We thank Dr. Sill for his articulate description of a problem which has vexed this journal since its inception and with which most journals that publish both clinical and basic science struggle. Because our understanding of the biologic basis for pathology and pharmacology progresses and scientific methods become ever more refined and complex, it becomes increasingly difficult to translate important new findings to a wide audience of readers. Despite these difficulties in translation, most of our day-to-day clinical practice evolved from or is explained by such basic science. Consultant physicians need to know when and why they act, and that means keeping abreast of new knowledge in the basic and clinical sciences.
In several recent surveys of readers of Anesthesiology, the message has come out loud and clear that progress in science is valued and that science needs to be made more accessible to the nonexpert and more relevant to the busy clinician. To that end, several years ago we added boxed text at the start of each article describing what is already known about the topic and what the current article tells us that is new; this feature has been well received. Recognizing that more needs to be done to make Anesthesiology interesting, relevant and accessible to the practicing anesthesiologist, a new Executive Editor was recently approved and one of us (James P. Rathmell) was elected to this post.
Therefore, we ask you to watch carefully in the months ahead as Anesthesiology undergoes a major transformation aimed at engaging all of our readers. We want those practicing anesthesiology to enter the journal often and take away new information that will continually improve their knowledge and skills both in the laboratory and in the everyday practice of medicine. Starting in this issue, changes will begin to appear. The look and feel of the journal will now be similar, no matter how you choose to view its contents: in the printed version, via the Internet, or on a tablet or mobile platform (fig. 1). This Month in Anesthesiology, an easy-to-read summary of key articles in each issue, will be integrated across all platforms and enhanced, as Dr. Sill has suggested, with interesting images relevant to the content of each article. Our hopes are that the eye-catching images, brief and easy-to-understand summaries, and uniform entry point for each issue will entice readers to explore articles they may once have ignored. In just a few brief sentences, we will explain what the article is about and why it pertains to their own world of clinical anesthesiology. Navigation will be made easier, with just a single hyperlink click on any electronic platform taking readers from summary to accompanying editorial to full text article. But wait, there is more. Anesthesiology has printed a Literature Review for some time now; this section summarizes relevant articles from other journals from diverse areas of science and medicine that will impact the field of anesthesiology. Our analyses suggest that the Literature Review is accessed by few readers but highly regarded by those who do stumble to the rear of each edition, where this section is hidden. We have renamed the section “Science, Medicine, and the Anesthesiologist,” reformatted the section to resemble the look and feel of the journal as a whole, moved it to the front of each edition, and added eye-catching images to draw readers in for a closer look. Later in 2014, we will be adding expanded features, to include infographics that provide intuitive visual representations of complex data derived from published articles; we will also be searching for appealing ways to incorporate more audio and video content in to the electronically accessible versions of the journal. These are just the first changes slated to appear in 2014. We will be actively engaging readers to better understand how Anesthesiology can benefit all who have interest in the field, clinicians and scientists alike. Do not hesitate to share your own ideas on how to make our journal more interesting and accessible to you.
Competing Interests: The authors declare no competing interests.