Well, I just got officially promoted as member of the Editorial Board of the newly journal "Advances in Medicine", in the Otolaryngology section. Always pleasant for the ego, of course. But I want to mention here a few of the reasons why I accepted to be part of this adventure.
First, what has made me hesitate. New journals are always a risk : you never know what will be their fate and if they will survive the few first issues. Furthermore, what will be their quality, and impact factor is unknown obviously.
But second - and in the present case, more important - is what has made me think it was something I should do. The format of the journal : it is a journal which is taking ONLY reviews ... meaning, we go back to the original format of the "progresses" and "advances" series. It is not another journal aiming to publish any experimental work just to create more "background noise", but a journal which specifically will provide the scientists a forum to summarize, synthezise, digest knowledge, to put the most recent advances in perspective. Not to do primary research, but to give to people the tools to understand it. With the tremendous increase of the quantities of published work (sometimes not always of the best methodological quality), the need for accurate and authoritative reviews is critical. Sending reviews to a regular journal is dangerous : the regular journals are not supposed to take all of them (as they are usually primarily targetted to innovative research), and will mostly take a few "invited reviews" ... which, despite being often of excellent quality, can by definition not cover all the spread of a field, but only a few particular subjects and topics. Another point which took my decision is the fact that this new journal covers almost all the fields of current medicine (Anesthesiology, Cardiology, Critical Care, Dentistry, Dermatology, Emergency Medecine, Endocrinology, Epidemiology, Gastroenterology, Genetics, Geriatrics, Hematology, Hepatology, Immunology, Infectious Diseases, Nephrology, Neurology, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Orthopedics, Otolaryngology, Pathology, Pediatrics, Preventive Medicine, Psychiatry, Public Health, Pulmonology, Rehabilitation, Rheumatology, Surgery, Transplantation, Urology, Vascular Medicine). Advances in Medicine is not a purely "specialty-related" journal, it rather offers the potential to act as a constantly updated medical encyclopedia of a constantly growing corpus of knowledge. I see the potential of such a journal not only for scientists and other researchers, but for practitioners and students alike.
Anyway, let's see how this journal goes, and wish it the best successes !