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Science  22 Dec 2006:
Vol. 314, Issue 5807, pp. 1847a
DOI: 10.1126/science.314.5807.1847a

Ten months after the two top editors of the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) were fired amid conflicts over editorial independence (Science, 24 March, p. 1695), Canada's premier scientific publication has picked a new editor. Ottawa epidemiologist and blood-transfusion expert Paul Hébert will take over next month in a move that Robert Fletcher of Harvard University calls “the beginning of the healing process for what was a very troubling episode.”

Q: Will CMAJ face continuing conflict over editorial independence from the association?

No. I've decided to give the CMA access to the editorials before the journal goes to print. But the association will not be allowed to change them. The association simply requested the ability to prepare responses to the editorials in advance. But it will be a cold day in hell before people start telling me what to do. And there's no way the CMA wants to repeat history.

Q: What shape is CMAJ in as you take over?

Very strong submissions continue to pour in. The journal continues to make news week after week with high-impact studies.

Q: Where do you want to lead the journal?

I want to craft a patient-centered research focus, as opposed to a basic-science research focus. I think the journal that will be of greatest use to the members and to the public will focus on health-services research, clinical-practice research, and policy research.

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