History of the Irish Journal of Medical Science

In 1832 at the age of 23 years Robert John Kane (1809-1890) founded the “Dublin Journal of Medical and Chemical Science“, a monthly journal which in February 1846, was continued under the editorship of William Wilde as the “Dublin Quarterly Journal of Medical Science”. Robert James Graves and his colleague William Stokes edited the “Dublin Journal of Medical and Chemical Science” from 1832 to 1842. The first issue of the Dublin Journal of Medical and Chemical Science appeared on the 1st March 1832.

In 1872 this journal again became a monthly publication under the name of the “Dublin Journal of Medical Science“, with James Little and John William Moore as editors. In December 1896, the Academy appointed a Committee to consider whether it would be possible to come to some arrangement whereby this journal should be the official organ of the Academy. After several meetings it was not found to be possible to come to an agreement, and for the time the matter was dropped. In 1919, owing to the difficulties which resulted from the War and the troubles which followed it in this country, it was found to be increasingly difficult to support the two publications, and further efforts were made to come to an agreement. This time the efforts were successful and the journal was purchased by the Academy. Since the publication of the number for February 1920, the Journal has taken the place of the annual volume of “Transactions”, and since March 1922, it has been known as the “Irish Journal of Medical Science”. The Journal (Irish J. Med. Sci.) is the official organ of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland.

Kane was born at 48, Henry Street, Dublin on the 24th September 1809. His father John was involved in the Irish Rebellion of 1798 and fled for a time to France where Robert studied chemistry.

He published his first paper in 1828, “Observations on the existence of chlorine in the native peroxide of manganese”, in the London Quarterly Journal of Science, Literature and Art. Kane studied medicine at Trinity College Dublin graduating in 1834 whilst working in the Meath Hospital and was appointed Professor of Chemistry at the Apothecaries’ Hall, Dublin in 1831. In the following year he participated in the founding of the “Dublin Journal of Medical Science”.


Dublin Journal of Medical and Chemical Science

  • 1832 – 1835 Robert John Kane
  • 1836 Robert James Graves, William Stokes and William Henry Porter were co-editors

Dublin Journal of Medical Science

The name was changed in 1836 under the editorship of RJ Graves, W Stokes and WH Porter.

  • 1842    John Hamilton and Robert Lee MacDonnell were co-editors
  • 1845 – 1849 William Wilde.

Dublin Quarterly Journal of Medical Science

In 1846 under the editorship of William Wilde the name was changed again and it remained this name from 1846 to 1871.

  • 1849 – 1861 John Moore Neligan
  • 1861 – 1868 George Hugh Kidd
  • 1868 – 1874 James Little

Dublin Journal of Medical Science

In 1872 it reverted to monthly publications using its previous name  (Editors James Little and William Moore)

  • 1874 – 1919 John William Moore (with the assistance of Thomas Gillman Moorhead who was appointed co-editor in 1907)
  • 1920 – 1925 Arnold Kirpatrick Henry

During its long life from 1872 to 1926 its references were chiefly by volume and numbered issues and though not regularly indicated it included the 3rd series, the 4th series, comprising eleven annual volumes and a 5th series of four volumes from 1922-1923 to 1925. The 6th series dates from 1926. No reason for changing from one series to another was evident and it was not due to change of editorship. In March 1922 it was renamed the Irish Journal of Medical Science.

Irish Journal of Medical Science

  • 1925 – 1962 William Doolin (at this time RH Micks and J McGrath were Assistant Editors)
  • 1962 – 1970 Charles Dickson
  • 1971 – 1972 R.A. Q. O’Meara
  • 1972 – 1980 Robert P Towers
  • 1981 – 1990 John F. Murphy
  • 1991 – 1999 Thomas F. Gorey
  • 2000 – 2004 Thomas N Walsh
  • 2005 – 2011 David J Bouchier-Hayes
  • 2011 – 2016 James FX Jones
  • 2017 –           William Tormey

Current Contents

In May of 1969, it was announced that the American Institute for Scientific Information had written, following the recommendation of the Editorial Advisory Board, that the Irish Journal of Medical Science had been selected for coverage in Current Contents, Life Sciences and that, in addition they would like to cover the Journal in Science Citation Index.  In 1975 arrangements were made for the journal to be reproduced in microfilm by University Microfilms Limited.

The journal changed its size to A4 in 1987 and it adopted the Vancouver system of referencing.