Our History

History of The Journal of Laryngology & Otology

The Journal of Laryngology and Rhinology first appeared in January 1887 and was edited by Sir Morell Mackenzie and R Norris Wolfenden. The publishers were Messrs J & A Churchill. Although not the first ENT journal, it was the first periodical devoted to nose and throat surgery in the English language.

Otology was added to the title in 1892 and was entrusted to the editorship of James Dundas-Grant who, together with John Macintyre of Glasgow, was now assisting Norris Wolfenden as Morell Mackenzie had retired from the editorship in 1891 and, sadly, died at the early age of 54 in 1892.

Rhinology was removed from the title in 1921 when the journal moved to Edinburgh under the editorship of A Logan Turner and J S Fraser.

In 1920 the ownership of the journal was transferred from the then publishers Messrs Adlard and Sons to a limited liability company formed by members of the specialty and called the Journal of Laryngology and Otology Ltd. Shares in the company continued to be held and transferred by members of the specialty or their descendants until the journal became a registered charity under the title of ‘JLO (1984) Limited’.

Norris Wolfenden

R Norris Wolfenden, co-founder of the journal

Morrell Mackenzie

Sir Morrell Mackenzie, co-founder of the journal

The Edinburgh phase lasted only eight years and was followed by the 32 year editorship of Walter Howarth of St Thomas’ Hospital. He was assisted firstly by Victor Negus and Watkyn-Thomas and later by William Mollison. In 1933 the publication and printing of the journal was transferred from Messrs Oliver and Boyd in Edinburgh to Headley Brothers Ltd in Ashford, Kent who still print the journal although the Royal Society of Medicine Press became the publishers in 2000.

Walter Howarth was succeeded by Sir Geoffrey Bateman, also of St Thomas’, who was initially assisted by Lionel Taylor of the Charing Cross Hospital. Following Lionel Taylor’s untimely death, John Ballantyne of the Royal Free Hospital became assistant editor and on Sir Geoffrey’s retirement in 1978 he succeeded as editor.

The journal then passed into the ‘Royal Free’ era. John Ballantyne was assisted by David Wright and John Booth and the latter succeeded him as editor in 1987. Neil Weir joined John Booth as assistant editor in the same year and during the ensuing five years the numbers of assistant editors grew. In 1992 Neil Weir became editor. The editorial assistants increased in number and for the first time the journal employed a production editor and a sub-editor. Guy Kenyon became joint editor in 1997.

The monthly journal has always encouraged both national and international authorship and is read throughout the world. It includes articles ranging from reviews and historical articles to original research and case reports. A useful abstracting service, from both the world’s ENT English language journals and journals allied to ENT, has been provided since 1921.

Always aiming to be at the forefront of publishing the journal has been on-line since 1998 and with a new more comprehensive website will now be able to electronically process all stages of a paper’s progress.

In recent years the journal has been able to support the training of young UK ENT surgeons by means of Travelling Fellowships and Visiting Professorships. Trainees from overseas have also been helped to attend the British Academic Conference in Otolaryngology.

View Editors of The Journal of Laryngology and Otology.