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In the early 1990s the EAACI decided to create individual memberships, with the intention of giving people in the field of allergy and clinical immunology the sense of belonging to a single family fighting for their own area of interest. As part of this change, the EAACI looked for an allergy journal to adopt. In 1991 an agreement was reached with Munksgaard, and since January 1992 Allergy has been the official journal of the EAACI.

Professor Gunnar Bendixen had at that time been the Editor for Allergy for several years. After receiving some friendly pressure I promised to take over, but only for a couple of years. Now, after 10 years in charge, it is definitely time for me to leave and I am very pleased that my successor will be Professor Jean Bousquet, who will bring so much competence and experience to this role.

Looking back over my 10 years as Editor I can see that certain trends have developed. The idea that the EAACI should have thousands of individual members has been partially fulfilled. The subscription to Allergy was linked to membership, and as a result the annual fee became a significant amount, even though the society has always subsidized subscriptions. During this time the electronic distribution of scientific information has exploded, which certainly has had an impact. Young people have the opportunity to become Junior Members of the EAACI free of charge, without receiving the printed version of Allergy, but having full access to the electronic version on the Internet. At the recent EAACI congress it was noted that this group now represents more than 25% of the membership, indicating that it might be time to reconsider a printed membership journal.

The interest in Allergy as a forum for scientific communication has risen, as shown by the steady increase in the number of manuscripts submitted. In 1992 we received 176 manuscripts, and in 2001 this rose to as many as 557.

We have also tried to give Allergy a role in postgraduate education—which we hope has been appreciated by our readers—by adding Editorials and invited Review Articles. In 2001 over 40 such articles were published.

Many years ago a company started to publish some statistical data describing how often articles in a particular journal were referred to in other articles. A selling name, the “impact factor”, was given to this figure, thus suggesting that it reflected some scientific importance. The lack of relationship between impact factors and the scientific quality is well understood by active scientists, as has been discussed repeatedly by journal editors. What the impact factor probably illustrates is the degree to which a journal is “on everyone's lips” whether it is because it contains very good and novel science, or bad and provocative reports. Unfortunately, some universities are using this factor as an indicator of quality when considering appointments. In the worst cases, the arithmetic sum of impact factors for the author's CV reference list is considered, and thus a few, unfortunate, provocative articles might have a significant negative influence on the sum. I notice with mixed feelings, therefore, that the impact factor of Allergy has increased from just below 1 in 1992 to close to 3 in 2001 (by a mistake the reported figure is wrong and will be corrected) is this a good or a bad sign for Allergy!

Processing the 4000 or so manuscripts submitted to Allergy during these 10 years has been a significant workload. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who have helped me with such great enthusiasm; Hanne, Jens and Neil at Munksgaard, Diane at Blackwell Publishing, Gunnel, Elisabeth, Anna-Lena, Gunilla and Heléne at Karolinska Hospital, and Gunnar, Jean, Marek, Mike, Sergio, and Thomas in the Associate Editors group. Not to forget each of the hundreds of referees who have spent hours and hours reviewing the manuscripts for Allergy.

Jean Bousquet is now inheriting the Editorial Office and taking over full responsibility for the future of our journal Allergy. Jean, I wish you all the best!