At the beginning of 2017, I would like to take the opportunity to express a warm welcome to readers and friends of Acta Cytologica. This is going to be an exceptional year, because it is dedicated to commemorating 60 years of our journal, which, in these turbulent times, is a remarkable achievement for any scientific journal. This is an anniversary worth celebrating and, at the same time, it offers an excellent opportunity to remember the last 6 decades of our discipline from the perspective of its intellectual forerunner.
Before mentioning the special items in this upcoming 60-year anniversary volume, Volume 61, I am pleased to share with you some recent developments. As our readers may recall, the editorial in the first 2015 issue  announced that in 2014, Acta Cytologica experienced an unpredictable and unfair deselection from the Web of Science by the Thomson Reuters Corporation. As a predictable consequence, this random act caused a marked drop in the number of new submissions to Acta Cytologica during the entire year of 2015, despite the fact that the loss of impact factor did not affect the listing of the journal in databases like PubMed/Medline, EMBASE, Scopus, and Google Scholar .
To interrupt this alarming development, we asked (in December 2015) for the assistance of all members of the International Academy of Cytology, reminding everybody of the importance of their support of Acta Cytologica, best realized by targeting their submissions to the journal. You obviously took this message of concern from the Editor seriously, as determined from the positive signals that became apparent almost immediately and are still being seen at the end of 2016. At this writing, no official statistics are available, but the trend is very clear. The number of new submissions started increasing very soon and this favorable trend continued for the whole of 2016. Practically every week there are new submissions, and/or reviewed manuscripts awaiting a final decision on the Editor's desk on a daily basis (up to 5 or 6 items on busy days).
This development has had an impact on several key operations of the journal. First of all, we did not have to adopt the policy of the new open access journals (with no impact factor) that involves massive e-mailings to solicit manuscripts from all possible (and impossible) sources on a weekly basis. Second, the copious number of submissions has made it possible to maintain the high scientific standards of Acta Cytologica, with no need to relax the stringent criteria of acceptance for publication. Third, the number of accepted articles has remained high enough to enable the publisher to keep to the annual publication itinerary, with all 6 issues having been launched in 2016. This is a marked improvement, compared with 2015 when only 4/6 issues appeared in print on time. This is very important because the regularity of the publication itinerary is among the criteria used by Thomson Reuters while they evaluate Acta Cytologica for relisting in the Web of Science. Of the 6 issues of 2016, 2 are special issues, guest-edited by Pio Zeppa and Adhemar Longatto-Filho, who deserve our special thanks for their major effort and outstanding input to complete these assignments. Finally, the number of single case reports (Novel Insights from Clinical Practice) submitted has declined steadily in 2016, in accordance with the new publication policy announced in 2013 .
On the occasion of the 60-year jubilee of Acta Cytologica in 2017, we have, together with the publisher, undertaken special actions to make Volume 61 different from all preceding volumes. These changes apply to both the layout and the content. The first modification took effect already in the very first issue of Volume 61, in the form of a newly designed cover with an elegant diamond logo to symbolize the 60-Year (Diamond) Jubilee, and the new font for the title giving it an even more prestigious appearance. This new layout will be maintained in all issues of the jubilee year.
With regard to the content in 2017, Issue 4 will be a special issue entitled “60-Year Anniversary Issue”, scheduled to appear in print after the summer. This will be different from all previous issues and is dedicated to commemorating the past 6 decades of Acta Cytologica, which have coincided with the development of clinical cytology and its emergence as an independent discipline of modern medicine. This special issue is a tribute to the scientific and clinical work of the pioneering generation of cytologists and their heirs, and it acknowledges the ever-increasing complexity of the innovations made by the younger generations of professionals working in this field.
To assemble the contents of the 60-Year Anniversary Issue, we will select, from all the previous issues of Acta Cytologica, the single most influential study to represent the decade of its publication (1957-1966, 1967-1976, etc.). The articles selected will be reprinted in their original format. Each will be accompanied by a commentary (editorial) written by a foremost expert in the respective field, giving a concise summary of the original article and its significance as well as describing the impact that this particular study has had (i) on the development of our discipline, and/or (ii) in increasing our scientific understanding at a conceptual level.
We all have great expectations for 2017. This is just a short prevue as to what the readers of Acta Cytologica can expect from their journal during this year of its 60th anniversary. The recent encouraging developments that we have witnessed clearly indicate that the cytology community, by offering its unconditional support to our journal, has realized (perhaps better than many others) the very essence of scientific research. The fundamental idea of research is not to: (i) extend one's list of publications, (ii) accumulate citations, (iii) collect impact factors, or (iv) increase one's Hirsch index. Instead, the single most important goal of all medical research should be to focus one's best efforts in order to disclose solutions that can help alleviate the global burden of the major diseases that affect us all.
I wish all friends and supporters of our journal enjoyable moments when reading the 2017 issues of Acta Cytologica. We editors have done our best to make Volume 61 a commemorative experience for all. This is only possible with your continued support. I shall count on you during this year of the 60th anniversary of Acta Cytologica.
Kari Syrjänen, Turku