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Welcome to the EMJ and to
  1. J Wardrope,
  2. P Driscoll, Editors

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    It is the middle of winter, your department is full of patients waiting to get into hospital. The Christmas and New Year holidays have stretched your department to breaking point. That is the bad news. The good news is the arrival of your first copy of Emergency Medicine Journal (EMJ). The first edition tries to span the variety of emergency medicine and hopefully everyone should find something of interest, and there is more to come.

    The internet is now a part of life for many, perhaps too big a part of life for some. We agree with the point of view that says medical journals without internet sites have no future. As part of the BMJ Group, EMJ is able to join HighWire Press. This is a non-profit service run by Stanford University's Green Library, which has more than 200 journals in the system. This will greatly expand the possibilities for the EMJ. The site is due to go live during the third week in January, and full text, past contents, hypertext links to full text of references in associated journals will all be available. This online service also provides space for tables, text and illustrations that cannot be accommodated in the print edition of the journal. Multimedia features include the ability to add video and audio clips. Some new EMJ projects such as the Simulated Interactive Management Series are so dependent on the internet site that we have had to postpone the launch of the series until the site is available.

    The next edition of the EMJ will be available online around the world at the same time it lands on the doormat of our readers in the UK (perhaps earlier if the post is having problems). This access will be free of charge to everyone until the end of April 2001. After this date personal subscribers to the print copy will continue to have access to the site. Online only subscriptions will be available at a cost of £65 ($99). We hope that this will stimulate international interest both in readership and in submitting papers. This project is of great importance to the journal and Jonathan Wyatt, has taken the role of Web Editor.

    The launch of the EMJ has been achieved by the hard work of a huge number of people, authors, reviewers, technical editors and the support of the British Association for Accident and Emergency Medicine. Thank you to all of them. However, a few people have been particularly harassed and special thanks to John Heyworth, Kevin Mackway-Jones, and our editorial assistant, Rachel Lynch.

    We hope that winter planning schemes have made life easier in departments. Best wishes and good luck for the Festive (sic) Season.

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