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The New Year brings a change of editorship; after seven years of exceptional custodianship the journal says goodbye to Professor Chris Kennard. During his tenure he has maintained the key role of the journal as a premier European clinical neuroscience publication and witnessed an increase in submissions from about 1200 to over 2000 per annum. He has established online submissions via Bench>Press and established the website. He has overseen the introduction of Neurology in Practice, edited by Ian Bone and Geraint Fuller, which will continue in this series until 2005. A number of new features have been introduced, such as editorial commentaries. All of these provide added value to the quality of the submitted articles. It is this added value which is of such importance during the time of the information explosion and online publishing opportunities. These opportunities are indeed substantial, both to increase the amount of information available but also to distribute journals to a wider audience at ever lower marginal cost. The danger, however, is that as quantity increases quality falls. Chris Kennard has met these challenges and hands over the journal in excellent shape.
What of the future? JNNP was first published in 1938 (under the title of Journal of Neurology and Psychiatry) and the custodianship of such a journal is both an exciting challenge and a heavy responsibility. We reaffirm the aim of publishing the very best articles of clinical relevance in neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry. There are few clinical neuroscience journals that are as broadly based and it would be easy to focus just on neurology. However, we believe that this multidisciplinary nature is its strength, and indeed we hope to foster increased submissions in neurosurgery and psychiatry.
What then of the changes. “If it ain’t broke don’t mend it”; and so with a successful journal, changes in response to changing demands should occur with minimal fuss. We hope to raise the international profile of the journal and to this end there will be changes in the balance of the editorial team and details of this will follow in future issues. As always, we depend very much on the generosity and support, not only of the editorial board, but also of the large number of referees who assist with maintaining the quality of the journal. With increasing pressure of time and the increasing submission rate, this becomes ever more onerous, but without such freely given scholarship the journal cannot survive.
There is one change that is already apparent, namely the cover. We felt it was time for a change and the new cover highlights the three clinical subjects of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry. The picture will change each month but what has not changed is the colour; JNNP remains “the green rag”.