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As the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Transport & Health (JTH), I am grateful to Dr Brian Johnston for allowing me the opportunity to correct the inaccurate statements concerning JTH published in Injury Prevention 2013;19:325.
It is alleged that “One stated policy objective of the journal is ‘To promote a more balanced approach to cycle safety and oppose cycle helmet legislation’”. This is untrue. JTH is a scientific journal. It has no stated policy objectives. There is nothing in its Aims and Scope (http://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-transport-and-health) to suggest that it does.
It is then alleged that JTH “exists in part to support [the anti-helmet movement's] position”. This is untrue. JTH is a scientific journal. It has no advocacy role and espouses no policy position. There is nothing in its Aims and Scope to suggest that it does.
These incorrect allegations appear to be based on the fact that JTH is affiliated with the Transport and Health Study Group (THSG), and that the editorial board includes individuals who have opposed cycle helmet legislation. It is true that one of over 20 stated policy objectives of THSG—not JTH—is “To promote a more balanced approach to cycle safety and oppose cycle helmet legislation”. It is also a fact that I and a number of other members of the JTH editorial board have roles in THSG.
But the affiliation between JTH and THSG does not imply that JTH assists with or endorses every action or policy of THSG. It simply reflects the congruence of their primary purposes, being respectively, “devoted to research on the many interactions between transport and health” (JTH) and “committed to understanding and addressing the links between transport policies and health and promoting a healthy transport system” (THSG). In November 2013 I added a note to the journal's Aims and Scope to make clear that this affiliation has no influence on JTH publication decisions. I should also like to make it clear that any articles pertaining to the THSG (including updates from Health on the Move 2) are handled solely by associate editors with no connections to the THSG, in the same way as articles for which an editor is a coauthor are handled only by other editors.
I am sure that Injury Prevention and its readers must support and share our overarching aim of improving our understanding of transport and health issues. I therefore believe that the answer to the question, “Should we welcome this new journal?”, must be ‘Yes’.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
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