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  • Johannes T. Heverhagen, MD, PhD: 2007 Eyler Editorial Fellow

  • The William R. Eyler Editorial Fellowship was a tremendous experience. This outstanding program included visits to the Radiology Editorial Office in Richmond, Va, the RadioGraphics Editorial Office in Bethesda, Md, and the RSNA Headquarters in Bethesda, Md, and the RSNA Headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill, as well as the RSNA Annual Meeting in Chicago. The fellowship provided an extended break to gain an insight in scientific publishing that would be otherwise not possible.

    I anticipated that this outstanding program will help me gain more insight in the editorial process, will enable me write better reviews. From an authors and reviewers point of view the work is done after the manuscript is submitted and reviewed. However, I knew that at this point there is still a lot of work to do in order to get a manuscript published, and moreover to assemble a journal. I looked forward to gain more experience about this additional process hidden to the authors, reviewers and readers.

    Owing to the change in editorship at Radiology, with Dr Proto stepping down and Dr Kressel taking over, my fellowship schedule differed from previous ones. In addition to my visit to Dr Proto's office, I will also visit Dr Kressel's office in Boston, Mass in Summer 2008.

    During the 2 weeks at the Radiology editorial office, I was completely integrated into the editorial team. I was involved in the daily chores of the editor and the editorial office staff. I reviewed manuscripts in all stages of the editorial process, as a first-line reviewer after submission, as a deputy editor for revised manuscripts, and as an editor making final decision. Dr Proto provided daily feedback on the manuscripts on which I worked and on my review of these manuscripts. He also involved me in the assembly of future Radiology issues including manuscript selection and image selection for the cover.

    I especially learned that an editor must pay a lot of attention to detail but at the same time turn the manuscripts around quickly. The editor does not read the manuscript once but rather multiple times: at original submission, after revision, and again after copy editing.

    I also learned about the importance of communication between the editor and authors. The Richmond staff introduced me to issues in manuscript tracking, reviewer assignment and issue assembly.

    While in in Richmond, I spent a day at the Cadmus printing plant, where I observed the entire printing process. Although the journals are not printed at this particular plant, I gained a lot of insight into the printing process.

    At RSNA Headquarters, the production process was demonstrated in its entirety. I met with the managing editors, copy editors, image editors, experts in online publishing, people in charge of scheduling of the production process, and experts in finance, marketing and sales. I learned a lot about the many layers of editing that turn a manuscript into a final printed article. This was probably the most surprising part of my fellowship because I did not expect the additional effort needed after a manuscript leaves the editor´s office.

    At the RadioGraphics office in Bethesda, Dr Olmsted and his staff reviewed the editorial process of RadioGraphics and its educational mission with me. I learned that the selection process for RadioGraphics is entirely different from that for Radiology. Almost all of the manuscripts published in RadioGraphics are solicited at the RSNA Annual Meeting, while Radiology accepts submissions throughout the year. In the summer and fall, the RadioGraphics staff is busy preparing for the Annual Meeting, while also assembling and producing the six regular issues and the special issue published in October.

    Dr Olmsted carefully explained the educational mission of RadioGraphics. He also provided more insight into the RSNA education portal. The tremendous amount of resources available on the RSNA education portal will become more and more important for radiologists requiring recertification, because the portal provides information about maintenance of certification and self-assessment modules.

    At the annual meeting I served on the Gastrointestinal Imaging panel for posters that are selected for possible publication in RadioGraphics. A number of posters were given to me for review, and I discussed them with the other panel members. During this discussion, we selected the most outstanding posters for solicitation for publication in RadioGraphics.

    Furthermore, I had the opportunity to take part in the editorial board meetings of Radiology and RadioGraphics as well as in the reviewer meetings for both journals. Here, I learned again how many people are involved in the editorial and publishing process of both journals.

    The RSNA William R. Eyler Editorial Fellowship was a tremendous learning experience for me. I think that I now understand the work of an editor, as well as the process from submission to print of a manuscript. I have already passed on some of the knowledge I gained to my colleagues. I hope that this knowledge will enable me to write better manuscripts and reviews, to serve as a better mentor to medical students and residents, and, perhaps, to edit a journal.
    Johannes T. Heverhagen, MD, PhD Assistant Professor of Radiology Philipps University Marburg Marburg, Germany Adjunct Assistant Professor The Ohio State University