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As the first year of our union with BMJ draws to a close it is useful to reflect on our achievements to date. Submissions continue to increase compared to previous years and the breadth of subjects and authors increases steadily. I have been particular impressed by the improvements in the peer review and production processes with the advent of the on-line manuscript submission system although I would take this opportunity to repeat my previous pleas to all those who are kind enough to peer review for us to try and keep within the timelines so that we can deal with manuscripts in a timely manner.
Plans are well underway for both a ‘Research into Practice’ special edition and a commemorative World War 1 supplement for next year and I and the editorial board are looking forward to the announcement of our first Impact Factor in the spring of 2014. Finally, I think that this edition is a perfect example of the breadth of topics and contributors that are now finding a home within this journal and I would urge all Services, Corps and countries to submit their research to the J R Army Med Corps.
Carter provides an insight into the use of Early Warning Scores in the deployed Field Hospital and is a welcome nursing article in the Journal, something we receive too few of. He also provides the abstracts of a recent Defence Nursing Forum/Royal College of Nursing joint conference which discussed many topical areas of military nursing practice.
Medical students and the military
The use of University Officer Training Corps students to teach decision-making, leadership and teamworking skills to medical students is a novel and interesting development in broadening the use of the skills that many in the military may take for granted.
It's not just trauma
Johnson et al's article reminds us of several important lessons. The significant contribution to hospital workload made by disease and non-battle injury even in a trauma-heavy environment such as Afghanistan is easy to forget, as is the threat to deployed service personnel from the environment in its many forms. Finally the ethical dilemmas presented in such cases are never easy to work through and I am grateful for the authors discussing those issues so frankly.
This edition contains two pieces of new ballistics research, one a systematic review of the evidence and the other a new view on a mechanism of injury and I am delighted that both of these articles can be read in the context of our editorial which frames more than a century of ballistics research and reminds the readers of the existence of the Ballistics Injury Archive—a massively important resource for all involved in ballistic trauma management.
The international dimension to our journal is important and I am delighted that this edition contains contributors from five non-UK countries. Frickmann et al's scholarly exposition on the threat of using HIV as a deliberate weapon of terrorism, Vekerdi's command view of how the medical fraternity fit into the new structures within the international medical community and Weereink et al's fascinating case report of delayed blast effects are welcome contributions from Europe.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.