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Thorax 2009: another great year!
  1. J A Wedzicha,
  2. S L Johnston
  1. Correspondence to Professor J A Wedzicha, Thorax Editorial Office; j.a.wedzicha{at}

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We are delighted to be able to let you all know that Thorax has continued to have a very successful past year. As usual, we nervously awaited the impact factor announcements in June 2009 and we were all delighted with the news that surpassed our expectations that our impact factor for 2008 had risen to the highest ever for Thorax at 7.069. This increase in the impact factor is due to the high quality papers and reviews that you have all submitted to the journal for publication. We have thus maintained our position as the second highest ranked respiratory journal in terms of impact factor, behind the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. During the last year, we have published a number of original papers and guidelines that are likely to be highly cited, and we can see the Thorax impact factor rising even further in June 2010. Please continue to send us your very best papers over the coming year.

There has been a sharp rise in the numbers of submissions to the journal over the past few months that may reflect the rise in impact factor and we have nearly 1600 submissions over the past year, which is the highest number of submissions ever received by the journal. As usual the submissions come from all over the world and we are continuing to see a rise in submissions from outside Europe. BMJ Publishing have also introduced a “Portal” whereby authors can submit to more than one journal. In the event of rejection by the first-choice journal, papers and any associated peer reviews in the event of rejection are passed to the second choice, and thus down the portal. Our publication lag time between acceptance and publication in the print version is now short and under 3 months, though papers are also posted in the “Online First” section of the Thorax web site as soon as they are accepted for publication. We are publishing in this issue the names of the peer reviewers who have helped us assess papers over the past years. We are especially grateful to all our reviewers for their expertise and time they have given to the journal.

Since the start of our editorship, we have always tried to ensure that there is something in Thorax each month of interest to all readers, and thus educational features are important for the success of the journal. Our “Pulmonary Puzzle” feature with a question and answer format has proved very popular and we are suggesting that a number of submitted case reports are converted into this format. We are encouraging authors of case reports to submit them in the “Puzzle” format. However, we have discussed the value of case reports at our editorial board meetings and decided that we should continue to publish selected case reports, as they do play an important role in describing novel case descriptions or a new adverse effect of a particular treatment. The “Images in Thorax” series has been running for some time and is very popular with authors; they also available on the Thorax web site in a collection. We are very grateful to Mark Fitzgerald (Associate Editor) who has edited the case reports, Puzzles and Images so well and made them such a valuable educational resource for our readers. Our Lung Alerts have proved very popular, and are organised and edited by Angshu Bhowmik and Jenni Quint. We have decided to start a Thorax Podcast feature, and the first one can be found on the web site this month.

We would like to thank our excellent and skilful team of Associate Editors, most of whom have been with us now for 7 years and have contributed to the high quality of the journal by selecting only the very best papers for publication. This year we have been joined by two new Associate Editors—Andy Fisher (Newcastle, UK) and Jack Gibson as Statistical Editor (Nottingham, UK). We would like to thank Richard Sands, Thorax Journal Manager, who has provided us with much valued support this year. We are grateful to Julia Dimitriou our editorial assistant for all her hard work in the daily running of the journal and to Kathryn Walsh our Thorax technical editor. We are also grateful to Sheila Edwards, Mike Morgan and the British Thoracic Society (BTS) for their support of the journal over the year.

During our editorship, we have very much valued the annual meetings of the Advisory Board and Associate Editors. These meetings have enabled us to discuss the direction of the journal, while at the same time teaching us about issues relating to peer review, publication ethics and technological advances in publishing. We held our usual breakfast meeting of the Thorax International Advisory Board at the American Thoracic Society in San Diego, USA in May 2009, which again was well attended. We would like to thank the Advisory Board members for their support and contributing to the lively debates. The Associate Editors meeting was held in October 2009 in BMA House, London, and again was very well attended, with presentations, excellent discussions and concluded by a very enjoyable dinner. We are grateful to Richard for organising such a memorable Thorax day for us all. Finally we would like to wish all our readers all over the world a very Happy Christmas and Successful New Year 2010.

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.