RSNA 2018: 3 new peer-reviewed radiology journals taking shape

2019 will see the launch of three new peer-reviewed journals published by RSNA, including one dedicated to AI in medical imaging. On Monday, Nov. 26, at RSNA 2018 in Chicago, the managing editor of these new titles filled in some details on what to expect and watch for.  

“The last time we started a journal was in 1981,” the editor, Chrystal Schmit, pointed out. That was RadioGraphics, and Radiology has been in print since 1923. “These three new publications won’t be on the scale of Radiology and RadioGraphics, but we hope they will present valuable research” that may not be a good fit for the two older titles but deserve publication all the same.

Schmit gave a brief overview of each:

  • Radiology: Artificial Intelligence, Schmit said, was created as a home for research into all the cutting-edge advances emerging in this area. This title began seeking submissions on July 2 and has received about 75 submissions so far. Schmit said the plan is to publish the inaugural edition of Radiology: AI in the first quarter of 2019. The editor of the journal, as announced last spring, is Charles Kahn Jr., MD, MS, of the University of Pennsylvania. “The scope of this journal is to highlight the emerging applications in machine learning, artificial intelligence and data science in a field that is [growing] across multiple disciplines,” Schmit said.
  • Radiology: Cardiothoracic Imaging aims to bring research that is being published in other specialties back to radiology, Schmit said. The outlet opened for submissions on Oct. 2 and has had 13 submissions so far. RSNA’s aim is to begin publishing this journal in the second quarter of 2019. The editor is Suhny Abbara, MD, of the University of Texas.
  • Radiology: Imaging Cancer will seek to build a community for researchers working on cancers affecting various organ systems, Schmit said. This journal will open for submissions next April with an eye on publishing its first issue online in the third quarter of 2019. The editor is Gary Luker, MD, of the University of Michigan.

The new journals will be bi-monthly, online-only publications presenting six to eight articles per issue. The journals will be available free to RSNA members and will combine original research articles with news and editorial content, Schmit said.

Why is RSNA launching new journals at this time? “Radiology is a very selective journal,” Schmit said. About 3,000 original articles are submitted to it each year, and about 90 percent of them are rejected, she added.

“Some of this rejected material is of pretty high quality,” Schmit said. RSNA’s reviewers give valuable feedback during the peer-review process for Radiology, she explained, and that feedback is often used to get the articles published in other publishers’ journals.

“We have come to see this as kind of a missed opportunity. That’s why we are starting these three new journals,” Schmit said. “We also are very greedy,” she said with a smile. “We want all the good papers published by RSNA.”

Each of the three new journals launches with four deputy editors plus an editorial board to guide manuscript review and selection.

Schmit noted that RSNA’s long track record of publishing may help the three new journals find a fast track into PubMed, the National Library of Medicine’s indexing system, which has a rigorous application for inclusion.

She added that it will take around three years for the new journals to build an impact factor.  

Following the presentation, Radiology Business asked if RSNA had plans to collaborate with other major radiology journals to help place manuscripts that might deserve publication but are having trouble finding a home.

“Not really,” Schmit replied. “We publish certain kinds of guidelines together with other journal publishers, but we don’t really feed other journals articles. And they don’t give them to us either.”

To this, Abbara, who was seated in the audience, added that the team behind Radiology: Cardiothoracic Imaging is “actually very open to collaborate with other organizations” on, for example, formulating guidelines applicable across associations. “But we don’t have a direct collaboration with journals that are outside the RSNA family—yet.”