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1The future and continuity

As the new editors of the The International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine (JRS) we want to carry on but also develop the ideas of its founding editor, Graham Dukes. JRS has a statement that currently explains its interests on its website ( These include “rendering the practice of medicine as safe as it can be; that involves promoting the highest possible quality of care, but also examining how those risks which are inevitable can be contained and managed”. We want to emphasize that we welcome any contribution to this broad theme of how to improve the balance between positive and negative outcomes for patients in any step of their management, and indeed also the safety of their carers.


The Journal currently includes in its subtitle three items to better indicate the broad scope of the journal, i.e. patient safety, pharmacovigilance and liability. The addition of the latter is to encourage discussions by patients and the legal profession on the issues of responsibility and trust in clinical care. We have now extended the skills range of Associate Editors and so will continue to ensure that we can tackle the wide range of philosophical and practical matters that make up clinical and research practice in medicine. We wish to explore and understand more about the complex mechanisms of cause and effect and the social contexts in which they occur.

3Broader readership-reviews and meeting reports

Already specified on our website is, “We especially want to emphasize patient safety. Our journal wants to publish high quality interdisciplinary papers related to patient safety, not just the ones for domain specialists.” We want any interested person outside the relevant professions to have a chance to read our articles. Major reviews of the literature are often of interest to the public and we will welcome more of these, as well as proceedings from meetings that can be taken as special editions with guest editors. Science and medicine do not exist in a vacuum but in varying contexts needing understanding of community. For this, we must turn to politics, economics, sociology, social psychology to learn about the background: malpractices, economic insecurity, deprived and neglected communities; to the realities and impact of poor or absent education and health systems; perhaps even how to grasp suspicion of outsiders. In other words, we are not only asking for bald science to be clearly described. We also want discussions of motivations for, as well as possible impact of, a particular work within described communities.

We will continue to foster links with WHO for interesting international topics. On the other hand, there are many other and new international organizations and meetings that deserve the attention of an international journal. Submission of news items will be appreciated, as will be the contributions of letters on topics which have been dealt with in the journal and deserve more airing.

We would like to introduce a new section for publication of abstracts/short summaries, in English, of articles previously published in local languages in national journals. We believe that such knowledge will promote general safety in medical care globally. Already we are discussing a collaboration with the Chinese ADR Journal for articles they feel are of sufficient international interest to send to us. Similar discussions are taking place with the Russian Scientific Community of Authors, “World Sci Publ”.

4Design, layout, length

Within some reasonable limits, we will consider contributions regardless of format and length, though they must be in good English that will be understood by a broadly educated audience. We do, however, understand that some will not be suitable or interesting outside a specialist group. The important issue is whether the contribution significantly adds to global knowledge and does not fall into the ‘So what’ category.

We are also pleased that articles are available online: The Journal’s policy can be found here: We want as many people as possible that want to read our Journal and to benefit from it.

5Final thoughts

It should go without saying that we welcome comment and critique of what we do, to ensure we make improvement on a continuing basis.