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As Professor McCrory transitions from Editor in Chief to Editor at Large, I thank him for his commitment to the British Journal of Sports Medicine over the past 7 years. How quickly we forget that at the beginning of his tenure all manuscripts were submitted on paper [those white sheets that are no longer in use, hence the need for the term “paperless office”]. In 2001, the Journal received 300 submissions per year; in the year just closed, 700 made their way through Bench>Press, the online entry point. There has been a clear acceleration of the Journal’s recognition as manifested by inputs (manuscripts), outputs (page downloads, web hits) and the calibre of authors from all parts of the globe. Although BJSM’s increasing impact factor (2.23) is not yet causing the editors of Nature to lose sleep, we now rank third among the clinically-relevant original data journals. Thank you to Paul and Janet in Melbourne, and Alex and Janet in the London office. Paul, it looks like it will take at least seven people to keep up the pace you set.
I am very excited and most grateful that six international leaders in sports and exercise medicine have agreed to serve as Senior Associate Editors: Babette Pluim (The Netherlands), Jill Cook (Australia), Liza Arendt (US), Steve Stovitz (US), Roald Bahr (Norway) and Timothy Noakes (South Africa). You will hear more from each of them in the future on this page and through their varied contributions to the Journal. You won’t be disappointed.
This senior leadership group and I will take the first 5 months of the year to catch up with the hardworking Editorial Board and engage all those who wish to contribute to the Journal. I encourage you to provide input, whether it be in person (eg, the RendezVous Conference in Las Vegas (March)), during my visit to various UK centres (in early May) or on email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Also, we plan to embrace the power of Web 2.0 and the BJSM blog. The goal: a vision that reflects the diverse interests of the world of sports and exercise medicine on the Web by 1st June 2008. As you can see, our team hopes to enlist the support of all those who want to contribute to making BJSM the premier clinically-relevant original data journal and online community.
The BJSM is one of the “specialist journals” of the BMJ Group. The mothership—the BMJ—aims to “help doctors make better decisions”. BMJ editors ask three questions about manuscripts that are submitted. Is it new? Is it true? Will it change what doctors do? Given the expertise, resources and brand recognition of the BMJ, it seems that team BJSM might do well to follow that game plan in the first instance. Thus, as the senior editorial team plans the BJSM issues for the northern summer, we will focus on our readership of clinicians and scientists interested in health and human performance. We’ll aim to accept and solicit material that is new, true and has the potential to change the things you do. Clearly the interactive nature of Web 2.0 will enable all of us to communicate about the unmet clinical and scientific challenges and to rapidly engage a global community to find answers. Exciting times!
This January issue highlights that sport and exercise medicine embraces the good, the bad and the ugly. The good news is that if you don’t have the gene for speed, ACTN3, you can blame your parents for not being a soccer/football star (see page 71). Furthermore, there is both an explanation and potentially a lab test for impaired immune function when training hard (see page 11). The bad news is shared in papers reporting severe spinal injuries in alpine skiing and snowboarding in Switzerland (see page 55), career-ending injuries to jockeys from Britain (see page 22) and adolescent knee injuries (see page 2). The research reminds us of the crucial importance of injury prevention and provides a segue to the “Sports Injury Prevention” issue of BJSM.
Designed to complement the 2nd World Congress on Injury Prevention (see below), the July issue of BJSM is being edited by Professor Roald Bahr of the Norwegian University of Sport Sciences. You can still submit manuscripts until the 21st of January. Details are also on the BJSM website. The 550 delegates who attended the 1st World Congress (2005) are still talking about the science, the social events and the scenery. This year’s sequel promises even more. It all happens from 26–28 June 2008, in Tromso, Norway. Inside the Arctic circle, this is home to the world’s northernmost university, brewery and cathedral. I guess they focused on the essentials for a good life and the chance to be forgiven. Speaking of needing forgiveness, we review the history of drug use in sport—very ugly (see page 76). Enjoy this issue and please do let me know how we can make BJSM relevant for your sport and exercise world.