The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has a long and successful history of publishing academic research, starting with Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise® (MSSE) in 1969. Since that first issue of MSSE, ACSM has released four additional journals, which have yielded numerous editors-in-chief. I am grateful to these journals and editors for paving the path for ACSM’s newly launched journal, Exercise, Sport, and Movement (ESM), of which I have the honor of being the first editor-in-chief.
ESM was created to fill a critical void in sports and exercise science in the area of open-access publishing. As I write this, the world of academic publishing is changing around us. Consumers of research have so many sources of information today—and probably more tomorrow—that the industry is constantly trying to adapt and keep up. Open-access publishing is now the emerging trend and will soon be the almost-exclusive publication format for research funded by governments and other organizations worldwide. In fact, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy released a significant announcement this past August, dictating that all future taxpayer-funded research, and the resulting dissemination of such research shall, be freely available to US taxpayers without further delay. For the past 10 years, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has mandated that federally funded research be freely available; however, agencies have been allowed to implement up to a 12-month embargo, which the August 2022 memo now removes. This update to the 2013 memo on “freely available” federally funded research is driven by the need to give taxpayers immediate access to the results of billions of dollars of important research that they have funded. No more pay-to-view, no more embargos.
In anticipation of this, ACSM and our publisher, Wolters Kluwer, conceived the idea of ESM, which is now well positioned for publishing all research, including federally funded projects. As Editor-in-Chief of ESM, I share this vision and want to make sure ESM becomes a go-to journal for a broad scope of research topics. The scope is intentionally broad, in part because ESM is ACSM’s only fully open-access journal, but also because ACSM as an organization is itself broad, and we want to replicate that breadth within ESM. Therefore, readers will see many of the usual types of articles over the coming months in ESM—original investigations, meta-analyses, and case studies, among others—and some new content areas that will help the journal to stand apart. In addition, ESM has a dedicated digital editor whose role is to create content for social media and other digital venues that will showcase the work of our published authors. Visual and digital information consumption is the expectation for many, and the ESM digital editor will be at the forefront of creating the right mix of short, appealing, visually pleasing, and informative content for our audience.
One particularly unique feature of ESM that is already drawing considerable interest is the submission category of Graphical Reviews. Graphical Reviews are unique to ESM and allow authors to tell their stories using a lot of visual content and much less text than usual. In fact, our first published article, “The Health Benefits of Resistance Exercise: Beyond Hypertrophy and Big Weights,” is a graphical review submitted by Stuart Phillips and his colleagues from McMaster University. In the case of this article, the authors use four cleverly and carefully designed figures to add life to their story, which proposes that the health benefits of resistance training (RT) are underappreciated. They go on to provide evidence that RT can elicit similar health benefits to aerobic training (AT) and that, when AT and RT are combined, the health yield is optimized and significantly greater than the benefits of performing either exercise alone. The authors also make the case that RT does not have to be an all-out effort, and that lighter loads with higher effort can achieve significant benefits, such as healthier aging and improvements in mobility, cognitive function, cancer survivorship, and metabolic health, particularly in those who have obesity or type 2 diabetes. The final point is that RT should not be secondary to AT in physical activity guidelines; instead, it should have an equally prominent place in an exercise prescription.
Graphical Reviews have a lot of different applications. Some might find them useful in the classroom because the visuals make a great teaching tool. Others may see an opportunity to use them in educating clinicians in therapeutic options for their patients. Practitioners will see the practical value in having them available as visual aids for clients to walk them through what might otherwise be difficult science to interpret.
In sum, this is an exciting time in academic journal publishing, and I am honored to help ACSM and Wolters Kluwer stay at the forefront. I am grateful for the support from the ACSM and Wolters Kluwer staff, along with the wonderful team of associate editors and editorial board members who are with me on this journey—we all look forward to reviewing your submissions to ESM!