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Editorials: Editorials

Silicon Jubilee

Shafer, Steven L., MD

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doi: 10.1213/ANE.0b013e31823cd3d5
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  • Chinese Language Editions

Anniversaries are often linked to precious metals or jewels. The 25th anniversary is celebrated with silver. The 50th anniversary is celebrated with gold. The 75th is celebrated with diamonds. The last anniversary with a designated gemstone is the 80th, celebrated with rubies.

Anesthesia & Analgesia has been continually published by the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS) since 1922. Thus, 2012 marks the 90th anniversary of both the Journal and the Society. There is no precious metal or gemstone associated with a 90th anniversary, which gives us the freedom to choose our own. For Anesthesia & Analgesia, and the IARS, the gemstone for our 90th anniversary will be silicon.

Anesthesia & Analgesia was originally entitled Current Researches in Anesthesia & Analgesia, published by the National Anesthesia Research Society. Figure 1 shows the first cover, published in 1922. Those interested in our early history will enjoy the historical review by Craig and Martin, published on our diamond (75th) jubilee.1 Craig and Martin provide a detailed account of the forming of the National Anesthesia Research Society, the launching of Current Researches in Anesthesia & Analgesia, and the subsequent fate of the Journal and the National Anesthesia Research Society under each editor-in-chief and IARS leadership team. Part of our Silicon Jubilee will be “Then & Now” editorial commentaries contrasting articles published in the first years of Current Researches in Anesthesia & Analgesia with the science and practice of anesthesia today. Our inaugural Then & Now editorial commentary, by Dr. Edward Nemergut, examines a proposal in 1926 by Dr. Paluel Flagg for the necessary education for anesthesiologists in 1926. As noted by Dr. Nemergut: “Dr. Flagg needed only 1 to 2 pages to formulate a curriculum in 1926 whereas the latest American Board of Anesthesiology/American Society of Anesthesiologists content outline is 41 pages, despite outlining the same basic principles.”2

Figure 1
Figure 1:
The cover of the first issue ofCurrent Researches in Anesthesia & Analgesia, August 1922.

The cover of the current issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia looks like other recent covers: full color, dedicated graphics, and a theme for the issue. However, a beige triangle appears in the lower right corner of the cover. This is the hint that something is different—the cover has a button! Welcome to our Silicon Jubilee!

The new cover is the iPad version of Anesthesia & Analgesia, developed for the Journal by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, our publisher. When the beige button is pressed, the viewer is taken to the table of contents. Using the vertical scroll feature of the iPad, the reader can scroll up and down the table of contents. In the printed version of Anesthesia & Analgesia, page numbers appear on the right side of the table of contents. In the digital version, buttons take you to the article.

When you select an article, it comes up in full resolution. The vertical scroll on the tablet moves from page to page. Horizontal scroll moves from article to article. Because this is digital media, it is possible to zoom into images, and then zoom out, using the pinch and inverse pinch hand gestures.

Supplemental digital information is directly embedded in the digital version of Anesthesia & Analgesia, ending the need to download files from the Internet. To play an echo loop, the reader simply taps the “video” link right in the article. This same technology allows embedding of virtually any type of digital material, similar to the versatility of today's browsers. The only limit to the embedded digital material is the creativity of our authors, and (perhaps) the stodginess of our editors. The potential is unlimited. Published articles in the digital version of Anesthesia & Analgesia will evolve from the flat, linear presentation of the printed page to an immersive experience. The next generation of authors must still convey scientific discovery by rigorous documentation. That requirement will not change. However, the next generation of authors can create an immersive experience for the reader, bringing raw data, direct links to relevant literature, computer programs, real-time observations, and interactive simulations to the published manuscript.

The digital version of Anesthesia & Analgesia is being initially launched on the iPad, Steve Jobs' last out-of-the-box brilliant innovation, but we anticipate that as new tablet devices gain market share, the journal will eventually be available on all of them.

The digital version of Anesthesia & Analgesia offers the content of the Journal in a richer, more accessible format. The first anniversary is celebrated by paper, at least in the United States. It is fitting that our 90th anniversary is celebrated with silicon. This is the end of our paper era, and the beginning of our silicon era. We don't know how long it will take to fully transition. Perhaps a year. Perhaps a decade. The time course of the transition depends on our readers, because we intend to print a paper version as long as readers want to receive it. However, once readers have tried the digital version, very few will want to go back.

On the occasion of our Silicon Jubilee, I extend a happy 90th Anniversary to Anesthesia & Analgesia, and the International Anesthesia Research Society!


1. Craig DB, Martin JT. Anesthesia & Analgesia: seventy-five years of publication. Anesth Analg 1997;85:237–47
2. Nemergut EC. Then & now: education in anesthesia. Anesth Analg 2012;114:5–6
© 2012 International Anesthesia Research Society