It was at the suggestion of Professor Michael Whitehouse (see previous Editorial) that I should give a brief account of how the journal was started, the raison d’etre for its existence, and now 25 years since it was first published what the future holds for this multi-disciplinary journal.

The beginnings of inflammopharmacology (IPH) started when Dr. Peter Clarke, a commissioning editor from MTP (Lancaster, UK, later taken over by Kluwer) came to my laboratory in Cambridge in 1988 and asked if I would be interested in establishing a new journal for publishing papers in the general area of the pharmacology of inflammation. I was about to take up a new post as a joint professor in Biomedical Sciences (Pharmacology) and Pathology at McMaster University Faculty of Health Sciences in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The thought of trying to establish a new journal while at the same time setting up new research programmes and collaborations, teaching medical and biomedical subjects, and promoting the development of a Pharmacology of Rheumatic Diseases group presented a daunting, if not formidable prospect. However, after discussing the ideas and working out what could be done with colleagues it seemed to be a worthwhile project. My colleagues at McMaster University were particularly enthusiastic, among them Professors Watson Buchanan, Walter Kean, Richard Hunt and Alan McComas.

By 1991, we had published the first issues of volume 1 (Table 1) and interest in the journal progressively developed. The first publisher, Kluwer Academic (Dordrecht, The Netherlands) produced six volumes up until 1998. Subsequently, this publisher handed over the publication to another Dutch publisher, VSP (; Utrecht) who continued later as part of Koninklinje Brill NV until volume 13 was published in 2005 (Table 2). Considerable interest had developed at this stage thanks to the support of a widening Editorial Board, special issues devoted to topical subjects, and publication of peer-reviewed papers selected from conferences on the “Side Effects of Anti-inflammatory Drugs (SEADs) and later the “Inflammopharmacology” series (Table 2).

Table 1 Titles of papers in the first volume of Inflammopharmacology
Table 2 Inflammopharmacology conference series (with side-effects of anti-inflammatory drugs symposia)

A matter of concern then to me was that the previous publishers had not been able to get a journal cited in Index Medicus (PubMed) or the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) Web of Science. I was not appraised of the situation about citation on these indexes. I had discussed the issue about how the future development of the journal could be progressed and the citation issue with a considerable number of scientists, physicians in the field of gastroenterology, rheumatology and internal medicine, as well as with academic publishers. I had decided that we needed to seek a publisher who would have the experience of publishing research in the field of inflammation and who had the facilities to make the wider scientific and medical world aware of the journal, to promote its interests and to seek citation and impact factor ratings. By good luck, I was participating in a conference in Rome in 2005 at which my wife and I were having lunch in which Dr. Detlef Klüber from Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel, was at our table when discussion took place about journal publications. I had known Dr. Klüber from being previously involved with him in book publications. My wife suggested to me that perhaps I should ask Dr. Klüber if he would be interested in publishing Inflammopharmacology. It emerged during discussions that he was looking for complementary publications to fit with the Birkhäuser portfolio of journals that included Inflammation Research (formerly Agents and Actions) with whom I had previously had editorial involvement. It seemed that the focus of Inflammopharmacology on pharmacological aspects of the therapy of inflammatory diseases, would be a neat complement to the understanding of inflammatory processes which was the focus of Inflammation Research. With my past involvement in the latter journal we had the basis for developing complementary publications and through personal contacts via the editors we could see a basis for establishing a working plan for both journals working independently of one another.

Table 3 Most frequent citations and frequently accessed articles in Inflammopharmacology

After Inflammopharmacology moved to Birkhäuser, the scientific and medical journals from this publisher were taken over and incorporated into the portfolios of Springer Basel AG, a subsidiary of Springer AG (Heidelberg). This was a fortuitous development since we now had the support of the extensive publication systems and expertise of Springer. I would also mention that it was the enthusiasm, expertise and invaluable support of Dr. Klüber that enabled then and now to vastly improve the presentation and distribution of the journal worldwide. To me personally, Dr. Klüber has been of immense help and support in the whole process of publishing the journal.

The quality and interest in the journal has now reached the stage of it being recognized as a leading journal in the field of basic and clinical research focussing on the actions of existing and novel therapies for treating the wide range of acute and chronic painful inflammatory diseases. This is reflected in the frequent citations and assessing of articles (downloads) (Table 3). From time to time we adjusted the focus or topics that are covered in the journal in keeping with changes in the fields of therapeutics of acute and chronic inflammatory conditions. We hope that this journal can continue its mission in meeting future challenges for advancing and developing new and safer drugs for the large number of diseases that are encompassed by “acute and chronic inflammatory conditions”.

The success of the journal would not have been possible without the active support and encouragement of the specialist Editors and members of the Editorial Board. Inflammopharmacology has always been an independent organ without commercial support or commercial advertising (aside from books or journals from Springer, which has no financial involvement in the journal). The Editors and Reviewers who receive no recompense are to be thanked for their invaluable help and immense support in ensuring selection and scrutiny of submitted papers that are of high quality and interest to the wide readership of the journal. We regularly monitor the standard of papers and a measure of the value of the outputs of the journal can be shown in the numbers of downloads and citations through various electronic sources (PubMed, Web of Science, Google Scholar, SciMago, etc.). There have been over 30,000 downloads of the journal articles from Springerlink annually. PubMed and Google Scholar give the journal a wide coverage. The most recent Thompsons Reuter's Impact Factor for 2015 of 2.304 is recognition that Inflammopharmacology is widely cited and has impact comparable with other leading journals in cognate fields.

We propose to expand the scope of the journal to embrace (1) advances in the safe and effective therapy with opioids, cannabinoids and other agents that affect neuro-inflammatory and neuro-degenerative diseases; (2) the discovery of compounds from natural products and chemically designed compounds developed to act on newly discovered inflammatory or pain-producing targets; (3) modification of existing drugs or agents to enhance their efficacy and reduce frequently occurring adverse or side-effects via pharmacokinetic and/or pharmacodynamic modifications; (4) critical review and clinical evaluation of current drugs used to treat painful inflammatory diseases, especially using advanced statistical procedures (e.g. algorithms designed to be adapted to small patient numbers or intrinsically complex conditions (back pain, neuro-pathologic states), and (5) the accurate application of non-selective meta- and group-analyses, and assessments of impartial judgements of clinical data—these procedures being employed to enable unbiased critical recognition of those conditions that positively or negatively affect the efficacy and safety of drugs or that may give lead for adapting or modifying existing or novel drugs as advanced therapeutics.

The journal will always be an open forum for critical exploration of new ideas and objective re-evaluation of older or established ideas and concepts.

We look forward following the first 25 years to an exciting future from which it is hoped to discover new approaches regulate the vast array of inflammatory processes that underlie many diseases.