the appreciation shown by the cytology community.

Yours sincerely,

Gabriella Karger, Karger Publishers

Paul Lavender, Karger Publishers

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