From this issue, Clinical Science will increase its page numbers from an average of 112 to 128 per monthly issue. This welcome change — equivalent to at least two manuscripts — has been ‘forced’ on us by the increasing pressure on space; this has led to an undesirable increase in the delay between acceptance and publication, and to a fall in the proportion of submitted manuscripts we have been able to accept. The change in page numbers will instead permit us now to return to our exceptionally short interval between acceptance and publication of 3–4 months; and at the same time we shall be able not only to accept (as now) those papers requiring little or no revision, but also to offer hope to some of those papers which have raised our interest but come to grief in review because of a major but remediable problem. Our view, doubtless unoriginal, has been that the review process, which is unusually thorough for Clinical Science, involving a specialist editor and two external referees, is most constructive when it helps the evolution of a good paper from an interesting piece of research.
Traditionally, the papers in Clinical Science have represented some areas of research more than others. However, this has reflected entirely the pattern of papers submitted to us, rather than any selective interest of the Editorial Board, which numbers up to 35 scientists covering most areas of medical research. Arguably, after the explosion during the last decade of specialist journals, the general journal can look forward to a renaissance in the 1990s, as scientists in apparently different specialities discover that they are interested in the same substances, asking similar questions and developing techniques of mutual benefit to answer these questions. This situation arises from the trend, even among clinical scientists, to recognize the power of research based at the cellular and molecular level to achieve real progress, and at this level the concept of organ-based specialism breaks down. It is perhaps ironic that this journal, for a short while at the end of the 1970s, adopted — and then discarded — the name of Clinical Science and Molecular Medicine, since this title perfectly represents the direction in which clinical science, and therefore Clinical Science, is now progressing.