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There has been a long struggle to provide the world class journal for emergency medicine not based in North America. Pioneering work by Tony Redmond, Mark Prescott and others led to the production of Archives of Emergency Medicine and the beginnings of a true scientific publication. However, much work remained to be done. It was therefore fortunate that someone of the calibre of John Heyworth volunteered to become the editor in 1995. Major changes occurred, including the title and the publishers. As a result the JAEM is becoming increasingly successful. This success is a reflection of John's hard work and dedication. His contribution requires acknowledgement and thanks from the specialty.
Thank you John!
Nevertheless significant future uncertainties remain:
The best research in emergency medicine is still sent to other journals. No doubt this is in pursuit of “impact factor” points in departmental and university portfolios.
The world of electronic publishing is having a major impact on medical journals and may change the face of scientific medical publication completely. It is still not clear how this will develop but any journal without a clear internet strategy will certainly struggle.
The scope of emergency medicine continues to expand bringing opportunities for more collaborative working across specialty boundaries. This is an area ripe for research.
Emergency medicine is expanding internationally.
The strategy to deal with these issues includes:
Appointing two editors and replacing the two associate editors so that the increasing workload can be managed effectively.
In January the journal's name will change to Emergency Medicine Journal (EMJ). This is to reflect the changing nature of our work and encourage contributions from all those who deal with “emergency medicine” in the widest sense. This includes pre-hospital care, intensive care, acute general medicine, acute primary care, acute trauma and acute paediatrics. The list can go on but we embrace the concept of the “emergency care system” rather than the narrow confines of “casualty”.
We hope to provide a fully interactive and linked internet site, similar to that provided by the BMJ.
The journal is publishing research from around the world including Europe, the Far East and Australasia. We aim to produce a world class publication and hope to attract more research and articles from emergency physicians everywhere.
We have taken note of the last readership survey. Review articles, the Journal Scan and Best Evidence topics were positively evaluated. These will continue. You wanted more “management” topics and we aim to run a new management series. We hope to create a “virtual” accident and emergency department with budgets, rotas, complaints, characters. The series will use the internet to provide the background information and allow YOU to contribute answers and solutions to the problems.
The journal also has a part to play in facilitating the amount and quality of research published. Two new series dealing with research methodology and statistics have been commissioned. In addition, the journal will work with the Research Committee of the Faculty to help provide a coherent research framework.
How can you help? Firstly, write, email or talk to us and give feedback. The letter section remains a very under used resource for discussion. Try emailing responses to CPD questions or taking part in the management series. We need referees, why not send us your details and areas of interest? Finally, if you are interested in writing an article send us an outline of the proposal and we will provide feedback.
The journal exists for the readers and like any other project the greater the effort applied, the better the outcome. The editorial team can only act as facilitators to turn your ideas, research and knowledge into print. We are embarking on a risky strategy, with your help the journal will succeed; apathy makes the future less certain.
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