On 1 January 2013, we will take over as Editors in Chief of the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis from Mike Greaves and David Lane, who have jointly filled this position since 2007.
The official journal of the ISTH has an interesting history. It all began when, in 1959, the journal Thrombosis et Diathesis Haemorrhagica, which had existed since 1957, became associated with the predecessor of the ISTH (i.e. the International Committee on the Nomenclature of the Blood Clotting Factors). In 1969, the ISTH was founded, and in 1972 Thrombosis et Diathesis Haemorrhagica became its official journal. In 1976, the name of the journal was aligned with the name of the ISTH, and changed to Thrombosis and Haemostasis, although, arguably, the original name referring to the two disorders of coagulation – thrombosis and bleeding – was more consistent than the new name, referring to a disorder and a homeostatic activity.
In 2003, the ISTH decided that it wanted to own its official journal, and, as Thrombosis and Haemostasis was owned by the publisher Schattauer, the only solution was the creation of a new journal, the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis that we know today. The journal Thrombosis and Haemostasis remained in existence, but was no longer the official journal of the ISTH.
When we look from the viewpoint of the official journal of the ISTH, we follow in the footsteps of previous Editors in Chief Rosemary Biggs (1972–1979), Francois Duckert (1980–1985), Jan Sixma (1986–1992), Jos Vermylen (1993–1999), Pier Mannucci (1999–2006), Mike Greaves and David Lane (2007–2012). These are individuals who have left large footprints, and who have contributed greatly to the growth and success not only of the Journal, but also of the Society.
Until 2007, there was one Editor in Chief; then, with the joint editorship of David Lane and Mike Greaves, an experiment was begun, with one editor more oriented towards basic science and one more towards clinical science. The number of papers submitted to and published in the journal has grown enormously over the years, with 250 submitted papers in 1980, 530 in 1990, 950 in 2000, and 1300 in 2010. Over the years, the acceptance rate has declined, and is currently at around 30%. Given this increased workload, the diversification of editorial responsibilities seemed to be a logical step, and has proved successful. We therefore decided to continue this approach, and our close geographical proximity may allow some more ‘translational editing’.
Since 2003, there has been an increasing number of associate editors, who have, in a largely independent way, assisted in the selection of the most important and scientifically valid papers for the Journal. We intend to continue this tradition.
So, will nothing change? Yes, there will be changes, which we will start implementing during our first year of editorship. Most of these will be minor, and involve strengthening of the role of a smaller number of associate editors, increasing methodological rigor, and introducing new categories for publications. The rapid development of new means of communication may, in time, also lead to more major changes, but, at this time, it is impossible to predict how the Journal will look in several years time. That makes this an exciting journey to embark on.
We wish to extend our gratitude on behalf of the ISTH and the Journal’s readership to Mike Greaves and David Lane for the excellent job that they have done in these last 6 years, and extend this to the associate editors and the highly effective editorial staff in London and Aberdeen who have assisted them.