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Today, epidemiology is a scientific discipline at an important stage of development and maturity. Epidemiology’s prestige has grown, and its contributions to understanding health and preventing diseases are perceived in other fields of science and in non-scientific communities. A major aim of epidemiology is to study the causes (“determinants”) of diseases and other health events at a population level. To study causes, epidemiology interacts with knowledge coming from social, environmental, clinical, molecular or genetic research, among many other sources. The outcomes that epidemiological research addresses very often have implications for health policies as well as for policies affecting different spheres (eg, occupational, environmental, educational, transportation, food), and for the day-to-day life of populations and individuals.
Journals remain an essential vehicle for epidemiologists to deliver the results of their research to other epidemiologists, other scientists, professionals and the general public. Furthermore, in our complex, globalised and fragmented societies, scientific journals are an extremely important public space for discussing—with the utmost rigour and freedom—the validity, meaning and implications of research findings. JECH is among the most influential and prestigious epidemiological scientific journals worldwide. A good measure of this influence is its bibliographic impact factor and the total number of citations that published articles receive each year. But there are other reasons to be well ranked: first, its openness to perceive new trends in epidemiology and public health at a very early stage; and second, its origins and purpose: it was created and …
Competing interests: None declared.