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Editorials

Expanding Our Reach

Gosse, Matthew D. MD

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Applied Immunohistochemistry & Molecular Morphology: January 2021 - Volume 29 - Issue 1 - p 3-4
doi: 10.1097/PAI.0000000000000894
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I am excited to introduce myself as the new role of social media editor for Applied Immunohistochemistry and Molecular Morphology (AIMM). I would like to describe to the AIMM community my background, what goals I have for this position, and how I think a social media presence may help progress the principles of the International Society for Immunohistochemistry and Molecular Morphology (ISIMM), the sponsoring society of this journal.

My name is Matthew Gosse, I am from Iowa City, Iowa, and am a current combined AP/CP resident at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. I was introduced to AIMM and ISIMM by my mentor, Dr Andrew Bellizzi (@IHC_guy), a prominent figure in the immunohistochemistry (IHC) community and current College of American Pathologists IHC subcommittee chair. I am lucky to receive such a high level of IHC training and I enjoy learning about the strengths and limitations these ancillary studies have for both diagnostic and predictive purposes. The myriad caveats to IHC interpretation of individual stains in selected situations continues to amaze me.

Social media have garnered an increasingly robust support from the pathology community and the wider medical profession. It is an influential tool that can introduce undergraduate and medical students to pathology, educate trainees from the most routine to the most zebra of cases, and increase access and communication among practicing pathologists.

Both community-based and academic pathology communities are involved with many social media companies.1,2 The platform that currently appears to have the most social media involvement by pathologists is Twitter. I personally believe Twitter is best for sharing information and pictures, engaging in open and lively discussion, and aggregating opinions and data that are useful to an academic journal. As with any social media discussion, concerns regarding accuracy, privacy, and security are present and must be kept in mind. However, the benefits the media provide have the potential to be an extremely useful tool in an educational setting.

AIMM is now under the editorship of Dr Paul E. Swanson, and as his accompanying editorial makes clear, one of his new initiatives is to increase the journal’s social media presence. The goals of this initiative include heightened awareness of AIMM, exposure of important principles and values that AIMM and ISIMM uphold, increased connectedness of the international pathology community and augmented educational opportunities based on important advances and evolving challenges in immunohistochemistry and molecular morphology. Traditional metrics, while not the be all and end all of journal performance, are nonetheless extremely important in the competitive academic publishing world. A Twitter presence has been associated with increased citations and improved impact factors for academic journals in other medical specialties3–6; we hope to emulate that success with AIMM in partnership with our publisher (Wolters-Kluwer) and our colleagues in ISIMM and the broader IHC community.

On the flip side, I hope to learn some from each of you, the readers of AIMM. Your engagement in the platform will give us important feedback, from which we hope to learn which topics and articles are most interesting and useful to you and what we can do to improve the utility and relevance of the journal’s content.

I am excited to take on this challenge, hopefully elevating the many valuable principles this journal and its community embody. We are currently posting on Twitter to @AIMMJournal and will shortly be starting to post on Instagram (aimmjounal) as well. If you haven’t yet engaged with pathology social media, I would strongly recommend it!

REFERENCES

1. Deeken AH, Mukhopadhyay S, Jiang X. “Sara.” Social media in academics and research: 21st century tools to turbocharge education, collaboration, and dissemination of research findings. Histopathology. 2020;77:688–699.
2. Gardner JM, McKee PH. Social media use for pathologists of all ages. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2019;143:282–286.
3. Duffy CC, Bass GA, Linton KN, et al. Social media and anaesthesia journals. Br J Anaesth. 2015;115:940–941.
4. O’Kelly F, Nason GJ, Manecksha RP, et al. The effect of social media (#SoMe) on journal impact factor and parental awareness in paediatric urology. J Pediatr Urol. 2017;13:513.e1–513.e7.
5. Kelly BS, Redmond CE, Nason GJ, et al. The use of Twitter by radiology journals: an analysis of Twitter activity and impact factor. J Am Coll Radiol. 2016;13:1391–1396.
6. Asyyed Z, McGuire C, Samargandi O, et al. The use of Twitter by plastic surgery journals. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2019;143:1092e–1098e.
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