ATS Publication Milestones and the Talented People Behind Them

Patricia W. Finn, MD
   Patricia W. Finn, MD

The ATS publications perform an essential role in furthering the Society's mission of reducing the global burden of respiratory disease. It's encouraging to see the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine cited 91 times and the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology cited 28 times in the Surgeon General's new report "The Health Consequences of Smoking–50 Years of Progress." And it's another example of how the research in our publications effects real change.

This year, the Society's publications will reach three important milestones: the 10th anniversary of the "White Journal," which concurrently celebrates its first year under the new flag Annals of the American Thoracic Society, the 10th anniversary of the ATS Patient Information Series, which is published in the AJRCCM, and lastly, the 25th anniversary of the AJRCMB. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for ensuring the success of these ATS publications, whether it's by reading and sharing the information with your colleagues, submitting research and reviews, or contributing as editors or advisors.

As you know, AnnalsATS has shifted to a clinical focus under the editorship of John Hansen-Flaschen, MD. Readers may now find reviews and updates on the epidemiology, classification, and management of clinical problems and the safe and efficacious application of procedures. In an upcoming AnnalsATS editorial, Dr. Hansen-Flaschen shares how manuscript submissions from national and international researchers have increased, as have the number of articles published since the journal unveiled its new focus.

Of course, there wouldn't be an AnnalsATS without its predecessor, the Proceedings of the American Thoracic Society. A decade ago, the first PATS reported on the l8th Annual Transatlantic Airway Conference held in January 2003, with then-AJRCCM Editor Martin Tobin, MD, serving as the interim editor. Later that year, Alan R. Leff, MD, took the reins and told ATS News: "The content of this journal must be of the highest quality science."

Dr. Leff kept his word and so has his successor, Dr. Hansen-Flaschen, which is why AnnalsATS continues to grow in influence and frequency. AnnalsATS will now publish nine issues annually. I am happy to report that an upcoming AnnalsATS issue will focus on health equality, a theme that I have made central to my term as ATS president and that I hope will become part of our Society's DNA.

Dr. Tobin was also instrumental in the creation of the Patient Information Series with ATS Director of Patient Services Judy Corn. The series is entering its 10th year of publication in the AJRCCM. The free downloadable PDFs are a shining example of how the Society provides clinicians with the resources to educate and support their patients. Both rare and prevalent diseases, treatments, and tests are now covered in patient-friendly terms. Most are just two pages in length, and include informative illustrations, checklists, and links to resources. There are materials that have also been translated into Spanish. All of the materials are available to patients at patients.thoracic.org.

The series has grown thanks to the great efforts of the past and current associate web editors for patient education, Marianna Sockrider, MD, DrPH, and Suzanne Lareau, RN, MS, Patient and Family Education Committee Chair Kathleen Lindell, PhD, RN, Bonnie Fahy, RN, MN, CNS, and Christopher Slatore, MD, as well as all of those who have volunteered their expertise over the last decade by writing, reviewing, and/or using these materials in their patient interactions. I highly encourage all ATS members to browse the Patient Information Series and share these materials with their patients and colleagues.

Finally, we come to the 25th anniversary of the AJRCMB. The pioneering efforts of the founding editors Mary C. Williams, PhD, Jerome S. Brody, MD, and Robert M. Senior, MD, as well as Gerard "Gerry" M. Turino, MD, and Mary Brenan in establishing the Society's second journal in 1989 are commendable. Early on, they recognized the need for a journal dedicated to the understanding of cell and molecular biology as it relates to respiratory health at a time when many pulmonologists were hesitant to dedicate resources. They pressed wisely and won, and grew the AJRCMB into a formidable journal for basic and translational research.

Since then, many gifted individuals have helmed the Red Journal: John A. McDonald, PhD, MD, Michael J. Holtzmann, MD, and Steven D. Shapiro, MD. In 2009, Kenneth B. Adler, PhD, took on the position has introduced many initiatives to attract younger researchers, such as the AJRCMB Young Investigator Award. The journal's impact factor stands at 4.148, and its lag time is three months. I thank Dr. Adler for his work and vision.

Our publications are the result of rigorous collaboration between brilliant researchers, clinicians, editors, and ATS staff members, and it's because of them that we can look forward to more milestones in the years ahead.