Emergency Radiology: its first 25 years: accomplishments to celebrate
The first issue of Emergency Radiology was published in January 1994. This publication came approximately 5 years after the founding of the American Society of Emergency Radiology (ASER).
The principles of the Journal remain the same: Emergency Radiology is the only journal solely dedicated to the publication of emergency radiology subject matter. It continues to fulfill its major purpose as outlined in the ASER bylaws, “To publish a scientific journal for the dissemination of the emergency radiological, clinical, and educational, and research information worldwide.”
Many things have changed. The practice of emergency radiology has changed dramatically. Examinations are routinely done with CT and MRI preferentially over radiography. Radiation exposure and its consequences from urgent radiology examinations has become a major concern. Applications for MRI in the emergency department have increased greatly. Manuscripts in the Journal reflect these dramatic changes in our practice. The Journal now is distributed almost exclusively in an electronic version rather than print. The Journal is electronically distributed to many institutions around the world. There are over 80,000 article downloads from the Journal yearly. Emergency Radiology abstracts and articles are available worldwide and they are indexed in Medline, SCOPUS, Google scholar, and numerous other indexing systems. Information from the Journal is frequently mentioned in relevant Tweets, blog posts, and Facebook posts among other social media that mention emergency radiology. Inevitably, many more changes will come in the near future.
Shortly after the ASER was conceived, the founding members proposed sponsoring a journal that would enhance the society and strengthen the specialty. Within a short time, this concept came to fruition with publication of the first issue of Emergency Radiology. The concept for the Journal centered on publishing research papers and other manuscripts on practical emergency radiology imaging topics. The Journal has fulfilled and exceeded these expectations. The success of the journal Emergency Radiology was built on the “shoulders of giants” in the field. The first editor of the Journal, Theodore Keats, was an icon in emergency radiology since its inception as a subspecialty in radiology. His diligent and visionary work built a strong foundation for later growth and developments for the Journal. He was followed by similarly talented editors: John H. Harris, Jr. and Stephen R. Baker, who made major contributions to the Journal’s success. I was appointed Editor-in-Chief of the Journal in 2006, having completed a Figley Fellowship in medical journalism in the 1990s and later serving as the Associate Editor for the AJR. I oversaw the implementation of the online manuscript submission system, an expansion of the pool of expert reviewers and an increase in the size of our Editorial Board. These innovations have led to a marked increase in manuscript submissions and in the quality of articles published in Emergency Radiology.
A major milestone solidifying the foundation of the Journal occurred in 2004 with recognition by the Library of Congress and inclusion in the National Library of Medicine database. This allowed for Emergency Radiology articles to be listed electronically in indices such as Medline and PubMed. While this listing encouraged authors to submit more important articles to the Journal, the inflow of articles was unpredictable and suboptimal to maintain a reliable publication schedule. Fortunately, with the growth of interest and research in the field of emergency radiology, the Journal is now flourishing with on-schedule publishing of the Journal since 2007. Its growth has mirrored the growth of the ASER and of the interest in emergency radiology as a subspecialty field of radiology.
Since 2006, the Journal which is published bi-monthly, has grown in volume and in impact. The size of the Journal has increased from 60 pages to 100 pages per issue. More influential articles are published in the Journal with a marked reduction in minor articles such as case reports. Engaging and important review articles are published in every issue. Through the efforts of the many expert reviewers who assist with the Journal, help and support from our publisher Springer, and under my guidance, author experience has been enhanced. Articles that are submitted are reviewed rapidly by experts, and publication decisions are made promptly. Meaningful emergency radiology topics are addressed in every issue of the Journal. Articles in the Journal cover the entire breadth of the field including interventional procedures, OB/GYN, neuroradiology, pediatric and adult studies, radiation issues, and overarching diagnostic emergency radiology topics. The Journal works synergistically with ASER. Each issue of Emergency Radiology contains a case from the Core Curriculum project, a repository of educational cases that is maintained by ASER. The Journal publishes the scientific abstracts from ASER’s annual meetings, has published meeting summaries, and advertises and promotes the ASER meetings and information for the other affiliated societies.
In recognition of the Journal’s importance in the field of emergency radiology, it recently became the official journal of the Society of Emergency Radiology—India and of the Nordic Forum for Trauma and Emergency Radiology. Leaders from those societies are appointed to serve on the Editorial Board of the Journal. These affiliations are increasing the scope and influence of Emergency Radiology and reflect the growth and importance of this field internationally. Further recognition of the importance of the Journal is reflected by its inclusion in the Emerging Sources Citation Index, a new journal index that monitors journal citation performance.
One of the key successes of the Journal, and one that is of great importance in today’s unpredictable world, is its focus on complex management issues in emergency radiology. While readers and researchers are already familiar with the Journal as a destination for relevant organ-based literature in emergency radiology, articles such as management of mass casualties, imaging findings in victims of terrorist attacks, and optimal protocols for performing complex radiology studies in emergency departments have found a home in this journal. Access to the Journal is key when radiologists are planning for, or in the midst of, one of these horrific events, that would otherwise represent “uncharted territory” for most radiologists. We have all learned how to plan for drastic situations in our emergency radiology departments from articles published in the Journal.
Where will the Journal go during its second quarter-century? The future of the Journal is bright. It has experienced rapid growth and this trend will continue. Growth of work in the field of emergency radiology continues and this is reflected in an ever-increasing volume of high-quality articles submitted for review to Emergency Radiology. The ASER and its affiliated organizations are filled with energetic and productive radiologists who will produce research that will be published in Emergency Radiology. The Journal will continue to serve as a key communication tool for those practicing in the field of emergency radiology and as a complement to the activities of ASER and the other societies that are now affiliated with Emergency Radiology. For now, the members of ASER and other contributors to Emergency Radiology can take a moment to feel the pride for the current Journal and how it has developed in a mere 25 years.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The author declares that there is no conflict of interest.