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In the world of research we often ‘stand on the shoulders of giants’ by this we usually mean that our contributions are very much dependent upon those who have been before us and ours maybe an incremental or even greater advancement of knowledge in the area. Indeed, this is the way most of us operate, particularly in clinical research. While this is, in general, a positive phenomenon, it can also be viewed in another way: does this approach preclude or discourage blue-sky research? Probably yes. In general journals do not like taking a risk with new research directions and will focus on the more traditional approach.

In this edition of the International Journal of Stroke we have an interesting example of a pilot observational study showing changes in spleen size in acute ischemic stroke. This is certainly quite novel and may be the start of more lateral thoughts about stroke and its genesis. It may possibly provide new targets for novel therapies as suggested by the authors. We hope that our readership finds articles with novelty value of interest and I would certainly encourage others to submit novel ideas and findings to our journal. This is very much in keeping with our vision for the journal, as being cutting edge and innovative, while providing a truly global voice for the world of stroke.

Speaking of innovation, in this edition, we are working alongside the World Stroke Academy (WSA), established some years ago as the educative arm of the WSO to re-launch their new, multi-platform education experience. It comes at a time when the presentation of written material is changing at an ever-increasing pace. By harnessing technology, which is constantly evolving we have been able to integrate both the International Journal of Stroke and the WSA initiative, this will enable you as a reader to effortlessly move between the two to create a broader education experience, while having a solid CPD foundation. Quite soon these portals will be accessible via sophisticated apps, which will further increase possibilities for engagement.

As always, the International Journal of Stroke and it's editorial Board and staff are looking for ways to bring stroke research and education to you in the most interesting and globally accessible way; this is yet another example.