Thirty years of publishing osteoarthritis research in perspective — a special journal issue to mark the 30th anniversary of Osteoarthritis and Cartilage

  • S.R. Filbay
    Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Stephanie Filbay, Level 7, Alan Gilbert Building, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia.
    Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Medicine Dentistry and Health Science, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
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  • M.S. Yau
    Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Michelle Yau, Marcus Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife, Harvard Medical School, 1200 Centre St, Boston, MA 02131, USA.
    Marcus Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
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  • J.A. Block
    Division of Rheumatology, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, USA
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  • L. Stefan Lohmander
    Department of Clinical Sciences Lund, Orthopaedics, Lund University, Sweden
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Published:March 10, 2023DOI:
      Thirty years ago, in 1993, our society journal Osteoarthritis and Cartilage published its first issue, with the late Roy Altman as editor-in-chief and Paul Dieppe, Sergio Jimenez, Jean-Pierre Pelletier, and Eric Vignon as associate editors. The year before saw the first congress of what was then the Osteoarthritis Research Society take place in Paris, France in December 1992, with some 200 meeting abstracts making up that first issue of OAC.
      The first president of the society that would soon become OARSI, Charles Menkes, wrote in his ‘letter from the president’ in that first OAC issue that ‘the understanding and clinical management of osteoarthritis involves several medical and basic science specialties — a spectrum from the molecular biologist to the family physician’. He further commented that:
      ‘Osteoarthritis is a widespread disease, progressively increasing in prevalence in older populations, particularly as a result of a worldwide aging population. Although the etiology of osteoarthritis may be secondary to a known condition, such as a trauma or a defect in the collagen gene, the disease is most often of unknown etiology. Continued effort is needed to understand the etiology and pathogenesis of osteoarthritis. Is osteoarthritis one or several diseases? Are the present classification and radiographic criteria adequate? Should these issues be investigated by an international committee of experts?’
      Thirty years on, we may reflect on these statements, where we were at that time, what progress has been made since then, where we are now, and not least, where we need to go to provide full responses to the tasks and questions put to the OA research community by Charles Menkes.
      The editors-in-chief of OAC, current and past, have decided that a special issue of the journal is an appropriate way to celebrate this 30th anniversary, and an opportunity to reflect on some of the questions raised at its inauguration, and which remain relevant today. We are very pleased that two young OA investigators, Stephanie Filbay of the University of Melbourne and Michelle Yau of Harvard Medical School, have accepted the invitation to be the guest editors of the anniversary issue. The past editors of OAC, Joel Block and Stefan Lohmander, will be their mentors and supporters in this.
      For this 30th anniversary special issue, we invite the community to submit original research articles, commentaries, editorials, narrative reviews, and systematic reviews that reflect upon the progress made in the past 30 years of osteoarthritis research and recommendations to move the field forward. We welcome creative proposals that align with this theme, including digital content that may include podcast-style interviews, infographics, and videos to accompany the special issue. Original basic and clinical research blue-sky reflections on where the field is going or needs to go are encouraged. This may include 30 year narrative-in-review papers and commentaries that reflect on progress within a particular field of OA research. This includes research or commentaries on how new technology and developments in basic research could be leveraged to advance our understanding of OA pathogenesis. One or a few ‘historical papers’ from OAC (or other journals) may optionally serve as background.
      Examples of topics of interest include (but are not limited to).
      • 1)
        Are we any closer to preventing OA?
      • 2)
        What is the relationship between joint injury and OA, and how has the field progressed in understanding post-traumatic vs idiopathic OA?
      • 3)
        Are physical activity and sport harmful or beneficial to joint health?
      • 4)
        How have the classification criteria for OA evolved over the past 30 years?
      • 5)
        How has our understanding of OA progression changed?
      • 6)
        How has our conception of OA evolved — from a ‘wear and tear’ disease to a disease of the whole joint?
      • 7)
        How can new technology and developments in basic and clinical research be leveraged to advance our understanding of OA?
      • 8)
        Have we been able to resolve the apparent discordance between pain and structural features?
      • 9)
        Are we closer to understanding the causes of OA?
      We welcome other suggestions from the scientific community.
      Individuals should submit a letter of intent with a brief outline of their proposal by April 30, 2023. All contributions must be submitted by September 1, 2023 to ensure timely review for inclusion in the issue.
      To submit a letter of intent, or to ask any questions in relation to the special anniversary issue, please email Stephanie and Michelle: Dr Stephanie Filbay: [email protected] Dr Michelle Yau: [email protected]

      Declaration of competing interest

      The authors have no conflict of interest to declare.