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Looking Forward: Amplifying the Journal of Adolescent Health's Impact on Adolescent and Young Adult Health

      I am pleased to assume the position of Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Adolescent Health (JAH) on July 1, 2019. After 40 years of extraordinary work by the Journal's previous editors-in-chief, editorial staffs, and editorial boards, JAH is the leading scientific journal focused on the health and well-being of adolescents and young adults (AYA) [
      • Berg T.D.
      • Irwin Jr., C.E.
      The Journal of Adolescent Health: Four decades of evolution through growth and innovation.
      ]. Now that the Journal is strong, well-established, and widely-respected, we have the opportunity to focus on increasing the impact JAH has on the health of young people.
      The Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM) established the Journal in 1980 to promote the development, synthesis, and dissemination of scientific and scholarly knowledge unique to the health needs of adolescents [
      The Journal of Adolescent Health.
      ]. JAH has become a successful multidisciplinary scientific journal, which publishes new research findings in the field, ranging from the basic biological and behavioral sciences to public health and policy. JAH publishes original science manuscripts, review articles, letters to the editor, commentaries, and case reports from colleagues across a wide variety of disciplines and from across the globe, all of whom are working to improve the lives of young people, which now intentionally includes both AYA. The success of JAH under the leadership of Dr. Charles Irwin over the past 15 years has been truly remarkable, and I am among many who deeply appreciate his vision, dedication, and consistent hard work on behalf of the Journal [
      • Berg T.D.
      • Irwin Jr., C.E.
      The Journal of Adolescent Health: Four decades of evolution through growth and innovation.
      ,
      • Irwin Jr., C.E.
      Transitions.
      ,
      • Irwin Jr., C.E.
      Beyond our boundaries: The Journal of Adolescent Health, 2019.
      ].
      During my first year as Editor-in-Chief, I will focus on a smooth transition in Journal leadership. I am fortunate that Mr. Tor D. Berg will continue as JAH Managing Editor, and Teresa Dal Santo PhD will continue as Editorial Analyst, assuring stability in well-established infrastructure support and processes. I will work closely with the Journal's Associate Editors through this transition to refine strategies to move JAH forward. Carolyn T. Halpern, Ph.D., from the Gillings School of Public Health, University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, NC, will continue as Associate Editor focused on Public Health. David A. Ross, B.M.B.Ch., Ph.D., from the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, will continue as Associate Editor focused on Global Health. Cherrie B. Boyer, Ph.D., from the University of California, San Francisco, CA, will join us as Associate Editor focused on Behavioral and Social Sciences. Catherine M. Gordon, M.D., M.S., from Harvard University, Boston Children's Hospital, in Boston, MA, will join us as Associate Editor focused on Biological, Medical, and Health Care Science. Charles E. Irwin Jr., M.D., will continue supporting the Journal in a new role exclusively focused on publication of JAH supplements. Dr. Irwin will continue his work to leverage the publication of supplements in a way that advances practice and science and enhances the global reach of adolescent and young adult health. Within the context of this transition year, I will be developing and implementing strategies to achieve overall goals.
      My overall goal as Editor-in-Chief is to maintain the extraordinary success of JAH and leverage this success in ways that amplify the impact on AYA health in the U.S. and across the world. JAH will continue its clear priority of rapidly publishing important science. I am committed to attracting the submission of high-quality science to JAH, high-quality timely review processes, and publication of the best available science to inform efforts to improve AYA health. I am also committed to increasing JAH visibility in professional and policy communities, and developing strategies to assure that the importance of science published in JAH is made clear to broad audiences in a way that amplifies the impact on AYA health. This is a strategy to maintain our high Journal Impact Factor based on article citation metrics and increase JAH impact on the actual health and well-being of young people.
      I will support ongoing efforts of SAHM and the Journal to include the improvement of young adult health as part of our mission. Identification of JAH as the leading scientific journal focused on adolescents as well as young adults sets us apart from other journals and provides JAH with unique opportunities to inform strategies to improve health of young people in the second and third decades of life. I also recognize that SAHM is an organization with a very diverse membership, all united in improving the health and well-being of young people. The Society was formed 50 years ago by clinicians in the U.S. and is now a multidisciplinary organization dedicated to supporting its members who are active in clinical care, research, teaching, program development, and policy across the globe. One important way that JAH has impact is by publishing material that is useful to SAHM members as they do their work. The Journal will be committed to publishing the best available science to inform the work of all SAHM members and agendas. I will also expand the newly initiated “Perspectives on Adolescence and Young Adulthood” section to reflect the art and science of AYA health and health care through the publication of narratives, poetry, photographs, and visual art from health professionals, youth, and families [
      • Berg T.D.
      • Irwin Jr., C.E.
      The Journal of Adolescent Health: Four decades of evolution through growth and innovation.
      ,
      • Coyne-Beasley T.
      Perspectives on adolescence and young adulthood.
      ,
      • Engle M.L.
      A letter to my doctor.
      ,
      • Ream A.
      Wanted: A friend.
      ]. Material in this section will add richness to Journal content, provide a platform for highlighting important aspects of our work that go beyond science, and be available to enhance teaching and advocacy activities. This section will be led by a new Section Editor working with a specialized editorial group.
      My overall strategy for leading JAH will recognize my full responsibility for the content and quality of Journal, while also valuing the importance of collaboration. I will be structuring activities to enhance collaboration among the Editor-in-Chief, Associate Editors, new Section Editors, and members of the Editorial Board. I am committed to diverse perspectives informing the work of the Journal, including diversity across the domains of age, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, geography, and discipline. I recognize the value and importance of collaborating with experts who are members and who are not members of SAHM, as all make critically important contributions to the Journal.
      New challenges will emerge. Debates about Open Access in publishing will continue and likely escalate in the foreseeable future [
      • Cuschieri S.
      WASP: Is open access publishing the way forward? A review of the different ways in which research papers can be published.
      ,
      • Haug C.J.
      No free lunch - what price plan S for scientific publishing?.
      ]. Implementing strategies to push messages about the importance of science published in JAH to broad audiences, particularly messages about controversial topics, may be associated with some risks. The ever-evolving communication landscape including social media and new technology will need to be taken into account as we move forward.
      I am confident that JAH will successfully address these challenges and other unexpected challenges based on the Journal's legacy of unwavering commitment to publishing science on behalf of AYA health. As a long-standing SAHM member, previous SAHM President, member of the JAH Editorial Board from 2004 to 2014, and JAH Associate Editor from 2015 to 2019, I have a deep understanding of the importance of JAH in publishing science-based strategies to improve the lives of young people and their families. The long-standing partnership between JAH and Elsevier, our publishing company, and between the JAH Editorial Team and Elsevier Publisher, Mr. Luke Verrillo, is strong. It is within this context that I look forward to becoming the next JAH Editor-in-Chief and the opportunity to provide JAH the leadership it needs to amplify its extraordinary success and increase JAH impact on AYA health.

      References

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        No free lunch - what price plan S for scientific publishing?.
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