Since 2012, as well as being PLOS Medicine’s Chief Editor, I have combined that role with Medicine Editorial Director for PLOS – overseeing our three medical journals, PLOS Medicine, PLOS Pathogens and PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. I was one of the three editors that started PLOS Medicine and was its first Chief Editor; so, in one way or another, I have been closely involved in running the journal for the almost 10 years it has existed.
We have now decided to separate out the two roles — of Medicine Editorial Director for PLOS, and that of PLOS Medicine‘s Chief Editor — and later this year I will be therefore stepping down as Chief Editor. We have taken this decision for a number of reasons, once of which is personal, in that I am moving with my family to Australia.
I have been intimately connected with the journal from its very beginnings. Overseeing PLOS Medicine and working with colleagues on the journal has been the biggest and most rewarding challenge of my professional life. From the beginning, when PLOS Medicine set out to show that open-access publishing was compatible with the highest standards in medical publishing, we have filled a very specific niche in medical journal publishing – and have become a journal that, despite its size, regularly punches above its weight. Among our achievements, we have campaigned on important issues in medical publishing, prioritized for publication papers on the diseases and risk factors that cause the highest burden of disease, championed rigour in medical journal publishing, including better reporting of papers, and have rejected the conflicts that many journals have with the vested interests of the pharmaceutical and other industries. Along the way we have published many great papers, but most importantly I believe have been a catalyst for change in a way that was, and still is, sorely needed in medical publishing.
I am very pleased I won’t be leaving PLOS altogether and will as Medicine Editorial Director remain able to champion PLOS Medicine and its values both inside and outside of PLOS. We are now recruiting for the new Chief Editor and I will remain in the post until they are recruited. The new editor will inherit not only a fantastic set of professional editors and journal staff, but also a tremendous, engaged academic editorial board that has really allowed us to become what we are now.I’m looking forward to seeing where the journal goes next. Oh, and of course representing PLOS in a new part of the world!