In his Editorial for the launch issue of Nature Clinical Practice Neurology in November 2005, our founding Editor-in-Chief John W. 'Jack' Griffin said “as neurologists, we recognize that understanding the nervous system is set to be one of the greatest intellectual and research challenges of the next few decades, comparable to the challenge of molecular biology over the past 30 years.” In this 10th anniversary issue, we review the progress that has been made towards achieving this goal over the past decade, and assess the research priorities in neurology for the next 10 years.
When I joined the Nature Clinical Practice department in February 2005, I was tasked with developing an entirely new journal from scratch. The Clinical Practice brand represented Nature Publishing Group's first tentative steps into medical publishing, and we had little concept of how the journals would be received by the clinical community. Thankfully, inspired by the editorial values of the well-established Nature Reviews journals (where many of us had cut our editorial teeth), the Clinical Practice journals quickly gained a firm foothold in their respective fields.
Jack Griffin was our Editor-in-Chief from the journal launch in 2005 and, despite his failing health, he continued to serve on the Advisory Board following editorial restructuring in 2010, until his untimely death in 2011. Jack was instrumental to the early success of the journal, helping the in-house editorial team to appoint a first-class Advisory Board (many of whom continue to serve on the Board to this day) and to develop strong commissioning ideas. His entertaining and insightful Editorials drew on his experiences as both a clinician and a patient. He was always very supportive of the editorial team, providing valuable advice when needed but also giving us the freedom to develop our own ideas.
Though a staunch advocate of the journal, Jack was never afraid to provide constructive criticism. He was frequently heard to complain about “that cover”—the design of which was based on the clearly erroneous assumption that clinicians can't be bothered to open the front cover of a journal to view its contents—and to ponder why we couldn't make the journals look more like Nature Reviews. In 2009, he finally got his wish, and Nature Reviews Neurology was born.
In the Perspectives section of this special issue, Advisory Board members Eva Feldman and Hugh Willison, in collaboration with Richard Hughes, celebrate Jack's life and legacy, focusing particularly on his seminal contributions to the field of inflammatory neuropathies.
... Jack [Griffin] was instrumental to the early success of the journal...
The Perspectives also include an Opinion article by Ralph Sacco and colleagues, which highlights the importance of developing interventions to improve brain health in our ageing population. Rounding off the Perspectives section is a Viewpoint entitled Neurology—the next 10 years, in which a panel of Advisory Board members and other journal contributors are invited to outline their predictions and priorities for the neurology field in the next decade.
For this issue only, our usual News & Views section has been replaced by a series of 'Decade in Review' articles, which summarize the most important developments over the past 10 years in seven key areas of neurology—dementia, movement disorders, epilepsy, stroke, multiple sclerosis, migraine, and CNS infections. The Decade in Review articles from all eight of the clinical Nature Reviews journals will be compiled into an ebook that can be accessed through our journal website.
We are immensely proud of our achievements over the past decade, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank our Advisory Board members, authors, peer reviewers and other friends of the journal for their indispensable contributions, and our readers for their continued support. We look forward to bringing you the hottest topics from the best authors in neurology for many years to come. Hopefully, in 10 years' time, we will be able to look back on another decade of major breakthroughs in the understanding and treatment of neurological disease.
The author declares no competing financial interests.
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Wood, H. Nature Reviews Neurology: the early years. Nat Rev Neurol 11, 607 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrneurol.2015.204