Handover of editor-in-chief to MJA

As we continue to experience the COVID-19 pandemic, the pressures of climate change including floods and fires, anti-vaccine rhetoric, anti-science sentiments and the war in Ukraine, the words of Robert F Kennedy over 50 years ago ring true.

“There is a Chinese curse that says ‘May he live in interesting times. Like it or not, we live in interesting times. These are times of danger and uncertainty; but they are also the most creative of all time in the history of mankind.-Robert F. Kennedy, 1966

Despite all the uncertainty, science and medicine have made huge strides in an unprecedented way, as evidenced by the very rapid development, testing and delivery of life-saving SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. The last 2 years of the pandemic have reinforced the importance of high-quality, peer-reviewed medical journals as a reliable source best available information to guide public health and the safe and effective practice of medicine.

I am very proud of the role of MJA throughout the pandemic by publishing living guidelines, new research and evidence-based insights that helped shape Australia’s response.

In 2015, I took over the reins of the MJA as editor-in-chief at a very difficult time in the Journal’s more than 100-year history, as was widely reported in the press. My official launch started with the December 2015 Christmas issue, with James Bond on the cover and my first editorial as editor-in-chief. My wife and mother, my toughest critics, thought the cover was awesome!

The Journal quickly rebounded while the Editorial Team and Editorial Advisory Group have been renewed and internal and external processes have been streamlined and strengthened.

Now, after three contract renewals and several years of hard work, it’s time to hand over to a new editor by the end of this year.

It was an immense privilege to lead the Journal. the MJA over my time, moved from print to digital, improved open access, introduced a high quality preprint service, changed publishing partners, introduced a partnership on climate change and health with The Lancet, and has seen its impact (and impact factor, now 7.74) soar, reflecting the excellence of what it publishes. the MJA joined the Asia Pacific Association of Medical Editors, and I had the opportunity to consult the best journals in the world, including The Lancetthe New England Journal of Medicine, The BMJ, Annals of Internal Medicine, JAMAand the Canadian Medical Association Journal to benchmark our processes, discuss the future of medical journals, and see first-hand how articles are handled by other editorial teams. I can assure readers, authors and critics that the MJA the standards are among the highest in the world.

I also had the pleasure of being introduced to Twitter as an editor. I doubt I would ever have dared to venture into this cauldron of social media where some people (including professionals) feel they can say anything they want, including hurling insults and threats meant to intimidate . However, I have learned that social media can also be a reliable source of information (as long as you know the source and can verify the facts) and a positive influence.

My tweets remain my personal thoughts and opinions, not the opinion of the MJA or the Australian Medical Association.

Thanks to all of my Twitter followers and plan to stay on the platform in a personal capacity after I pass on (@Prof_NickTalley). I hope you will continue to follow me.

Being the editor of a major general medicine journal is extremely exciting and challenging. You are exposed to the latest ideas and information early on, and every day is informative and interesting. It is also a very difficult time in terms of journal business models, competition, predatory journals and the transition to open access. If you are an experienced physician or healthcare professional with strong clinical research skills, including an excellent publication record, extensive knowledge of clinical medicine and public health, interest or expertise in medical education, methodological expertise in clinical epidemiology and biostatistics, excellent written and oral communication skills and leadership experience (as well as journal editing experience), and whether you value upholding the highest standards of medical integrity and science, promoting health and equity, and protecting editorial independence, the job may be perfect for you!

Once the new editor is appointed, by the end of 2022, I look forward to introducing him to the readers of the MJA and working with the editor during a transition period. I have been invited by the board of directors to remain as editor emeritus of the MJA after the start of the new appointment, which I agreed to do.

After resigning, I plan to continue my National Health and Medical Research Council-funded research as a Leadership Fellow, practice medicine, prepare new editions of my textbooks, teach and write more, and hopefully -le, to spend a little more time with my family and friends.

I would like to thank all of the readers, peer reviewers, and members of the Editorial Advisory Group for their support since 2015. I would also like to thank my exceptional team of associate medical writers, structural and administrative support writers, and the Managing Director executive, senior management and the board of directors. of the Australasian Medical Publishing Company (a wholly owned subsidiary of the Australian Medical Association), the parent company that publishes the MJA.

Professor Laureate Nicholas Talley, AC, is the outgoing editor of the MJAworld renowned gastroenterologist, researcher, clinician, academic at Newcastle University and former president of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

This article was originally published by the MJA. Read the original article here.

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