Natural Product Communications (NPC) is now entering its tenth year of publication and, despite eagerly looking forward to what lies ahead, it is fitting to take a brief look at where the journal has been, the road it has taken to arrive here, and to set these achievements in perspective.
The inspiration for the launch of NPC came from Dr Pawan K. Agrawal. He initiated discussions among many natural product chemists, including Professors Gerald Blunden, Alessandra Braca, De-an Guo, Ernst Haslinger, J. Alberto Marco, Yoshihiro Mimaki, Stephen G. Pyne, Manfred G. Reinecke, William N. Setzer and Yasuhiro Tezuka, who are now members of the present Editorial Board. They were all convinced of the need for such a medium for the publication of high quality natural products research and agreed to support the journal, which was to be published by Natural Product Inc. What came afterwards was a lot of hard work to bring an Editorial Advisory Board together and prepare the “Call for Papers”. Pawan Agrawal was fortunate to be supported by his friends and family members in the launch of Natural Product Communications and make it known to the world. His wife, Poonam, and two sons, Shravan and Chandan, provided moral support, as well as facilitating the smooth transition from concept to reality. The first issue of Natural Product Communications appeared in April 2006.
It was decided from the beginning that Natural Product Communications (NPC) would have a very wide scope and cover all aspects of natural products research including phytochemical, medicinal, pharmaceutical, pharmacological, bioorganic, analytical, theoretical, biotechnological, chemotaxonomical, and overlapping areas. NPC publishes Short Communications and Full Papers, as well as Reviews, Mini reviews, Highlights, Concepts, Book Reviews, and Conference Reports.
NPC has continued to make progress in terms of publishing more peer-reviewed articles and has attracted an ever increasing global audience of authors, research investigators, and scholars, as indicated by the increasing number of submissions and published papers, and also from the web statistics. The first volume consisted of 1012 pages incorporating 125 manuscripts, but since then the number of pages and manuscripts has increased steadily. The ninth volume is comprised of 454 manuscripts (1824 pages). The trust that authors put in NPC is not taken for granted, and we remain dedicated to seeking ways and means to honor it. Increasing the number of pages per annum was one practical way in which we could provide adequate space for the prolific community of natural product researchers to present its findings; also, to devote more than ninety percent of those pages to original research (Full Papers and Communications) is another important way in which we return that trust.
To recognize our authors, we have started the “Gerald Blunden Award” for the best paper and best review article in alternate years, which will be announced in May of each year at the time of Prof. Blunden’s Anniversary. As a rule, an award of US$ 500, accompanied by a free print subscription for that year will be awarded to the recipient. The panel of judges for the prizes consists of the Editorial Board Members of the journal, whose decision is final.
A special feature of NPC has been its publication of theme issues. We greatly appreciate the dedication and valuable cooperation of our guest editors in organizing issues on ‘Alkaloids, Bioactive essential oils, Phytochemical analysis, Terpenoids, Recent results in essential oil and aroma compound research, Production of secondary metabolites in relation to various aspects of chemodiversity, Russian studies on natural products, Healthy beverages with natural products in relation to Mediterranean diet, Chemical biodiversity of secondary metabolites from endophytic fungi, Some important aspects of natural products, Synthesis of natural products: Biomimetic strategies and use of natural occurring starting synthons, Biological and supramolecular chemistry, Terpenoids - structure, synthesis, and biological activity, Argan tree metabolites and argan oil, Australasian natural product studies, New aspects in natural product synthesis: Methodology and strategy’, as well as issues dedicated to eminent natural products scientists “Professors Eckhard Wollenweber, Yoshinori Asakawa, Tom J. Mabry, Peter G. Waterman, Pedro Joseph-Nathan, Gerhard Buchbauer, George R. Waller, Wilfred R. Chan, and Franco F. Vincieri, Kurt Hostettmann, Francesco De Simone, Werner Herz, K. Husnu Can Gerald Blunden, Geoffrey A. Cordell and Josep Coll”. We have an issue dedicated to the memory of Professor Dr Baser,Ivano Morelli. We thank all those authors who contributed papers to these issues and the reviewers, all of whom responded to a short and challenging timetable. Two special issues, “NPC-SILAE” and “NPC-CIPAM” incorporating selected manuscripts originating from the meeting of the “Italo-Latin American Society of Ethnomedicine (SILAE)” and the “3rd International Congress on Aromatic and Medicinal Plants, CIPAM2011”, have also been published.
To increase the range of expertise represented by Editorial members, the Board undergoes periodic changes. As a result, Professor Ernst Haslinger and Professor J. Alberto Marco, who were editors from the time of inception of the journal, have expressed their wish to step down. Their high level of commitment and expertise will be missed, and we thank them for their many valuable contributions. Since the launch of the journal, Professors Alejandro F. Barrero and David E. Thurston have been added to our team.
Editorial Board members have played a magnificent role in popularizing NPC worldwide and have helped by submitting some of their recent research findings. To recognize their significant and innumerable contributions to the NPC publications program, the January issue of the tenth volume will be celebrated by organizing an issue in honor of our editorial board members by incorporating their manuscripts in this special issue. We are thankful to all those who continue to make active contributions to the journal and the field. Special thanks are due to those who have provided constructive suggestions and/or were able to organize thematic issues.
It is tough to predict the future, but of two things we can be confident: Natural products will continue to play a pivotal role in health sciences, and Natural Product Communications will continue to be a high-quality vehicle for the publication of natural products related research. The journal aims to continue with the provision of excellent service for authors by using specialist editors, carefully chosen referees, and arranging for rapid publication.
We particularly want to thank referees who have worked diligently to maintain journal standards, and also to improve the writing of authors whose native language was not English. The one who justifies special mention for this is Prof. Blunden, a founding editor.
Natural Product Communications has been in operation for ten years and we wish to sincerely thank you—our board members, authors, referees, and readers—for accompanying us on this successful journey. We look forward to the journal continuing to play an important part in dissemination of important results in natural product research, and look forward to your company over the next many more years.
Natural Product Inc.