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The BJO has long been in the business of disseminating information concerning the clinical and basic research activities of ophthalmologists and ophthalmic/vision scientists within the United Kingdom. In recent years, however, theBJO has received an increasing number of submissions from beyond these shores and as the pages of the journal have proliferated it is becoming clear that more than 50% of published work comes from outside the UK. This is, of course, a healthy situation, and one to be encouraged. Accordingly, the journal wishes to respond to this and in so doing has introduced some changes to the editorial board which will take place in the coming weeks and will reflect this increased internationalisation of its pages and presumably its readership. These changes are not new but in fact signify a return to editorial characteristics which marked theBJO in earlier times in the heyday of the Commonwealth. However, today’s changes better reflect the broader international ophthalmic community and in this sense will be a new departure from previous times.
The new structure will comprise an editor in chief, three associate editors, and 15 section and regional editors. The three associate editors will represent discrete global areas—namely, one for the Americas, one for Europe, and a third for the UK and rest of the world. Thus, the BJO will now have three offices where papers can be processed and it is intended that this should provide a more efficient service for authors from each of these regions. Authors should therefore consult the new instructions to authors before submitting their papers if they wish a fast turn around time.
The journal will continue to deal with all aspects of ophthalmology and vision science. In particular it wishes to encourage submissions in both clinical and laboratory science. In these days of change to many areas of ophthalmic practice, there is a perception that not only is the division between the clinician and the scientist becoming wider, but that within ophthalmology different types of specialist are finding it increasingly difficult to communicate with each other because of the highly sophisticated nature of their expertise. This particularly applies to the developing separation between ophthalmic surgery and ophthalmic medicine. It is critical that channels of communication are kept as wide open as possible and thus the BJO will continue to encourage reviews and commentaries which deal with such issues while through its newsdesk page, it will bring to the readership any hot items in any field that even remotely impinges on ophthalmology.
Papers will be processed as before but now in one of three offices rather than solely the UK office. The normal procedure is for an initial vetting of the paper for general suitability for theBJO, followed by allocation of the paper to a section or region, and then review by expert referees. Much of this procedure is performed by modern communication methods such that the paper can be fully processed within a period of 4–6 weeks at the present time. This will ensure that the initial decision on papers can be made as fast as possible.
The BJO hopes that these changes will continue to make the journal interesting to its readership. In the process of change, several previous section editors have retired from duty and the BJO wishes to thank them for their tireless and painstaking efforts during the past 6 years, and for helping to forge the new look BJO that is on offer today.