Special Series: “N=1s”

 It is my great pleasure to announce the launch of “N=1s” as the special series of Neuroscience Research, and the publication of its first article in Volume 105, April 2016.

 In scientific studies, very rare data can be highly significant.They are rare, either because they scarcely exist in principle or because they are extremely difficult to observe. Although these rare data (symbolically, “N=1s”) may well have been recognized among scientists directly conducting these experiments, it is often practically impossible to publish these data. This is largely because, in essence, collecting sufficient numbers of data points is challenging – particularly under the recent publication standards requiring extensive supporting data and statistical analyses to guarantee reproducibility.

 However, it is imperative that the rest of the community be informed of the current critical status. To overcome this difficulty, Neuroscience Research, as a society journal, has planned to integrate such data from multiple member laboratories conducting similar experiments, and launched a special series of papers under the flag of “N=1s.”

 The first article in this issue (Yamada et al., 2016) focuses on fast-spiking neurons in the primate basal ganglia, as Japan has long been leading the research on primate neurophysiology. In this paper, rare data obtained independently in four experiments conducted separately in different laboratories were integrated under unified systematic analyses to result in a solid conclusion. I would like to express my deepest respect and sincere gratitude to all of the authors, whose efforts have led to this great success.

 I am highly confident that this example can be followed in other fields of neuroscience as well. This might include rare examples of neuroanatomical observations, a series of rare cases in clinical examinations, and many more. As Neuroscience Research is planning to publish, although irregularly, such articles as a part of the special series “N=1s” over the coming years, we welcome outstanding proposals (to be sent to <nsr-editor@jnss.org>) that meet the high standards of the Japanese Neuroscience Society and our colleagues.

Atsushi Iriki
Editor-in-Chief, Neuroscience Research

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