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  • Mindy M. Horrow, MD: 2013 Eyler Editorial Fellow

  • The RSNA William R. Eyler Editorial Fellowship has been a highlight of my professional career, combining an exposure to the editorial processes of Radiology and RadioGraphics and a gift of time out of a busy clinical schedule for intensive reading, contemplation, debate and discussion, writing and interaction with the editors and deputy editors of the journals.  I decided to apply for the fellowship based primarily upon my activities with RadioGraphics.  In 2012, I served as co-editor of the special monograph on Women’s imaging and found that I enjoyed the editorial process tremendously.  Over the years I have also served the RSNA in a variety of other capacities including: scientific presentations, educational posters, ultrasound case of the day, GU scientific abstract reviewer and moderator, various RadioGraphics panels and as a refresher course lecturer. Many years of reviewing for several radiology journals has helped make me become a better researcher and educator.  I hoped that the Eyler Fellowship would further advance my editorial skills.

    The Eyler fellowship includes 2 days at the office of RadioGraphics, 2 days at the RSNA headquarters and 2 weeks at the Radiology offices.  In Oak Brook, IL at the main RSNA offices, Ms. Roberta Arnold warmly welcomed me and introduced every member of the editorial and production teams of the journals.  The staff was kind enough to wear name tags just for my benefit. Each person gave me a short tutorial about their spectrum of duties, always making time for my questions.  I learned something about every stage of the journal process including manuscript preparation and editing, production tracking and schedules, the peer review process, choosing and evaluating reviewers, advertising and licenses and on-line processes.  The meticulous work that goes into making sure that each word, graph, table and image is accurate and readable is quite impressive.  I was fortunate to be one of the first radiologists to try the new on-line journal App and give comments to the production group.  The RSNA administrative journal staff is an experienced, committed team with extremely high professionalism.

    During my trip to Vermont, Dr. Jeffrey Klein, Editor of RadioGraphics, reviewed the process of manuscript solicitation at the annual meeting and discussed peer review and peer review mentoring, RadioGraphics statistics and future initiatives.  I was able to observe him handle two situations related to irate authors and participate in the weekly WebEx staff meeting.  Dr. Klein has recently instituted a structured reviewer template and I will be working with him to create an on line tutorial about “how to review a manuscript”. We discussed manuscript processing which has recently switched from RGXpress to ScholarOne.

    The two week visit to the offices of Radiology in Boston allows for a “working experience”.  As Drs. Herbert Kressel (Editor) and Debra Levine (Senior Deputy Editor) reviewed the editorial process, I participated by reading several submissions with reviewers’ comments and prepared a summary for recommendation and presentation at the weekly editorial meeting.  Dr. Kressel was patient and unstinting in sharing his experience and time as I worked my way through papers that were well outside of my areas of expertise.  The pleasure of critical reading with time to think and consider, review prior and related publications and then compose a summary opinion cannot be overstated.  I worked on new, revised and reject/resubmit submissions as and prepared the letter with comments to the authors.  Dr. Kressel and several of the deputy editors gave me mini-tutorials on various aspects of the editorial process.  These editors give similar lectures yearly at the RSNA and I encourage new authors and reviewers to attend these sessions.  Each of the administrative staff at the editorial office reviewed her job description and work flow and all were always available for my questions. Topics included: manuscript preparation, conflict of interest, choosing and rating reviewers, book reviews and publication deadlines.  I observed several podcast interviews with authors and even participated with Dr. Kressel on one of them.  I learned that editors spend considerable time dealing with non-editorial issues including: duplicate publications, irate authors, ghost authors, honorary authors, etc.  Dr. Kressel and I talked about the future of the journals both in print and on line, changes in the finances of the RSNA journals, open access journals, impact factor, etc.

    At the RSNA 2013 Annual Meeting I attended the reviewers and editorial board meetings of both Radiology and RadioGraphics, giving a short presentation of my experiences at each of these sessions.  I also participated in the women’s imaging panel for RadioGraphics and observed the chair and co-chair as they prepared for the panel meeting.

    In summary, I am grateful for the experience of the Eyler Journalism Fellowship.  I thank the leadership of the RSNA and Dr. William Thorwarth, liaison for publications and communications, for this honor and the members of my own department who gave me the opportunity to take time away from my clinical duties.   The dynamic combination of a premier research journal and a state of the art educational journal provides our membership with the best of both aspects of radiology journalism. I will use the knowledge gained during this time both as a reviewer for the RSNA journals and as a mentor to the junior faculty and residents in my department. My “take home message” is that the vision and experience brought to bear by the editors of our journals shapes considerably the future of our specialty in basic and clinical research and education.  The process of bringing an article to publication is long and arduous but certainly worth the final product that ultimately allows us to better care for our patients.

    Mindy M. Horrow, MD Professor of Radiology Thomas Jefferson University Director of Body Imaging and Co-Director of the Vascular Laboratory Einstein Medical Center