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It is with enormous pride and expectation that we introduce a brand new, open access, online journal devoted exclusively to lupus intended to provide a platform for basic, translational, epidemiological and clinical research: Lupus Science & Medicine. This medical-scientific journal, owned by the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) and published by BMJ, the respected global provider of evidence-based medical knowledge, is now accepting submissions and its first publications are being processed.
Lupus Science & Medicine was first conceived in discussions that took place within the LFA. In addition to the myriad roles the Foundation plays in improving the lives of patients, they have now created a readily accessible home for lupus publications, an area that, until now, has been underserved to meet the rapidly evolving landscape of lupus pathogenesis and treatment. Open access publication has grown dramatically over the past years and is viewed by many as the most viable publication model for disseminating information. The open access publication model also ‘fits’ with the vision that the pace of discovery is accelerated by rapid access to important peer reviewed medical-scientific publications. It is anticipated that such access will attract basic and translational researchers as well as physicians endeavouring to provide optimal care to their lupus patients. Readily retrievable knowledge will also empower the patients themselves.
Our vision for the journal is lofty. It was therefore of paramount importance to partner with one of the largest and most respected publishing groups. BMJ is fully committed to the success of Lupus Science & Medicine. Their strong technical support, from an experienced team, is critical for an upward trajectory and sustained recognition. BMJ's flagship publication is of course The BMJ which covers all of medicine and is among the top-ranked medical journals in the world. For those whose main focus is in rheumatology, Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases (ARD, the EULAR journal) is the most well-known and widely recognised publication from this group.
To promote and maintain a journal with high visibility and credibility, we have assembled a world-class team of associate editors and editorial board members. Acknowledging that lupus is heterogeneous both clinically and pathologically with branches in diverse disciplines in science and medicine, we have recruited expertise in innate and adaptive immune systems, genetics, bioinformatics, epidemiology, observational and interventional clinical trials, health economics, and patient reported outcomes. Lupus Science & Medicine welcomes submissions from many different perspectives, all to be showcased under one easy access roof.
We recognise that in an age where grant funding and academic promotion rely heavily on publication of high impact studies the journal must maintain a high bar of quality. Working with the associate editors, the editorial board and expert reviewers, we are committed to applying transparent and objective scientific rigour to the overall review process. The highest priority will be given to original research, while we will to a lesser extent consider unsolicited reviews and approved guidelines. Papers solely providing opinion (except in the case of open dialogues of accepted papers) and case reports will only rarely be considered. It is expected that papers published in Lupus Science & Medicine can be relied upon and applied in the clinic or in further research. Our ultimate vision is for Lupus Science & Medicine to become the premier forum for sharing lupus-related discoveries throughout our expansive community.
These are ambitious goals and we appreciate that much hard work will be needed to make this a reality. It is sincerely hoped that you, the contributor and the reader, will find our vision attractive, and that you consider the opportunities that this new journal affords as interesting and exciting as we do. Please join us in welcoming the launch of Lupus Science & Medicine.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.