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New year: new editors
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  1. J A Wedzicha1,
  2. S L Johnston2,
  3. D M Mitchell2
  1. 1Editor in Chief
  2. 2Editors
  1. Correspondence to:
    Professor J A Wedzicha, Thorax Editorial Office, 17 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2PL, UK;
    j.a.wedzicha{at}qmul.ac.uk

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With the coming of another new year, the Editorship of Thorax is changing and it is with great privilege and considerable awe and trepidation that we are taking over as Editors. Under the editorship of John Britton and Alan Knox, Thorax has achieved high standards and increased its impact factor to 4.09. It is currently the most successful European respiratory journal. The readership of Thorax, together with the whole respiratory community, owes an enormous debt of gratitude to John and Alan and the previous editorial team for their outstanding achievement.

Thorax was born in March 1946, when the first issue appeared as a quarterly journal edited by J G Scadding and N R Barrett. The first of four issues contained only 19 articles; the topics concerned predominantly thoracic surgery, pathology, and tuberculosis. There was only one article on asthma in that first volume, on the effect of helium therapy in asthma by a youthful Sir Richard Doll.1 At that time Thorax was aimed at the UK respiratory community; over the years it has expanded in the numbers and variety of high quality papers published on both clinical and scientific aspects of respiratory medicine and it now has an increasingly global readership.

As new Editors, our main objective will be to continue to steer Thorax to success as an international respiratory journal in an age where there are not only huge and rapid changes in respiratory medicine, but also major advances taking place in publishing and its technology. Our principal aim is to ensure that Thorax plays its full part in cutting edge development by promoting the publication of the best clinical and scientific research and guides to clinical practice, so that we further improve the status and current excellent impact factor …

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