“[We] have expanded our electronic multimedia content and library to engage Anesthesiology consumers in new ways.”
ONE year ago, I began as Editor-in-Chief of Anesthesiology with the goal to attract and publish the highest quality possible, peer-reviewed, specialty-relevant science—basic and clinical—that asks and addresses important questions.1 Beyond that, the future was envisioned in terms of journal richness and reach, article quality and impact, content delivery, communication and comprehension, and service to authors, readers, and the many constituencies that we serve. A great deal has been accomplished and changed in this past year, and this message serves to inform our authors and our readers.
Anesthesiology publishes both clinical research and clinically relevant basic science. Between July 2016 and June 2017, the Journal published more than 150 original investigations, two thirds of which were clinical investigations. We published 100 articles in the category of Perioperative Medicine, 75% of which were clinical studies, as well as 27 Critical Care Medicine and 25 Pain Medicine articles. These were accompanied by 55 Editorial View articles and 23 articles in the realm of synthesis and recapitulation (Review Articles, Clinical Concepts and Commentary, Special Articles, and Classic Papers Revisited).
Considerable effort has been made to expand the reach of the Journal, meaning both increased numbers of users (readers and viewers) and increased readability and comprehension. Our Electronic Alerts, which previously were accessible only to members of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), are now freely available to all. Anyone can sign up to receive these Electronic Alerts by email, including the weekly electronic table of contents (eToC), a weekly Online First alert highlighting articles published online prior to print publication, and topic collection alerts based on areas of interest. This availability is prominently featured at the very top of the online journal (http://anesthesiology.pubs.asahq.org). We have also made the Anesthesiology Web site part of the ASA Single Sign-on system, which allows ASA members easier access to multiple ASA publications and content with a single log-in, without having to sign in to each publication individually. A nesthesiology Web viewership has increased more than 40%. To further enhance ease of use, for those who wish to download articles and read offline or save articles electronically, we have created the ability to download an entire month’s issue as a single PDF rather than requiring the downloading of every article individually. And we have retained that single article download ability as well. Commensurate with these enhancements and increased use of the journal Web site, use of the iPad app, first launched in 2010, has dwindled, and it has now been retired.
Several new offerings have expanded our electronic multimedia content and library to engage Anesthesiology consumers in new ways. The monthly Editor-in-Chief podcast has been a convenient hands-free way to hear the summaries of several highlighted articles each month. Through the leadership of Associate Editor Yandong Jiang, M.D., Ph.D., and a team of editors and translators, the podcast is now also newly available in Mandarin. This new feature has seen rapid acceptance, and our expanded reach to Chinese listeners is more than twice that of our English podcast. Another offering is our new monthly audio podcast—an extended audio interview with authors and editorialists about the content and additional aspects of a featured research article. James Rathmell, M.D., and BobbieJean Sweitzer, M.D., are leading that effort. And a new monthly video abstract provides a 3- to 5-min narrated and illustrated summary of a featured research article. Multimedia content is available on iTunes, Google Play, YouTube, and iHeartRadio. Podcasts can be found on the podcast page of the Anesthesiology Web site, or by subscription via iTunes for iOS devices or Google Play for Android devices (these devices will receive automatic updates when a new podcast is available).
We are also pleased to announce that, going forward, Anesthesiology will be expanding video content offerings to other article types, including Review Articles and Clinical Concepts and Commentary. These videos will allow readers to visualize aspects of clinical care and techniques, such as regional block placement or ultrasound, further enriching the article content. This new capability will be immediately available to authors of these article types.
Complementing these new content offerings is enhanced engagement through social media—Facebook and Twitter, whose reach has increased 50 to 100% in the past year through the efforts of our social media Associate Editors Jorge Galvez, M.D., and Allan Simpao, M.D., M.B.I. They have also initiated a periodic Twitter journal club, working with a host anesthesiology department to focus on a featured Anesthesiology article and engage in an online discussion. Twitter journal club discussions are archived on the Anesthesiology Web site. The Journal has also partnered with Kudos, a Web-based system that helps investigators maximize the visibility and impact of their published articles. Established as a service to Anesthesiology authors, Kudos provides tools for authors to disseminate their research across a broad range of social media platforms and track the reach of that engagement.
Anesthesiology content expansion has not been limited to the online journal. The print journal fills unused white space at the end of articles with rich images that retell the history of our specialty. Through the thoughtful largess of Associate Editor George Bause, M.D., M.P.H., and the Wood Library-Museum, we have doubled the number of these monthly images. Known as Anesthesiology Reflections from the Wood Library-Museum, they remind us of our origins and progress, and quite often with a smile.
Many enhancements have also been made to our research articles to improve the quality and clarity of research reporting and readability. Busy readers may scan the abstracts of articles to select some for more in-depth reading, and they may sometimes read only the abstract. Hence, we are working with authors to ensure that Anesthesiology abstracts can stand alone and convey enough information for a reader to understand the scientific problem, hypothesis, and method for testing the hypothesis, as well as to see presented the key data on which any conclusions are based and to describe clearly those conclusions that are directly supported by the study results. In addition, article abstracts can quickly become overrun with jargon, abbreviations, and acronyms, challenging their comprehension. To improve abstract readability, the use of nonstandard abbreviations and acronyms has been eliminated from article abstracts, titles, and summaries, and we are reducing and discouraging their use in the main body of articles as well. We encourage article titles to be both informative and concise. To improve data reporting and transparency, we now require data variability to be reported more correctly, as either the standard deviation or 95% confidence interval, rather than the standard error of the mean. Similarly, so as not to give readers a sense of false precision, we require that the number of decimal places used to report data must be the same as in the original measurements. If age was measured to the nearest year, it must be reported only to the whole year. Anesthesiology provides guidance to authors on enhancements in article reporting by periodically updating the Instructions for Authors (http://anesthesiology.pubs.asahq.org/public/InstructionsforAuthors.aspx).
Anesthesiology leadership also has changed. Editors Hugh Hemmings, M.D., Ph.D., and David Roth, M.D., Ph.D., retired from their roles, and we are grateful for their leadership and service. Tragically, we unexpectedly lost and miss Jean Mantz, M.D., Ph.D.2 Anesthesiology was most pleased to welcome as new editors Andrew Davidson, M.B.B.S., M.D., F.A.N.Z.C.A., and Sachin Kheterpal, M.D., M.B.A. They continue the international representation on the Editorial Board, reflecting the international contributorship and readership of the Journal, as well as the ever-increasing breadth of science that we publish. And our Mind-to-Mind founding editor, Carol Cassella, M.D., retired in that role and was replaced by Stephen Harvey, M.D. Our journal has outstanding leadership.
There will be more changes and enhancements to occur in the coming year. We will go where the science takes us.
Dr. Kharasch is the Editor-in-Chief of Anesthesiology and his institution receives salary support from the American Society of Anesthesiologists for this position.