Next February marks a major milestone for rheumatology: The ACR’s journal Arthritis & Rheumatism (A&R) turns 50. The first issue of A&R rolled out in February 1958, before rheumatology was even a recognized subspecialty and when new information and research surrounding the field were developing at a breakneck pace.
A&R kept up with that pace, and has established itself as an essential publication for rheumatologists in the United States and abroad. “This is the highest-ranked journal in rheumatology in the world,” says William P. Arend, MD, professor of medicine in the rheumatology division at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Aurora, who served as editor from 1995 to 2000. “It’s the foremost rheumatology research journal.”
There have been 10 editors in the history of the journal. William S. Clark, MD, the first editor, served for eight years; each subsequent editor has served a five-year term. Nine editors are still alive and active in the ACR. “We have a remarkably healthy and long-lived set of editors,” says Michael D. Lockshin, MD, current editor of A&R and a rheumatologist with the Hospital for Special Surgery at Cornell University in New York City, as well as a professor of medicine and obstetrics-gynecology at Weill-Cornell Medical College.
All nine living editors are participating in next year’s anniversary celebration in some way.
Several plans are in the works to mark the occasion. “In a sense, it’s a celebration of the past,” says Dr. Lockshin, “but much more importantly, it’s a look at the future – at the future of our mission and how we serve the community.”
The very first look at the past and future of A&R will be a special educational session at the ACR/ARHP Annual Scientific Meeting in Boston this November. The session will explore the journal’s history and how it might look in the future.
“We’re going to have a few of the former editors and current contributors discussing the science issues that have evolved over the years,” explains Dr. Lockshin. He points out that a review of A&R articles published during the past half century clearly shows the changes in science within rheumatology.
A&R will get a new look for the anniversary as well. The cover is being redesigned, and additional changes to inside pages will come thereafter. At least one new feature will be added: “In the journal, by the table of contents, we’re adding an ‘In this Issue’ section that will highlight articles,” says Dr. Lockshin.