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In December 1999, as the new millennium neared, Richard Smith, former editor of the BMJ, and Alex Williamson, Publishing Director of BMJ Journals, offered one of us (CH) the opportunity to assume the position of editor of this journal. The sage counsel of the retiring editor, John Forrester, was sought. On his advice, Andrew Dick was named UK editor, to run with a non-UK editor. Despite all the changes John Forrester had already brought to the journal, this was a conceptual prospect for the BJO to advance the BMJ publishing group’s mission of global dissemination of medical and scientific knowledge. The two of us agreed that each of us would assume an equal voice in the journal’s design, policies and long-term goals. Our Anglo-American alliance has endured with a minimum of disagreement about our visions for the journal. It was our aim to build on the previous successes of John Forrester and his editorial group. That seemed a daunting task; how to continually strive to publish expeditiously and in a reader-friendly form, excellence in both clinical and laboratory based ophthalmology. We suspect readers of and contributors to the journal may have varying opinions of how successful we have been.
Now that our term as editors is ending there are several people we wish to thank for their assistance. We have been fortunate to have an active, international editorial board whose multiple perspectives have been invaluable. Scott Rostler and Anne Williams have been active partners in the daily activities of the San Francisco and Bristol offices. They have excelled in their positions as editorial assistants. We are deeply indebted to them both. In the BMJ publishing offices in London we have been assisted by numerous people with a myriad of skills. These include Andrea Horgan, Claire Folkes, Rachel Christopher, Gavin Stewart, Louise Camp, Leanne Tite, Liz Standing, Craig Raybold, Dominic Mitchell and Carol Torselli. A special thanks goes to Glen Hughes, a superb technical editor and a mentor to us both in the first months of our learning the ropes of journal layout and design. Bob Bhisitkul has been a creative and skilled web editor who, we are pleased to say, will remain with the new editorial team. Finally, we struggle to find the appropriate words to describe the contributions of our polymath cover editor, Ivan Schwab. He has produced 87 unique, eye-catching covers that have become the trademark of our editorship. His essays in describing these photographic masterpieces have been erudite, engaging and always witty. We are aware of more than one journal subscriber who insists it is only the covers of the journal that are to be saved. We hope some of the other journal’s content has approached the noteworthiness of Ivan’s contributions. Finally, we wish to thank all our readers and authors for their support. We are well aware that the dramatic increase in the number of manuscript submissions over the past few years has resulted in a significant decrease in our acceptance rate. This has undoubtedly disappointed numerous would be contributors to the journal.
The next issue of the journal will be edited by a new Anglo-American team, Professors Harminder Dua and Arun Singh. They will undoubtedly bring new ideas and energy to the journal. We look forward to watching the journal evolve under their leadership. We wish them well and will provide them support in every way possible.
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