- AAP —
- American Academy of Pediatrics
Over the past 9 years, we have focused on publishing studies that capture ongoing changes and innovations that could improve the care that we provide to children and their families. At the same time, we have also changed and improved the format and organization of Pediatrics to keep up with what you, our readers, have asked us to do to make the information we provide relevant, practical, up-to-date, and easily accessible across a broad range of formats. We have made substantial changes to Pediatrics, including altering the overall look, expanding our online presence, changing the print edition to include 1-page synopses of all studies published in our official online edition, and adding article types to expand our coverage of the field of pediatrics.
These changes are aligned with our overall mission to provide useful and timely information to you. We will continue making changes in 2017 based on suggestions you have shared with us through our biannual readers’ survey and through e-mail, social media, and even traditional mailed letters. By continuously implementing and evaluating changes, we have used the quality-improvement methods of “plan, do, study, act” to increase the journal’s value when it comes to providing information to improve all aspects of child health and well-being. This is what our journal’s mission is all about.
What changes are planned for this coming year? One area that we will focus on is patient- and family-centered care. The ability to have families partner in the care process is a transformational trend in how pediatric care is being delivered in this country and around the world. We will soon launch a new section called “Family Partnerships” that will provide perspectives about pediatric health care written jointly by patients and families along with other members of their care team. The first of these articles focuses on raising awareness about sudden death among children with epilepsy. Other upcoming subject areas for this new section include shared decision-making, use of the Internet and other technologies to improve care, family-centered rounds, health care disparities, and medical education. We are committed to making all articles in this new section open access and free to the public from the time of publication to make sure that they are accessible to our patients and their families.
As many readers have discovered, our journal no longer exists only on the printed page but has an ever-growing presence online with the help of social media. Our readers’ survey data suggest that our blog posts (www.aappublications.org/blog-posts), Facebook page (www.facebook.com/aappeds), and Twitter account (@AAPJournals) help drive readers to content in the journal. Building on our successful community engagement through social media, Pediatrics has recently launched an Instagram account (www.instagram.com/aap_pediatrics). Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media outlets, particularly among early career physicians. Instagram allows our journal to extend its reach and better aid readers so they are aware of new, innovative research by bringing content to them through the posting of pictures, figures, diagrams, and videos from Pediatrics highlighting scientific discoveries in child health past, present, and future. We even have themes for our daily Instagram postings, such as “Travel Tuesday,” emphasizing global health aspects of child health care, and “Throw-back Thursday,” focusing on the history of discoveries that have changed the way we practice. In addition to Instagram, this year we will introduce podcasting on our social media channels to share research with our readers and the interested public alike. We hope that you will follow us on Instagram or any of our social media accounts and share your feedback with us so we can continue to improve these important communication and educational platforms.
What about improvements to the online and print pages of our journal? A year ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) launched an online network known as the “AAP Gateway” for all of its journal publications, including AAP News. Over the past year, more than 9 million unique readers (AAP members, institutions, and paid subscribers) around the world made >22 million visits to our journal through Gateway. Our decision to make the online version of the journal the official version in 2010 has been met with overwhelming support by thousands of readers who gave us feedback over the past years. However, we will continue to include in the print version 1-page summaries of research articles and the full text of commentaries, perspectives, and AAP-endorsed policies.
To improve the educational mission of the journal, we have also added a new “We Recommend” section at the end of each full-text article. This new feature will provide relevant content from our database of >46 000 articles published in Pediatrics and >2000 medical and science journals from the world’s leading scholarly publishers. This feature helps you quickly discover articles related to the article topic you just finished reading.
As the journal continues to expand its ability to provide targeted content, we will introduce on Gateway a feature referred to as “Custom Topic Collections.” This feature will allow us to provide easily accessible groupings of timely and relevant articles from past and present issues of our journal and other AAP journals. We also heard suggestions from readers about how to make the journal more accessible. On this basis, we will introduce a summary line about each research article into the table of contents. We hope that this new feature will entice you to dig deeper and read the article in full.
We are continuing to plan for other exciting innovations in the coming year. For example, we will be testing “Videocast Abstracts,” which will summarize articles from each issue. Videocast summaries will be online and shared through our social media channels to broaden our reach with the new content. The Videocast Abstracts can also be added as part of our new Custom Topic Collections and allow you to create your own multimedia collection in the future. We hope that this visual addition will help improve the usefulness of the work we publish.
We are excited about these changes. However, at the core, we will continue to provide articles that we believe will help improve the care that children and their families receive. Even if you do not take advantage of the new features or additions, be assured that Pediatrics is still the go-to journal when it comes to improving the health of children. While we continue to improve and expand our journal, that mission will never change!
- Accepted October 26, 2016.
- Address correspondence to Lewis R. First, MD, MS, Editor-in-Chief, Pediatrics Editorial Office, University of Vermont College of Medicine, 89 Beaumont Ave, Given Courtyard S250, Burlington, VT 05405. E-mail: .
FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE: The authors have indicated they have no financial relationships relevant to this article to disclose.
FUNDING: No external funding.
POTENTIAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST: The authors have indicated they have no potential conflicts of interest to disclose.
- Copyright © 2017 by the American Academy of Pediatrics