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Editorial
June 2018

Good to Begin Well, Better to End Well

Author Affiliations
  • 1Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois
JAMA Dermatol. 2018;154(6):653. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.0558

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
…A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away.

Ecclesiastes 3, King James Version

After 162 print issues, it is time for me to “cast away” from the mooring of the journal. In the last 14 years, we have reviewed 12 985 submissions to the Archives of Dermatology and 13 443 to JAMA Dermatology. The journal, which has been in continuous publication since October 1882, is constantly evolving. When Jeffrey P. Callen, MD, Deputy Editor, and I began in 2004, all submissions, peer reviews, and communication with authors were paper based and delivered by “snail mail.” The editorial staff made trips to the mailroom twice a day with huge stacks of packed envelopes. Now the whole process—from submission, peer review, submission of revised manuscripts, authors’ transfer of copyright, manuscript acceptance, cropping figures to preserve the important dermatologic aspects, and selection of issues—is performed electronically. In 2018, the editorial office has no paper files. Editorial duties are performed online from wherever we may be in the world. The job of the editor does not stop for weekends, vacations, international travel, or professional meetings. Editing is a continuous and all-consuming endeavor. The web-based editorial platform shortened the cycle from submission to publication and made it imperative to perform quality reviews and make decisions in less time than was needed for a print-only, paper-based journal.

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