The Annals momentum is building.

September 25, 2017

Three months ago, I reported in this column that the Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology had changed course, including re-hiring Gailen Marshall, MD, PhD, FACAAI as editor-in-chief and adding Donald Leung, MD, FACAAI as executive editor. I stated that our intent is to raise the impact factor enough for the Annals to increase its ranking as a top tier allergy journal while retaining its appeal to the practicing allergist.

Accomplishing this would be no small feat given the superb journals that already serve the specialty. The College feels strongly that our goals for the Annals are realistic, and that there is a desirable niche that is not yet occupied.

Publications committee revitalized

The Publications Committee is playing a critical role in developing a strategy to meet the College’s goals for the Annals. Chaired by Bryan Martin, DO, FACAAI, this committee has worked tirelessly on both developing a vision and working together with the senior editors to re-build the Annals team. For example, since June the committee has expanded to a total of 11 members, and its activity has included a face-to-face strategy meeting, monthly conference calls, and the digestion of reams of background materials concerning journal metrics, College member surveys, and editor applicant qualifications. This committee is doing its homework, and the College is both grateful to the committee’s members and confident that this work has built a foundation on which the Annals can build for years to come.

Annals Vision Statement

A critical step in this summer’s planning was the creation of a Vision Statement for the Annals. The essence of this statement is for the Annals to undergo “visible, impactful change” in order to enhance and then sustain its stature. For example, we want our members to look forward to opening the Annals each month because they know that it will include content that is new, interesting, practical, and essential for them to know in the complex world of clinical practice. In addition to raising the Annals impact factor and including less academic but highly valued practical features, the vision incudes a mandate to “put a plan forward that will result in continued success once the current editor-in-chief and executive editor are gone in four years”.

Next steps

Part of the Annals vision is to assemble an editorial team to run it now as if it is already the publication it seeks to become.  

This is a challenging concept, especially given the urgency of finding appropriate candidates for deputy editor and associate editor positions by the end of September. Although at the time of this writing Dr. Marshall has not yet made his final selections, I am pleased to report the applicant pool arguably constitutes an embarrassment of riches – with four outstanding applicants for deputy editor and 13 for associate editor. Our short-term goal is to have the editorial team set before the Annual Meeting next month in Boston. The “official” date to unveil the new Annals is January 1, 2018. Stay tuned!