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J R Soc Interface. 2009 May 6; 6(34): 415.
Published online 2009 March 20. doi:  10.1098/rsif.2009.0074
PMCID: PMC2659700

Five years on

This issue marks the fifth anniversary of the launch of Journal of the Royal Society Interface in May 2004. After consulting widely, it became apparent that the traditional distinction between the physical sciences, including mathematics, and the biological sciences was becoming ever more problematic. Such a division ignored the scientific challenges and opportunities which were increasingly emerging at their interface. It was recognised that interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary and cross-disciplinary research was flourishing, but that a forum for its publication and promotion was lacking, especially by a journal which did not favour either side of the physical science/life science divide.

In my first editorial, I stated the ambition that Journal of the Royal Society Interface would empower the advance of cross-disciplinary science and that ‘our success would depend on the quality and impact of the submitted papers we publish.’ I am delighted to report that such an aspiration is being realised. Submissions have shown a consistent year-on-year increase, which has necessitated a corresponding rise in the number of issues, from four in our first full year of publication to one a month in 2008. The quality of articles has followed a similar trajectory. The Journal's impact factor is already above three making it fifth in ISI's multi-disciplinary category.

It is thus not surprising that Journal of the Royal Society Interface has attracted some of the world's most renowned researchers. The range of submissions, both research articles and review papers, is also impressive; tissue engineering of replacement skin, self-healing materials, optical tweezers, diamond and biology, bio-inspired adhesive pads and the hyperelastic modelling of arterial layers are but a few of the distinctive subjects covered in the last five years.

Another source of satisfaction has been the acceptance of our themed publication, Interface Focus. Beginning in 2008 with an issue on biological switches and clocks, we now aim to publish six issues a year on topics such as synthetic biology and the bio–nano-interface. Interface Focus offers a special opportunity for both authors and readers to define a particular field through a collection of related articles, with the benefit of knowing that all have passed through the Royal Society's stringent peer-review process.

I would like to thank my colleagues on the editorial board for their role in the development of Journal of the Royal Society Interface. Not only have they offered me guidance and acted as referees, but they have also submitted their own work for publication. I would also like to thank both the Royal Society and the publishing team for their support, with special thanks to Dr Tim Holt for his outstanding service as Publishing Editor. I look forward to overseeing the Journal's continued progress over the coming years and hope that you, either as an author, referee and/or reader, will continue your valued participation.

Articles from Journal of the Royal Society Interface are provided here courtesy of The Royal Society