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Vinod Ravindran

Author Affiliations: 

Editor-In-Chief, JRCPE, Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, UK


Correspondence to: 

Editor-In-Chief, Editorial office, JRCPE, Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, 11 Queen Street, Edinburgh EH2 1JQ, UK


Journal Issue: 
Volume 50: Issue 4: 2020
Cite paper as: 
J R Coll Physicians Edinb 2020; 50: 355



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From the editor

On behalf of the editorial board, I am happy to present to you this year’s last issue of the Journal.

Apart from those mentioned on the Journal’s cover, this issue has several other interesting articles. In the clinical section, readers would find a case series by Low et al. interesting. Their description of clinical features and outcome of patients presenting with cardiac tamponade requiring urgent pericardiocentesis is a useful update for clinicians. Retrospective studies remain an important tool to study several heath issues and diseases. Goyal and Talari in their piece discuss the utility and limitations of retrospective studies. Clinicians and researchers alike would find discussion on confounders and sources of error or bias in retrospective studies useful and benefit by knowing how to minimise or account for them. In the education section, a study by Croghan and Baker has explored the complexities of the decision-making journey related to specialty choice undertaken by future doctors whilst at medical school in Ireland. As making a career choice is a complex and multifactorial process, for this Journal’s global readership, this study provides useful insight into the myriad factors influencing medical students in their choice of specialty. Macgillivray’s historical piece on the Scottish Scurvy Epidemic of 1847 provides a fascinating account of early epidemiological work and then prevalent theories related to the nature and causes of this epidemic.

The Journal has experienced strong growth this year too. We received 40% more papers this year. Acceptance rate has been little over 30%. While there are many reasons why a manuscript is rejected (please see our editorial on page 362), lack of compliance with the requirements of formal approval or waiver from an Institutional Ethics Committees and consent are not uncommon. As they are mandatory requirements for all clinical studies, without it this Journal would not be able to consider such manuscripts. The authors therefore must provide sufficient details in the manuscript.

It is important and relevant for the authors who had their manuscripts accepted/published to promote their manuscripts. In this context, social media channels have emerged and gained recognition as valuable tools for online visibility and promotion of scholarly contents that can be easily accessed immediately upon publication. Few useful such social media channels include Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Examples of relevant scientific social media channels are Researchgate and However, authors must be careful and only ethically promote their articles on social media channels. Communications on social media should be professional, courteous and evidence-based.

Many congratulations to the winners of this year’s College Journal Prize for the original papers and case reports by doctors in training as the first authors (details available on page 402). In its 10th year now, this prestigious prize is supported by the Senior Fellows Club of the College (

I sincerely thank our peer reviewers for their voluntary provision of time and efforts in assessing the manuscript submitted to this journal. A full list of reviewers from this year can be found on page 455.

I also would like to thank the Fellows and Members of our College who have supported the journal by submitting articles and taking an active part in promoting the Journal. I urge them and all other authors to keep the deadline for the Andrew Douglas award 2021 in mind (for full details please see page 419).

Lastly, on behalf of the entire editorial board, I would also like to take this opportunity to wish you all season’s greetings and the best of 2021.

I welcome feedback or suggestions regarding any aspect of JRCPE by email to, or to the editorial team at

Vinod Ravindran


Editorial office, JRCPE

Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

11 Queen Street

Edinburgh EH2 1JQ