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Epidemiology:
doi: 10.1097/EDE.0b013e3181e851e6
Special Editors and A Blog: Editorial

Breaking New Ground at Epidemiology

Wilcox, Allen J.

Free Access

I am pleased to announce 3 new editorships at Epidemiology. Two are specialty editors—one in infectious diseases and the other in genetics. The third is an editor to launch our journal's new blog site.

Specialty editors are new for us. We recognize that certain topics of epidemiologic research have not had much prominence in our pages. The editors have identified infectious diseases and genetics as 2 areas that deserve special attention. We aim to expand our presence in these areas by bringing in specialty editors, who can attract more papers in these areas and provide these papers with expert review.

Why these 2 areas? Infectious disease was the pillar of epidemiology before being sapped of its urgency by vaccines and antibiotics. In recent years, the field has resurged with the emergence of new infections (HIV, SARS), re-emergence of old ones (TB), and the discovery of infections that cause other diseases (gastric ulcers, cervical cancer). Even so, few infectious disease papers are submitted to general epidemiology journals. We aim to give infectious diseases a stronger position in our journal, with the expectation that epidemiologists of all specialties will benefit. We are happy to welcome William C. Miller of the University of North Carolina as our Special Editor for Infectious Diseases. Bill is a clinician and epidemiologist with a keen interest in methods. His statement of what he hopes to accomplish follows this editorial.1

Genetics is another topic that has been under-represented in our pages. The advances of molecular genetics have energized virtually every area of biologic research, including epidemiology. Epidemiologists have been attracted by the availability of genetic tools and the methodologic challenges that come with applying them in population studies. We are pleased that Dani Fallin of Johns Hopkins University has agreed to serve as Special Editor for Genetics. Dani has been at the vanguard of researchers who are incorporating genetic tools in epidemiologic studies. Her perspective on the future directions of genetic epidemiology—and the kinds of papers she would like to see published at Epidemiology—is provided in an editorial following this one.2

Finally, our new blog. The fast-evolving tools of the Internet encourage a new style of academic discussion—one that is brisker and more informal. As a way to tap into the dynamism fostered by such informality, we have invited Jan Vandenbroucke (of Leiden University) to be our first blog editor. Jan combines a broad perspective with a dash of iconoclasm. (Alert readers may have noticed that Jan's blog started in May [www.epidem.com].) In an editorial that follows, Jan describes his plans for this blog.3

All of these initiatives are part of our ongoing effort to make Epidemiology not just a repository but a pathway. A research journal is an avenue to new places, with the journey being half the fun. We look forward to your company along the way.

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REFERENCES

1. Miller WC. Infectious disease (in) Epidemiology. Epidemiology. 2010;21:593–594.

2. Fallin MD. Genetics in Epidemiology. Epidemiology. 2010;21:595–596.

3. Vandenbroucke JP, “Epidemiology watching”: An epidemiologic blog. Epidemiology. 2010;21:597.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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