At the start of our second term as Editor and Associate Editor-in-Chiefs, we look back on our initial decision to apply for these roles. While we both had experience serving on editorial boards, we had no previous experience as Editors-in-Chief. All we knew is that we could make a tremendous impact on the world of pediatric research if we applied for, were offered and accepted the job. We were excited and motivated to develop the journal further by adding new sections/topic areas and by building up the “front half” of the journal. As a result, the submissions to the journal have nearly doubled, and the number of pages in each issue of the journal has also nearly doubled. And to top it off, our impact factor this year was 3.756, the highest it has ever been!
And so, here we are again, starting our second term as Editors-in-Chief for Pediatric Research! And now, looking back onto the previous 5 years, we can confidently say that we’ve hit a home run and learned things about ourselves we never would have guessed! Here are our accomplishments over the previous 5 years:
Developed Early Career Investigators
Changed cover image to an image from one of the original research articles
Engaged with Social Media (Damian Roland—Social Media Editor)
Established an Editorial Apprenticeship
Established a monthly Pediatric Policy commentary with the Pediatric Policy Council
Established Global Pediatric Research Investigators
Reduced turnaround time (submission to decision)
More than doubled submissions
More than doubled published articles
Created Insights section for family reflections, narrative medicine, history, roasts, retirements, poems
Created a Controversies manuscript type and editor
Raised the profile of Pediatric Research by press releases, tweets of hot articles, sponsorship of sessions at societies’ meetings, and contributed to societies’ newsletters
Altered Pediapods to alternate with Early Career Investigators
Provide English editing for select manuscripts
Provide professional graphic illustrations for a mechanistic pathway in a research article
Developed collections of articles
Redesigned website in conjunction with Springer-Nature
Increased topic areas of interest by expanding and connecting editorial board members
Added multiple topic areas (including Pediatric Environmental Health) to topic areas and shaped editorial board to cover these areas
Developed a “Kids & Science Project” to promote science to the earliest career investigators!
Net incomes have more than doubled
And we would be remiss if we did not recount our failures:
Develop corresponding editors for each of the societies. This initiative failed because schedules were too complicated to arrange a phone call for all of us. It has been replaced though by a once a month teleconference with the society presidents and the President/Secretary/treasurer of the IPRF.
MOC part 2 credit for reviewers. This initiative was instituted a little over a year ago, and very few reviewers requested it. Thus, it did not seem to be something that would motivate the majority of our reviewers nor did it make financial sense since it costs $8000/year to provide it. So, we dropped it.
And so, Eleanor and I look forward to the next 5 years. And here is a list of all the risks we are taking to provide each member of one of our societies the benefits of having their own official journal:
Encourage early-career investigators within the societies to publish with Pediatric Research and highlights them in every issue.
Highlight the issue of the year from the societies. Like this year’s issue of “Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.”
Publish webinars from the societies, such as the APS/SPR Virtual Chat series.
Offer Editorial Board membership to society members when and where positions are available.
Society members have color figure charges in the print issue (color figures are always free in the online version of the paper) waived on papers where they are the first or last author.
Spots in the Editorial Apprenticeship program are offered to society members.
Support efforts of societies in helping early-career faculty in writing reviews (SPR Perspectives).
Waive page charges for submissions to the annual review issue.
Return money to the societies from journal revenue to support societies’ missions.
Sponsor sessions at major society meetings like PAS/jENS/EAPS.
Offer a workshop at PAS on publishing to encourage Early Career Investigators to publish their work.
Highlight images from papers on the cover, often from society member papers.
Offer free graphic image development from a professional illustrator to enhance selected images’ use in educational efforts.
Advertise for the society, free full-page advertisement in every print issue.
Due to what we publish, we promote diverse scientific fields within the societies. We are one of the few pediatric journals that publish basic science, a benefit for society members in this field. We provide multidimensional diversity in terms of areas of science and subject matter, to provide a home for articles for the research done by society members.
Offer the opportunity to publish peer-reviewed articles other than Original Research.
Serve as the bullhorn for society messaging, we provide a large platform to disseminate the different societies’ messages.
Enhance visibility of published articles through our Social Media Editor and through Springer Nature press releases.
Develop a rapid review process for select papers.
As we move into the next 5 years of our Editor-in-Chief-ness, we are excited to think of the new initiatives and strategies that we will undertake, whether or not they are successful. We also are ready to engage in the changes coming with the publishing world: (1) the move toward open access; (2) the increasing emphasis on data sharing; (3) the intersection of DEI and publishing; and (4) the phasing out of print publications to go to a world of online publishing. We ask you all to let us know where you think we’ve succeeded and where you think we have failed, or rather, discovered another strategy that doesn’t work. Here’s to another 5 years of success!
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Bearer, C.F., Molloy, E.J. Editor in Chiefs’ second term: looking ahead. Pediatr Res 92, 338–339 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41390-021-01833-8