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The only bound volumes that I have of Thorax (five in all) were the annual collations of published papers during my tenure as Editor. I noted with some satisfaction that the pagination had risen from 939 pages in 1991 to 1328 pages by 1995.
For me, my short editorial announcing that we had agreed to publish Supplements to be produced with—but not integral to—Thorax was a huge leap forward. No, we may not have been pioneers here, but it represented a broadening of the content and it became a vehicle for Society guidelines, symposia summaries, and topical reviews.
The first supplement was the Guidelines for the Management of Asthma (1993;48:S1–24). Not only was this publication a great success, reaching a world audience and excellent for the journal’s impact factor, it was also a considerable financial success as the pharmaceutical industry bought thousands of copies. These profits were in part transformed into more pages as I adopted a policy of expanding Thorax with papers of general interest, perhaps at the expense of the impact factor—always a controversial issue.
I think that, overall, the supplements raised the journal’s profile. Other guideline supplements followed, some more successful than others. They have always been independently produced without sponsorship, although industry has often bought copies after publication. While they remain individual gambles, I was pleased to have added supplements to the content of Thorax.