The idea of creation of a general medical journal as a scientific foundation for the medical doctors serving the Greek National Health System goes back to the 1980s but it was only a theoretical concept. During the Scientific Committee Presidency of Dr J. Liatsis and P. Traianidis at Hippokratio General Hospital of Thessaloniki in 1995, Dr G. Vergoulas (General Secretary of the Scientific Committee and Head of the Education Committee), suggested the idea of establishing a new medical journal. Following several Education Committee meetings during 1996, the initial suggestion led into a detailed scientific proposal that was consequently submitted to the Greek Ministry of Health which approved the financial support of the new medical journal (four issues per year, 48 printed pages per issue, official languages both Greek and English). The initial scope of the journal was to publish scientific work conducted at Hippokratio Hospital of Thessaloniki and other Greek hospitals and to bring into a productive communication the medical scientists in matters of common interest.

The first issue was published in January 1997. The Education Committee of Hippokratio Hospital, comprised the first Editorial Board of the journal whose name “Hippokratia” was given by D. Lipourlis, Professor of Philosophy at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. The journal was published initially in Greek language with full abstracts in English. From 2000 full text articles in English were regularly published in the journal and since 2006 the journal is solely published in English.

There is free full text access of published articles through the journal’s site. The journal is indexed / abstracted by PubMed Central, Scopus, EMBASE, Thomson Reuters’ (Science Citation Index Expanded, Journal Citation Reports / Science Edition), Free Medical Journals, EBSCO and Copernicus. Its impact factor for 2010 and 2011 was 0,660 and 0,525 respectively.

Since 2010, Hippokratia journal successfully initiated annual seminars for its reviewers on biostatistics and research methodology (‘How to read and How to write a paper’) aiming to improve the peer review process and manuscript quality.

Currently, the journal publishes articles from all over the world and has an international role. The number of submitted papers per year is constantly increasing (currently every issue numbers 96 pages). Until spring 2012, the hard copy of Hippokratia journal was issued in a tirage of 1500 copies and was distributed all over Greece and Balkan Countries and in numerous medical libraries overseas. Unfortunately, since spring 2012 Hippokratio General Hospital who supported financially Hippokratia journal until then, decided to terminate the secretarial support and considered even the possibility to discontinue the printed version of the journal. The Society “Friends of Hippokratia Journal” who had been founded in 2008 aiming to support the journal and helped its regular publication for many years, took over after mutual agreement with Hippokratio General Hospital the financial management of both the printed and electronic edition of the journal. Since then the editorial and peer review process were optimised again and it was decided that from volume 16, issue 3 the printed edition of Hippokratia journal to be reduced to 250 copies. The tirage is expected to gradually increase again within 2013.

Hippokratia journal is managed by its Editorial Board and has an International Advisory Committee and over 500 expert Reviewers covering all medical specialties and additionally Technical Reviewers, Statisticians, Image processing Experts and a journal Secretary.

Hippokratia journal is currently fully complying with the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. All reported clinical trials must have been registered in an international Clinical Trial Registry, and the registration number should be provided. Reports of randomised trials must conform to the revised CONSORT guidelines, and should be submitted with their protocols. Randomised trials that report harms must be described according to the extended CONSORT guidelines. Studies of diagnostic accuracy must be reported according to the STARD guidelines. Observational studies (cohort, case–control, or cross-sectional designs) must be reported according to the STROBE statement. Genetic association studies must be reported according to the STREGA guidelines. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses must be reported according to the PRISMA guidelines.

Supplements: Every official request from International or National Medical Scientific Societies, for publication of abstracts or full text manuscripts submitted to their Congress/Meeting as a supplement of Hippokratia Journal, is individually assessed during a regular meeting of the Editorial Board of the journal. When a supplement is agreed to be issued, manuscripts receive double peer review (by the Scientific Society organising the Congress/Meeting and by the Journals’ reviewers). Costs depend on the number of hard copies needed, total number of supplement pages, shipping cost, electronic processing cost and regarding full text manuscripts also html and xml producing costs.

Peer review process: Manuscripts are submitted via email to the journal’s secretary or the Editor-in-chief or via the electronic submission system at the site of the journal. If needed, format changes are requested by the secretary and the manuscript is assigned by the section Editor to two independent expert reviewers. Once a reviewer is assigned with a manuscript and accepts it, there is a three week interval for his/her review (a review form accompanies the anonymous manuscript). When the section Editor receives both the reviews, he/she contacts the corresponding author with the reviewers’ opinion; should the two reviews differ significantly, the section Editor either assigns the manuscript to a third expert reviewer or to an Editor for an editorial blinded review. Authors are given two to three weeks to revise their manuscript. Should the reviewer ask for corrections, the revised manuscript is returned to the same reviewer for the second review. There is a two week interval for the second review. All communication is done through emails and is double blinded to authors and reviewers – a serial number is allocated to every manuscript and all correspondence quote this number. Quality assurance procedures are carried out for plagiarism, duplicate publication and gifted authorship issues and for manuscripts submitted by members of the Editorial Board, the Advisory Committee or the reviewers of Hippokratia journal. Quality assurance procedures are also carried out for pending reviewed or revised manuscripts to ensure for correspondence failure.

Page charges: Editorials and Invited articles are the only free from charge pages in Hippokratia journal. Once a manuscripted is peer reviewed and accepted for publication, it is sent to the Publication Office. The pdf of every individual paper is then sent to the corresponding author for final corrections (proof reading) and payment of the page charges. The first 5 pages of a review article (4000 words including title, author names, etc), the first 4 pages of an original article (3200 words including title, author names, etc), the first 2 pages of case series article (1600 words), the first page of a case report (800 words) are charged 10 Euro each. Each extra page is charged 150 Euro. In case there are figures or tables they must be taken into account and the number of words should be reduced accordingly.

Disclaimer: The Publisher and Editors cannot be held responsible for errors or any consequences arising from the use of information contained in this journal; the views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Publisher and Editors, neither does the publication of advertisements constitute any endorsement by the Publisher and Editors of the products advertised.