I thank Dr. Pagel for his continuing service to the Journal in raising these issues, and for providing me another opportunity to describe the mission of the Journal. Why does the word “anesthesiology” not appear in the mission statement for this journal? To the current Editorial Board of the Journal and myself, anesthesiology is the practice of medicine—perioperative, pain, and critical care medicine. I am not ashamed of the name of our specialty, but chose to subdivide it into its three central aspects in the mission statement and in the new organization of the table of contents of the Journal.
As regards the Year in Review article,1I agree with Dr. Pagel that determining which articles best meet our mission statement is a subjective process, just like the peer review that aims to identify the most important observations with the greatest likelihood to advance our understanding and the care of our patients. Only approximately 30% of submitted manuscripts meet these criteria and are published in the Journal. We attempt to serve our readership by utilizing the best and brightest in our specialty, including Dr. Pagel, to make this selection, and to further highlight and translate the importance of these findings through editorials, placement on the home page of the Journal, and an active press release program. I recognize that our readers are busy and may miss some articles, and a major goal of the 2007 Year in Review article was to highlight articles that the Editorial Board and I felt were of particular importance, often of immediate clinical relevance.
As an aside, I might add that the Year in Review article originally was not indexed in Medline, which has a policy excluding articles that attempt to increase a journal’s impact factor by reviewing and citing the journal’s own articles. When we pointed out to Medline officials that we had deliberately altered our own journal’s style to purposefully not cite the articles in this review, they recognized that this article was of interest and utility to our readership and agreed to index it.
Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. email@example.com