Journal History

Postępy Higieny i Medycyny Doświadczalnej (PHMD, Advances in Hygiene and Experimental Medicine) was founded in 1949 as an organ of the National Institute of Hygiene (PZH). The motivation for starting the journal was stated in the editors’ introduction, in which we read that scientific progress demands the cooperation of scholars from various, specialized fields. “Basic research has become extremely significant, and with it the necessity to pursue the courses of a great number of branches of knowledge. This, though, is even beyond the abilities of experts. Articles in scientific journals are generally aimed at specialists, but are often inaccessible, even incomprehensible, to scholars in related fields. A remedy may be monographs which provide a synthesis: the researcher profits from their references to scientific literature, and the broad mass of readers are given a survey of the issue.”

The first editor-in-chief was Prof. Ludwik Hirszfeld, then director of the Scientific Council of the PZH. From the very beginning, the editorial office was located in Wrocław, where the editorial secretary, the microbiologist Prof. Henryk Makower, worked at the Institute of Microbiology of the Academy of Medicine (at Chałubińskiego 4). Volume 1 contained lectures presented at the 9th Conference of Microbiologists and Epidemiologists in Wrocław and the Conference of the Scientific Council of the PZH in Warsaw, which took place in October of 1948. The issue contained an introduction by Prof. Hirszfeld, and the first article in the history of PHMD was a discussion of infectious diseases in Poland by Prof. Feliks Przesmycki.

In volume 3 was the article “The activity of acriflavine on yeast” by Boris Ephrussi and Piotr Słonimski of the Institute of Genetics of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and the Institute of Physio-Chemical Biology in Paris. It was an important paper, containing the results of a four-year study in search of the mechanisms of yeast cell respiration using genetic methods. “Piotr Słonimski and, of course, Hirszfeld himself were anxious to have a French scientist of Ephrussi’s stature appear in a Polish publication. It the case of Słonimski it was, indirectly, also important that postwar Wrocław’s pedigree in terms of its university and science in general was Lvovian” (from a story about Piotr Słonimski in “Genetics and History” by R. Jarocki, Rosner & Co., Warsaw, 2003, pp. 170-171).

The journal was published at first annually, at the relatively large number of 2000-3000 copies, by the State Institute of Medical Publishers (PZWL). Two volumes each were published in 1951 and 1953, which is why the number of volumes of PHMD is two more than its number of years in print. With volume 7 (1953), Postępy became a quarterly of the Polish Academy of Science, and the editorial office worked in the newly organized Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy in Wrocław. After the death of Ludwik Hirszfeld in 1954, Prof. Hugon Kowarzyk, a well-known pathophysiologist became the editor-in-chief in 1956. From 1958 on the journal started appearing every two months, and Prof. Kazimierz Dux (pathophysiologist and oncologist) became the second editor, followed by Prof. Marian Mordarski, a microbiologist, in 1963. Prof. Mordarski became editor-in-chief in 1968 and fulfilled this function for 35 years, until his death in 2003. For many years (1968-1992), Prof. Henryk Matej, an immunologist, was secretary and later deputy editor.

The editorial office moved to the new seat of the Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy (at Rudolfa Weigla 12) in 1974. During the difficult political (1982) and financial (1990) years, numbers of the journal were published together to make up for the considerable delays. In the following years, PHMD could be published in regular two-month intervals. Due to the spread of the Internet and the great possibilities the electronic form of information transfer provides, it was decided to alter the mode of the journal’s publication from volume 58 (2004).

This change enables easier and broader access to the published articles, shortens the publication process, and sets no limits on the size of papers. The last number of Postępy Higieny i Medycyny Doświadczalnej in printed form appeared in December 2003. Since the 2004 Prof. Irena Frydecka is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal.

In 2010, Postępy Higieny i Medycyny Doświadczalnej received its first Impact Factor. Since then, the journal has been indexed in the Web of Science Journal Citation Report.

Currently, the journal is published by Sciendo ( under a dual name – Polish and English (Advances in Hygiene and Experimental Medicine).

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