This year, for the 5th time, full papers could be submitted for the annual meeting of the GMDS; an occasion to draw an interim conclusion. This is done in two editorials: The first  is a reflection on the goals and what has been achieved , the second  looks at the different publication options and strategies from the perspective of young scientists.
Last year, various technical and organizational difficulties led to the proceedings not being published until this year, rather than before the conference, so the position of Congress Secretary was created to make the review process work better in the future. Martin Sedlmayr has graciously accepted the appointment to this task. Through this permanent position, we hope to be able to further improve and stabilize the review process in future.
Publications in Stud HTI are frequently used for cumulative, publication-based dissertations. Here, there have been increasing inquiries about the publication process, acceptance rates, and citations. The consensus publication process is described in , as are the citation statistics for the first three volumes. The statistics on submissions and acceptance rates are described in this preface:
This year we received 206 contributions: 61 (30%) full papers (54 full papers for this volume of Studies in Health Technologies and Informatics (Stud HTI) and 7 for GMS Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology (MIBE)) and 145 (60%) abstracts (101 talks and 44 e-posters). The distribution by subject is shown in Table 1.
The contributions were assessed and commented by 231 reviewers in 573 reviews. A total of 25 (acceptance rate (ar) = 39%) manuscripts were accepted for publication in Stud HTI and 3 (ar = 43%) for MIBE. 25 (46%) of the 61 full paper submissions were accepted as abstracts (publication in egms proceedings), of which 3 (5%) were subsequently withdrawn by the authors. 120 (ar = 82%) of the abstract submissions were accepted (At the time of the editorial deadline for this preface, the review process for abstracts had not yet been finalized. Therefore, minor changes may still occur here.), 70 (48%) as Talk, 50 (34%) as e-poster, of which one paper was withdrawn by the authors after acceptance. An overview of the review process is shown in Fig. 1.
More than 50% of the submissions and more than 70% of the full papers this year related to medical informatics (Table 1). This should be taken as a mandate to promote the GMDS and the GMDS annual conference more strongly in the fields of biometry and epidemiology, as well as bioinformatics and systems medicine, and to thus strengthen the profile of the GMDS as an interdisciplinary medical-scientific society.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all authors, reviewers, members of the technical committees and the joint GMDS-TMF organizing committee. Without your work and support, these conference proceedings could not have been produced.
We wish you an exciting conference and an inspiring reading of the proceedings.
(Editor in Chief) Rainer Röhrig
(Bioinformatics and Systems Medicine) Tim Beißbarth
(Editor in Chief MIBE) Petra Knaup-Gregori
(Epidemiology) Jochem König
(Medical Documentation) Claudia Ose
(Biometry) Geraldine Rauch
(Medical Informatics) Ulrich Sax
(Chair of SPC) Björn Schreiweis
(Congress Secretary) Martin Sedlmayr
 Röhrig, R., Hübner, U., & Sedlmayr, M. . German medical data sciences in studies in health technology and informatics – reflections on the 5th volume. In: Röhrig, R., Beißbarth, T., König, J., Ose, C., Rauch, G., Sax, U., Schreiweis, B., & Sedlmayr, M. (Eds.), German medical data sciences 2021: Digital medicine: Recognize – understand – heal: Proceedings of the Joint conference of the 66th Annual meeting of the German association of medical informatics, biometry, and epidemiology e.V. (gmds) and the 13th Annual meeting of the TMF – technology, methods, and infrastructure for networked medical research e.V. 2021 online in Kiel, Germany. Stud Health Technol Inform 283 (2021), 3–11. doi: 10.3233/SHTI210534. IOS Press, Amsterdam.
 Schreiweis, B., & Kock-Schopenhauer, A. K. . One conference, three proceedings – which papers should I submit and how? A publication strategy for young scientists regarding the GMDS annual conference and beyond (Editorial). In: Röhrig, R., Beißbarth, T., König, J., Ose, C., Rauch, G., Sax, U., Schreiweis, B., & Sedlmayr, M. (Eds.), German medical data sciences 2021: Digital medicine: Recognize – understand – heal: Proceedings of the Joint conference of the 66th Annual meeting of the German association of medical informatics, biometry, and epidemiology e.V. (gmds) and the 13th Annual meeting of the TMF – technology, methods, and infrastructure for networked medical research e.V. 2021 online in Kiel, Germany. Stud Health Technol Inform 283 (2021), 12–19. doi: 10.3233/SHTI210535. IOS Press, Amsterdam.