New IACFS/ME Fatigue Journal


New IACFS/ME Fatigue

The following message was received

from IACFS/ME:

Dear Members and Colleagues,

On behalf of the board of directors of the International Association for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (IACFS/ME), I  have signed a contract with a major academic publisher (Routledge/Taylor and Frances) to launch a new subscription-based peer review journal titled: Fatigue: Biomedicine, Health and Behavior. This will be a quarterly publication with the inaugural issue scheduled for release in January, 2013. There are no publication fees for authors.

CFS/ME and the New Journal

The mission of the IACFS/ME is to promote, stimulate and coordinate the exchange of ideas related to CFS, ME, and fibromyalgia (FM) research, patient care and treatment. The board of directors believes that these challenging medical conditions will benefit from a journal that, while continuing to support research on CFS/ME and FM, also encourages thinking outside the box of a particular disease or condition.

In support of this idea, major advances in biomedicine have more often evolved from broad crossdisciplinary collaborations in comparison to the efforts of a single research laboratory. One example: large scale collaborations produced the central sensitization model of pain in FM and other pain conditions -- which has led to new, more effective medications for pain.

Consistent with this multidisciplinary approach, our new journal welcomes all fatigue-related research and clinical approaches to the treatment of this often debilitating symptom. Scientific papers on all aspects of CFS/ME are particularly encouraged and will be published in this new journal.  We view side-by-side articles on CFS/ME and other fatiguing illnesses as facilitating comparisons and collaborative discussions that could generate innovative thinking and new directions in research.

In addition to collaborations, the journal can better legitimize CFS/ME by demonstrating that the lifealtering fatigue symptoms found in well-recognized illnesses such as cancer and MS are also a core feature of CFS/ME.  Rather than trivialization of fatigue as a clinical entity, our journal intends to elevate the symptom of fatigue to an important research focus and medical concern.  Secondly, by publishing a journal that encompasses a larger biomedical domain, fatigue researchers and practicing clinicians unfamiliar with CFS/ME and FM will have greater exposure to these understudied conditions in a high credibility publication:  a scientific peer review journal.

 A Brief History

Unfortunately, a CFS/ME-dedicated journal is no longer a viable enterprise.  The Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (JCFS) folded in 2008 in part because it attracted only 400 subscribers worldwide and was never indexed on Medline. (If permitted by the past publisher, electronic copies of JCFS will be made available on the IACFS/ME website.) Our new journal is intended to succeed based on its broadmultidisciplinary focus, eventual Medline listing, and its backing by a major academic publisher.  This new journal contract is the result of four years of proposals, conferences, and negotiations with a number of academic publishers.   Gudrun Lange, PhD, a former board member and editor of the IACFS/ME Bulletin, played an important role in bringing about this new journal.  The entire board of directors is to be commended for facilitating this new endeavor.

The First Fatigue Journal

Fatigue will be the first biomedical and behavioral journal focused on fatigue.  We believe that high quality contributions in the area of fatigue are more likely to be submitted to a journal that clearly recognizes the importance of fatigue as a field of scientific study as well as a significant clinical concern. Not infrequently, submitted papers on fatigue (including CFS/ME) are not even sent out for review as editors often view fatigue as outside the purview of their journal’s mission. This is understandable given that no medical journal has a primary focus on fatigue.

In a sense, this new publication will be a prominent vehicle to further advance fatigue as an important field of study.  Given that fatigue focused peer review articles have increased almost 100% over the past decade (>1000 published papers in 2011 alone), we expect to attract some proportion of these papers to our journal.  With the guidance of our publisher, we plan to apply for Medline indexing when acceptance is likely.  The publisher will promote, market, and advertise the journal to medical libraries, conferences, and other professional events worldwide.

Journal Aim and Content

Our aim for the new journal is to address the symptom of fatigue in medical illnesses, behavioral disorders, and specific environmental conditions. These broadly conceived domains, all housed in one journal, are intended to advance interdisciplinary research on causation, pathophysiology, assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. The content that we seek includes original research papers, literature reviews, data-based theoretical papers, short reports, qualitative studies, case studies, conference reports, expert interactive commentary, and letters to the editor.

The list of topics covered in Fatigue will encompass: fatigue in diseases including cancer, autoimmune diseases, CFS/ME, multiple sclerosis (MS), pain conditions, mood disorders, and circulatory diseases. In addition, specific issues involving fatigue in sleep, aging, exercise and sport, and occupations will be addressed. More generally, the journal will publish on the biology, physiology and psychosocial aspects of fatigue as well as diagnosis and treatment.

We also welcome new topics such as clinical fatigue education in medical schools and public health policy with respect to fatigue. Ultimately, we plan to develop dedicated sections of the journal for specific research and clinical areas such as cancer and MS fatigue, CFS/ME, fatigue and sleep, fatigue and exercise, fatigue and aging, occupational fatigue and athletic /sports fatigue.

Distinguished Editorial Board

As an international journal, we have assembled a distinguished editorial board of fatigue scientists and clinicians from North America, Europe and Asia (Japan has its own professional fatigue society). The journal will be administered by the IACFS/ME through the journal editor (Friedberg), editorial board, and the editorial staff with an internet-based submission and review process. Our peer review will be a continuation of the procedures used in our current journal, Bulletin of the IACFS/ME, which will cease publication after a final issue this summer. All past issues of the Bulletin will continue to be available on the IACFS/ME website.

Submissions Now Accepted

We have begun accepting manuscript submissions for next year’s start-up issues. If you would like to be part of this new endeavor, we welcome your submission.  The journal’s new website (under development) now contains 
author instructions and submission information:

With best regards,
Fred Friedberg,PhD
International Association for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (IACFS/ME)
EditorFatigue: Biomedicine, Health and BehaviorJournal website (under development): Email: Fred.Friedberg@stonybrookmedicine.eduResearch Associate ProfessorPutnam Hall/South Campus Stony Brook UniversityStony Brook, New York 11794-8790