The idea to build an EAR teaching database was originally launched in 1995 by Prof. J. Struyven (ULB, Belgium). The aim was to implement a search tool for radiological documents already published on the internet. The EAR’s Internet Resource Locator was presented at ECR '97 and was intended to be a service to assist with the location and display of cases, educational material and works-in-progress produced by European radiologists.
In 1997, the EAR realised that a more comprehensive approach was needed in order to implement a structure that would parallel those of peer-reviewed journals. A new project team was built; the project was submitted to the European Commission and was funded within the TAP (Telematics Application Programme).
The academic partners of the project, which was led by Prof. R. Sigal (IGR, France), included the EAR, the Institut Gustave Roussy (Villejuif), the Institut Jules Bordet (Brussels), and the Universities of Pisa, Rennes, and Rome. The industrial partners (CITEC, Euromultimedia, and Agfa) provided the development, testing and upgrades of the software tools. The management structure of Eurorad was greatly supported by a Steering Committee composed of: Prof. Albert L. Baert (Leuven/BE), Prof. Guy Frija (Paris/FR), Prof. Roberto Passariello (Rome/IT), and Prof. Hans Ringertz (Stockholm/SE).
Individual radiologists have been contributing to the database since 1998 through the Eurorad website (www.eurorad.org). The main feature of Eurorad is a careful peer-review process aimed at ensuring the scientific quality of the published material. The original standard was set by the contributions of the Editor-in-Chief (Prof. A. Baert), the Scientific Director (Prof. D. Caramella), and the first 13 Section Editors:
Breast: O. Jarlman (Lund, Sweden)
Cardiac: G.K. von Schulthess (Zurich, Switzerland)
Chest: C.J. Herold (Vienna, Austria)
Gastrointestinal: O. Ekberg (Malmö, Sweden)
Genital (female): J.O. Barentz (Nimegen, Netherlands)
Head & neck: M. Becker (Geneva, Switzerland)
Interventional: D. Vorwerk (Ingolstadt, Germany)
Liver, pancreas, spleen: C. Bartolozzi (Pisa, Italy)
Musculoskeletal: J.L. Bloem (Leiden, Netherlands)
Neuro: P.M. Parizel (Edegem, Belgium)
Pediatric: H. Carty (Bermingham, UK)
Urinary & genital male: C. Roy (Strasbourg, France)
Vascular: J. Struyven (Brussels, Belgium)
Starting in 2000, many agreements were signed between Eurorad and European national radiological societies, as well as with European radiological subspecialty societies, in order to enhance the cooperation between the various radiological groups in Europe and improve the quality of the database. Since 2000, Eurorad has had an official ISSN number (1563-4086).
In 2006, when the former European Association of Radiology (EAR) and European Congress of Radiology (ECR) merged to form the European Society of Radiology (ESR), Eurorad became part of this new society and benefited from a much wider audience as well as better integration with the various bodies and related societies.
In March 2007, Albert L. Baert stepped down as Editor-in-Chief and was succeeded by Prof. Hans L. Bloem (Leiden/NL). At the same time, Eurorad became an exclusive service for ESR members only. Many organisational and software changes were introduced over the following three years, which resulted in a greatly improved workflow, allowing a timely review process. This was also necessary as Eurorad, since its beginnings, had become much larger than anticipated, and developed into an integral part of self-education and publishing for young radiologists worldwide. The new software was developed by the ESR office and Webges, a company based in Vienna, Austria. In March 2015, Olle Ekberg (Malmö/SE) assumed office of Editor-in-Chief for Eurorad.
From January 2008 onwards, the ESR office’s Publications & Media department, which also manages editorial offices for all ESR journals and scientific media, took over the office for Eurorad as well.
Since summer 2009, free access has been available to everyone and Eurorad has been included in the index of the GoldMiner search engine, which has increased the audience immensely. Currently many thousands of radiologists worldwide use Eurorad for their educational needs.
Various improvements and changes were apparent to the visitors and users, while others were behind the screens, improving the workflow for authors, reviewers and section editors. The review process, a core part of a platform that facilitates fast electronic publishing, improved and accelerated the most, while maintaing its high quality, allowing a review process that takes only a few weeks to publication. One new feature for visitors was the category ‘teaching cases’, in which the entire database can be accessed without having the diagnosis in advance. A thousand cases were also translated into Spanish by radiologists from Sociedad Española de Radiologia Medica (SERAM). Thus a large educational database with all the functionality of the original became available to the Spanish speaking radiology community.
In July 2015, Eurorad took the step forward to become a platform under the Creative Commons License CC BY-NC-SA 4.0, allowing readers to share and adapt the material, provided that they acknowledge the source and use it only for non-commercial purposes.
Over the years, many reviewers and section editors have contributed to Eurorad. Currently more than 100 radiologists participate actively in Eurorad, and it is thanks to the input of so many enthusiastic people that Eurorad will continue to improve its services and quality.