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Greetings from the editor
  1. Josef S Smolen
  1. Rheumatology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna 1090, Austria
  1. Correspondence to Professor Josef S Smolen, Rheumatology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna 1090, Austria; josef.smolen.ard{at}

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Since 20 years, June after June constitutes the ‘month of European rheumatology’, the month in which the Annual EULAR Congress is held. It was in June 2000 when this conference was organised for the first time in Nice and, therefore, this year’s Congress marks its 20th Anniversary. Also in 2000, the oldest rheumatology journal, Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, which was founded 80 years ago in 1939, became the EULAR Journal, being part of the Congress educational material ever since—every single one of the more than 14 000 participants can enjoy reading ARD for a full year between two consecutive EULAR Congresses.

The EULAR Journal’s educational and scientific content was shaped by its first editor, Professor Leo van der Putte (editor until April 2008) and subsequently further expanded by his successor, Professor Tore Kvien (editor until August 2017). It is a pleasure and obligation to pay tribute to these two eminent personalities who have enlightened the rheumatological community by their own scientific work and as outstanding mentors within and beyond their institutions, and also by their highly laudable and visionary activities in the course of their ARD editorships, importantly supporting the paths into a flourishing and growing world of rheumatology.

It is also a privilege to focus your attention on a number of highlights published in the ARD issue you hold in your hands right now: the update of the EULAR recommendations for the management of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE),1 a viewpoint on current challenges in SLE research2, an editorial on autoantibody research in rheumatoid arthritis3 and a new look at the worldwide burden of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases.4 Further, many original papers on important studies in rheumatoid arthritis, SLE, systemic sclerosis and osteoarthritis, among others, are included in this issue. The ‘Heroes and Pillars’ section is devoted to Barbara Ansell, a legendary rheumatologist who was a founder and broadly influenced the development of paediatric rheumatology in the last century.5 Also, when you look at the publications on clinical trials, you may find our new editorial policy mostly fulfilled, namely a detailed presentation of all data points in respective figures for clearer insights into the data sets and easier future meta-analysis work.6 7

Needless to say that, as always since the foundation of the Annual EULAR Congress, you can read the abstracts presented at the Congress in a supplement to ARD.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Associate Editors for all their support during the last year. Their rapid and thorough considerations when dealing with first decision-making regarding submitted papers cannot be highlighted strongly enough. Further, several issues had arisen, such as on dual submission or corrections of manuscripts, and the thoughtfulness and culture of discussion, the time provided during weeks of deliberations and the support received by this group are exemplary. My gratitude extends to the chair of ARD’s advisory committee and the publisher for all their help. And a big ‘Thank you!’ is also owed to all reviewers who support the journal by their invaluable comments that allow to increase the quality of submitted papers and, thus, the quality of this Journal. It is yet another privilege to receive and be able to count on these outstanding contributions.

Let me please come to an end of these greetings by also thanking you, the readers, for your loyalty to ARD—please let us know where you see room for improvement. Finally, I wish you a successful EULAR 2019 Congress as well as much pleasure and lots of gain of new information when reading ARD.

Josef Smolen, Editor-in-Chief


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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.