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  • My Turn

    By David Bluemke, MD, PhD

    March 1, 2018

    Radiology Embarks on a New Era in Publishing

    Ten years ago, we predicted that Radiology would transition from a hardcopy journal to an online publication. Yet our concept of “online” was monolithic — limited by the technology of the time — simply meaning content would be available on the internet. Today the world is polylithic. We receive information on multiple platforms, and the way we consume information has become more personalized.

    In this context of information flux, Radiology must determine how to best get useful medical and scientific information to imaging physicians and scientists in our field. In the coming months we will take several steps to improve the information that you receive through these new initiatives.

    Targeted Editorials

    If you are a general radiologist but need to keep up with developments throughout the imaging field, your reaction to an article on the brain connectome may be bewilderment at the density and complexity of the science. Our scientific authors are super-specialized experts in their domains. The technical requirements of their fields are enormous. As a result, our authors write articles that appeal to highly specialized reviewers. Thus, we have started to solicit “targeted editorials” for key articles that we publish. These editorials will briefly explain the significance of the research and highlight its strengths and weaknesses.

    Faster Publication Times

    Authors have always struggled with publishing information in a timely fashion. Even the U.S. federal government has realized that the time to publish and release information from clinical trials is too long. NIH guidelines specify that results must be reported within 12 months of concluding a trial. Yet, data analysis alone may take many months and publishing in Radiology may take many more. We are highly committed to reducing time to publication, while providing a forum for the world’s leading research in the field of radiology.

    Improved Delivery of Digital Content and New Print Format

    Our current production model is designed around a monthly print issue. If you receive our monthly table of contents by email, the list of 30 or more articles scrolls almost endlessly off the bottom of the largest “plus size” mobile phone.

    We will start delivering organized, weekly content for our mobile readers. We have already streamlined notifications. Further improvement will continue over the next 12 months and mobile offerings will extend to enhanced use of podcasts and social media. An updated print format in 2018 is aimed to provide readers with an improved visual experience.

    Images in Radiology

    Our authors generate some of the most interesting and innovative medical images in the world. Beginning in 2018, Images in Radiology will be a new journal feature, highlighting state-of-the-art radiologic imaging depicting interesting and relevant diagnoses. Submissions for this feature are being solicited at this time.

    Subspecialized Journals

    Radiology delivers high-quality content for our readers by being very selective regarding the material that is published. About 3,000 original research articles are submitted each year; only about 5 to 10 percent are accepted. A substantial portion of rejected material is excellent quality but pertains to a specialty radiologist. To that end, the RSNA Board has approved the development of three new subspecialty journals on the topics of imaging of cancer, cardiothoracic disease, and artificial intelligence/machine learning in imaging. Each new online-only journal will have its own editor and editorial board of specialists, and planning for the journals is underway. The journals will launch in 2019.

    I look forward to continuing the tradition of excellence that Radiology is known for while ensuring the journal meets the needs of today’s radiologists.

    Dr. Bluemke is editor of Radiology and a professor in the Department of Radiology at the University of Wisconsin – Madison (UW – Madison) School of Medicine and Public Health. In 1997, he became the clinical director in the MRI division of the Department of Radiology at Johns Hopkins Hospital. In 2008, he became a tenured senior investigator for the NIH and the radiologist-in-chief of Radiology and Imaging Sciences at the NIH Clinical Center. He was also a senior investigator at the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) and an adjunct investigator for the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). A longtime member of RSNA, Dr. Bluemke served as deputy editor of Radiology from 1993 to 1997.