From the Editor

Harald Kittler, M.D.

Citation: Kittler H. From the editor [editorial]. Dermatol Pract Concept 2011;1(1):2.

Copyright: ©2011 Kittler. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Corresponding Author: Harald Kittler, MD, Department of Dermatology, Division of General Dermatology, Medical University of Vienna, WÄhringer GÜrtel 18-20, 1090 Vienna, Austria. Tel. +43.1.40400.7700; Fax. +43.1.25330.331137. E-mail:

Hello, Readers!

This is the first issue of a new journal with a great tradition. What seems to be a contradiction is meant to be a fruitful synthesis. The critical and creative mind of A. Bernard Ackerman, the founder of the journal, was a catalyst for many sustainable reactions and there is still considerable afterglow! The half-life of ideas can be longer than the life span of a human being! Under Bernie’s patronage new ideas were conceived, and this journal is just one of them. After sustained contact with him, many of his students found themselves substantially altered. However, students are not merely reactants, and a good mentor will not only promote his own original ideas but also those of his students. Some of Bernie’s students became catalysts themselves. Almut BÖer-Auer, who succeeded Bernie as the editor of this journal, is one of them. The journal, Dermatopathology: Practical & Conceptual indubitably bears her stamp.

When I took over the editorship I decided to strike a new path and to follow traditional trails at the same time. Dermatopathology: Practical & Conceptual is now Dermatology Practical & Conceptual. The change of the journal’s title intends to express the change in the scope of the journal. The fact that only one word was changed and the rest of the title will stay the same is a reference to the great tradition of the journal. This tradition will always remain our common ground and, from a historical point of view, the origin of our specialty. The common ground I mean is morphology. In dermatology, morphology has been put into second place. Molecular biology has gained impact and importance, whereas morphology has lost it. Nowadays morphologic studies are not even regarded as scientific research, and if so, it is labeled as low-impact research. It cannot be denied that we are living in the century of the molecular biology revolution and that medicine has made important progress in this regard. However, there are still many questions related to morphology that remain unanswered. I am convinced that the integration of morphology (the biologic world as we see it) and molecular biology (the matrix behind it) will serve as a medium for cutting edge research. Neither of the two views alone can sufficiently explain biologic phenomena. Even if one day biology and medicine can be fully reduced to a hidden code revealed only by molecular biology, we will still be living in a sensual world. In this way our common ground parallels common sense. Dermatology Practical & Conceptual shall be a platform for any kind of dermatological research that advances the integration of morphology and common sense with “basic science.”

Dermatology Practical & Conceptual will be an open access online journal. No subscription to will be needed to view the contents of the journal. It took some time and effort to perform the necessary modifications. The production teams of Derm101 and Silverchair were very supportive in this regard and I want to take this opportunity to thank them. The journal will continue to appear quarterly. After three issues have been published, we will apply for the inclusion of the journal in PubMed Central (PMC), the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) free digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journals and literature.

Although the journal is now renamed Dermatology Practical & Conceptual, dermatopathology will remain an important part of it. We will maintain a section dedicated fully to dermatopathology. Regarding the new, broader scope of the journal, two new sections will be launched. One is dedicated to dermatoscopy and diagnostic imaging and will be edited by Alon Scope. Alon is widely known for his research in dermatoscopy and confocal imaging. It is also my pleasure to announce that the International Dermoscopy Society (IDS) elected Dermatology Practical & Conceptual as the official journal of their society. The IDS has more than 3000 members worldwide. In this regard I want to thank the executive board of the IDS and especially the president of the society, Dr. Argenziano, and his secretary, Dr. Zalaudek, for putting their trust in our journal.

The other new section will be dedicated to dermatology in primary care. It reflects the growing importance that primary care physicians are attaching to dermatology especially in countries like Australia and Great Britain. The editor of this section will be Jeff Keir, a primary care physician practicing in Australia. Jeff Keir holds a Master’s Degree in family medicine and a Diploma in practical dermatology from the University of Cardiff. He is a distinguished academic lecturer and has performed and promoted research in the field of primary care and skin cancer. He is the secretary of the Skin Cancer College of Australia and New Zealand (SCAANZ). Dermatology Practical & Conceptual will provide a forum to exchange views on primary care dermatology and clinical research and will become the official journal of SCAANZ.

Despite these substantial changes, I promise that the critical spirit of the journal will be maintained and that the content of the former journal, Dermatopathology: Practical & Conceptual, will not be lost. We will maintain an electronic archive so that all articles published in the past will be available to our future readers. In addition to that we will relaunch certain articles under a new section termed “From our Archives.” In this section we will challenge authors who had expressed opinions in original articles that were published some time ago, with the light of new evidence. It will be interesting to see whether their past views match up with their present views or to learn about the reasons that made them change their mind.

There are more changes to come but they will be revealed in upcoming issues. I want to close this editorial with a reference to the founder of this journal. When the first issue of Dermatopathology: Practical & Conceptual was launched in January 1995, Dr. Ackerman closed his editorial with the following words: This journal has no intention of being judged by its cover, as distinctive as it may be; it is to be judged by the power of the ideas that are housed temporarily within its lines and that await release by avid readers. The potential of those ideas knows no bounds.

I can add nothing more.

Harald Kittler, M.D.


Dermatology Practical & Conceptual