Molecular medicine has undergone profound changes since the publication of the first issue of Nature Medicine 15 years ago this month (January). To keep up with these changes, the journal is strengthening its commitment to publishing the best research and the most topical news and commentary on translational medicine by adding more pages to the journal. The details are provided in the journal’s first Editorial of the year (Nature Medicine 16, 1; 2010)
Nature Medicine‘s inaugural editorial (1, 1; 1995), stated that the journal would be “home to papers that bridge the gap between cutting edge biological research and more clinically oriented human investigation.” In current parlance, Nature Medicine was to be the home of translational research.
Fifteen years later, the journal’s mission remains the same. What has changed is the landscape in which biomedical research is conducted. Funding organizations worldwide now pay a premium for ‘translational projects’—research that, broadly speaking, aims to satisfy an unmet medical need. As a result, the journal’s niche has expanded, serving a bigger community – and translational research is more visible than ever.
Among the changes that have occurred in the past 15 years are the nature of the drug discovery process, the way in which translational research is conducted, and the advent of the Internet. These and other changes in the translational research landscape have directly affected what Nature Medicine considers for publication. The larger size of the translational community has increased the number of submissions; systems biology approaches to biomedicine have resulted in more studies on disease biomarkers; and there is a plethora of submitted studies that claim to have identified a molecule that is “critically important” for essentially any disease you can think of, making it harder than ever to identify those that report a true disease target that will eventually result in the discovery of a new therapy.
Nature Medicine is renewing its commitment to offering readers the best studies that “bridge the gap between cutting edge biological research and more clinically oriented human investigation” and to being a trusted source of information on every facet of the biomedical world. This year, therefore, Nature Medicine is growing. News coverage in print and online is increasing, there will be more podcasts, and the journal now has a presence at Twitter and Facebook. The number and scope of News and Views, Commentaries and Reviews will be increased, and new sections of the journal will be introduced. An additional editor for research manuscripts will help to cope with the ever-growing submissions load, enabling us to provide authors with decisions as quickly and as fairly as possible.