The Australian Journal of Rural Health (AJRH), the premier journal on rural and remote health in Australia, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. In his editorial in 20(1), Editor David Perkins evaluates the record of the Journal since its establishment in 1992 by Desley Hegney and the Association for Australian Rural Nurses (AARN).
The Journal’s initial goal remains central to its mission: to facilitate publication of scholarly papers on rural and remote health, particularly papers with a multi-disciplinary approach.
AJRH has had a steadily rising trajectory of achievement, as reflected in its impact factor of 1.070. AJRH is owned and managed by the National Rural Health Alliance and is the official journal of Services for Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARRAH) and CRANAplus. It is published by Wiley-Blackwell, and is still available both in hard copy and online.
Chair of the Journal’s Advisory Committee, Gordon Gregory, has paid credit to those who have been its Honorary Editors over the years: Desley Hegney, John Marley, James Dunbar and the present Editor, David Perkins. “Each of them has had a share of the passion and commitment of the rural and remote health sector in Australia and helped advance the Journal to its present status,” he said.
In 2010-11 there were over 139,000 full text downloads of articles from AJRH. While most users are located in Australia, there continues to be a healthy interest from overseas.
The Alliance also acknowledged the organisations that have supported AJRH over the years: Rural Doctors’ Association of Australia (RDAA), the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), the Royal College of Nursing Australia (RCNA) and, more recently, the Australian Rural Health Education Network (ARHEN).
“Special thanks go to Wiley-Blackwell, our publisher since 1995, and its staff, for the unstinting professional support given to AJRH,” Mr Gregory said.
Like so many before it, the latest issue - 20(1) - includes an article on a matter of considerable current importance: how city and rural areas should be classified for the purposes of incentive payments to doctors. “It’s also noteworthy that John Humphreys, one of that article’s authors, has been closely involved with AJRH since the very beginning,” Mr Gregory said.
The role of the Journal is to gather and communicate reliable information for rural communities, practitioners, service managers and policy makers. By continuing the high standard of scholarship, AJRH helps build an improved future for rural and remote health.
Gordon Gregory, NRHA: 02 6285 4660