Happy Birthday JMIR: Call for Papers 20th Anniversary Issue

20yr JMIR

UPDATE: Our 20th Anniversary Theme Issue is Now Complete 

Below is the call for papers for archival purposes only - to participate you'll have to wait for the 25th Anniversary Theme Issue in 2024...

Happy Birthday: 20 Years of JMIR

Image by Regina Holliday

Artist: Regina Holliday. (c) JMIR Publications, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution License cc-by V4.0

In August 1999 we published the very first issue of the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR), pioneering a new type of journal for an emerging field – originally, JMIR's scope was the use of the Internet and related technologies as an enabler and infrastructure for health innovations, although todays' scope of digital medicine or digital health goes well beyond "the Internet", and includes emerging technologies such as 3D printing, games, wearables, and home sensors, etc. (all technologies that would be unthinkable without the Internet as infrastructure foundation). 

The field went through several name changes – what we first called “cybermedicine” was later called “eHealth” (electronic health), then came “cHealth” (connected health), and these days people sometimes use “digital health” or “digital medicine” (despite Twitter length restrictions) – but the underlying ideas remain the same: The use of information and communication technologies and the web helps to empower patients (not least through peer-to-peer communications), provides a platform for communication, clinical information and telemedicine (these days often through mobile devices), and revolutionizes information access and medical education [1]. While most medical informatics journals focused on clinical informatics, hospital IT and electronic health records, JMIR recognized the ubiquitous and pervasive nature of emerging technologies outside of traditional health care settings.  

We were not only innovating on content, but also on form. And as we wrote 20 years ago, “As publishers of a journal about the Internet, we are also dedicated to using and experimenting with the Internet as a medium itself.” [1] – and experimented we have: We were the first open access electronic-only journal in medical informatics or even medicine (pre-dating BioMed Central and PloS), we were the first to mine “tweetations” from Twitter to calculate what is now known as “altmetrics”, we were the first journal offering a fast-track payment option for guaranteed decision making within 3 weeks, we experimented with web archiving cited webpages (WebCite), we were one of the first journals openly crediting reviewers by name (and now rewarding them with Karma credits), we pioneered new ways of knowledge dissemination through social media and cofounded TrendMD, and we continue to experiment with open peer-review, preprints, registered reports and even crowdfunding.

Today, JMIR Publications publishes 30 journals, has a modern Google-like office at Toronto’s waterfront, has a staff of 20, and was just named one of Canada’s top 500 companies.

Four of our journals have an impact factor (ranging from 3.2 to 5), and are ranked among the top 8 medical informatics journals.

20th Anniversary Special Issue – Call for Papers 

To celebrate our milestone and exit from the teenage years, we are preparing a special issue, to be published at the end of 2019. This special issue will consist mainly of invited papers written by leaders in the field, but we are also soliciting papers from the academic community. 

This will be an unusual high-profile issue that will be widely disseminated with press releases and as a special print publication at conferences.

We specifically encourage papers (reviews, viewpoints) that comment on major developments from the past 20 years or provide an outlook on the possibilities or challenges of digital health for the next 20 years. We also welcome high-quality original research or systematic reviews. Possible topics for viewpoint papers or reviews could be “Where will we be in 20 years – what will health care look like in 2039?”, or “What is the biggest achievement or research breakthrough in the past 20 years?”. 

We would like to have the submission by September 15, 2019, although we may be able to make arrangements to extend this deadline. Contributions will be peer-reviewed. 

Potential authors interested in submitting should file a pre-submission enquiry by sending an email with the subject line “20th anniversary article proposal” to ed-support@jmir.org outlining their paper idea (title and abstract). 

All article processing charges will be waived for papers appearing in the 20th Anniversary Issue.

Invited authors (as of October 4, 2019):

Alex Jadad From a digital bottle: A message to our selves in 2039
Enrico Coiera The last mile: The challenge of bringing digital health into real-world settings
Sherry Pagoto A call for a public health research agenda for social media
Bertalan Mesko The real era of the art of medicine begins with artificial intelligence
John Powell Trust me I’m a chatbot: Why AI in healthcare won’t pass the Turing test
Dave DeBronkart Empowerment through information is revolution
Susan Michie Psychometric evaluation of the Digital Behaviour Change Intervention (DBCI) Engagement Scale in users of an alcohol reduction app
Jeremy Wyatt

How to preserve the open access benefits pioneered by JMIR two decades ago, and discourage predatory journals

Tricia Greenhalgh Infrastructure revisited: Ethnographic case study and (re)theorisation of the ‘installed base’ of healthcare IT


John Torous

A systematic review of smartphone apps for prodromal and early course psychosis and schizophrenia

Beyond impact factor: JMIR's 20 years of engaging and encouraging high-quality digital health research from diverse authors

Bradford Hesse The internet’s role in solving the last mile problem in medicine
Helen Christensen Digital phenotyping and the platforms needed to support it
Laurie Buis Implementation: The next giant hurdle to clinical transformation with digital health
Qing Zeng, Stuart Nelson Will artificial intelligence translate big data into improved medical care or be a source of confusing tntrusion? A discussion between a physician informatician and a medical informatics researcher
Rita Kukafka Digital health consumers on the road to the future
Renato M.E. Sabbatini Federated intelligence, the internet and medical decision-making
Ricky Leung Increasing the impact of JMIR in the attention economy
Walter H. Curioso Building capacity and training for digital health. Challenges and opportunities in Latin America
Christian Lovis Unlocking the power of artificial intelligence and bigdata in medicine
Andre Kushniruk

The importance of health information on the internet: How itcan save your life

Elizabeth Borycki

Quality and safety in eHealth: Building the evidence base


Call for Video Submissions

Alternatively (or additionally) we are inviting short video messages from researchers, authors, editors, and reviewers, commenting on the impact of JMIR on the field or you personally, or just wishing us happy birthday. We will be accepting video clips recorded by you, but we are also happy to have an interview with you over Skype. If you do not have time to write an article, providing comments in a short video or interview might be a good option. Snippets from the videos will be distributed through our social media channels (such as Twitter and YouTube), and some might even be published in the 20th anniversary theme issue. You can reflect on (or we can interview you) about your own research, or on a topic of your choosing. 

Submit a Quote

As a final option we are soliciting succinct quotes from researchers and the public which we may use in an editorial for the anniversary issue. Authors of these quotes will be credited and we may use their headshots as well.

We are seeking your 1-3 sentence answers to the following questions:

                                                                          • What significant developments happened in the past 20 years, e.g. what is the biggest achievement or research breakthrough in the past 20 years?
                                                                          • Where will we be in 20 years – what will health care look like in 2039?

If you want to contribute in this part of the anniversary issue, please answer at least one of these questions in this form before Oct 15, 2019.

If you have more to say about this then please consider submitting a full viewpoint article instead (see above).


1. Eysenbach G. Welcome to the Journal of Medical Internet Research. J Med Internet Res 1999;1(1):e5; URL: https://www.jmir.org/1999/1/e5 DOI: 10.2196/jmir.1.1.e5.