President's Message

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ATS Journals: The Voice of the Society

November 2014
Thomas Ferkol, MD, MD

Thomas Ferkol, MD

For nearly a century, our journals have been the voice of the American Thoracic Society, and have announced groundbreaking research to the world, leading to profound changes in how we treat our patients with pulmonary, critical care, and sleep disorders.

Since 1917, when it was published as the American Review of Tuberculosis, our flagship journal, the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, has provided translational research that defines the genetics, pathophysiology, and novel treatments of diseases that affect the respiratory system. Under the guidance of Jacob Iasha Sznajder, MD, the “Blue Journal” has achieved an impact factor that is the highest of all respiratory journals. Dr. Sznajder’s successful term ends later this year, and Jadwiga “Wisia” Wedzicha, MD, was selected to succeed him. Dr. Wedzicha, the clinical chair in Respiratory Medicine at the Imperial College London and past editor-in-chief of Thorax, has been a member of the AJRCCM’s editorial board for more than a decade and has served as an associate editor since 2013. Iasha and his editorial team should be congratulated, and we expect Wisia will take the journal to even greater heights.

This year, we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology. Its founders, Robert Senior, MD, Jerome Brody, MD, and Mary Williams, PhD, recognized the need for a basic science journal at a time when researchers were increasingly applying molecular biology techniques to questions of lung cell structure and function, and the National Institutes of Health began funding more pulmonary bench studies. Several talented editors continued to develop the “Red Journal,” and since being selected as editor in 2008, Kenneth Adler, PhD, has introduced new features such as “major technical advances,” the “Red-in-Translation” series, and the “best paper by a junior investigator,” with an award given at the ATS International Conference.

Recognizing that adult and pediatric clinicians, clinical researchers, and medical educators needed a journal to fulfill their specific needs, the Society completely rethought the Proceedings of the American Thoracic Society, and under the leadership of John Hansen-Flaschen, MD, launched the Annals of the American Thoracic Society in 2013. Since then, the number of submitted articles has increased dramatically, and the journal has expanded its focus to include clinical practice, the formative and continuing education of clinical specialists, and advancement of public health. Dr. Hansen-Flaschen and his colleagues have also developed innovative series and columns that help clinicians keep up with their certifications through continuing medical education and maintenance of certification opportunities. Beginning in 2015, the journal will publish monthly, delivering even more current and authoritative coverage of adult and pediatric pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine.

As part of the celebration of the 110th anniversary of the founding of the Society, we are making the AnnalsATS free for members of our sister societies worldwide. We have already received hundreds of requests, and we anticipate thousands by the start of 2015. By broadening the availability of the AnnalsATS, we will strengthen our collective efforts in providing the best care for patients globally and continue the mission that began with our very first journal.

Last Reviewed: September 2017