It is now just over 10 yr from the time 2 large cardboard boxes filled with stacks of paper, handwritten notes in blue ink, some rolls of scotch tape, and a pair of scissors arrived in my office in Charlottesville. Those boxes contained the essence of our Journal and sincere good wishes for success from my predecessor, Dr Philip Clement, as I assumed my role as the fifth Editor in Chief of this Journal. At that time the Journal was a quarterly of 60 pages. All correspondence was by US mail. Almost all images were B&W and editing and layout was done by hand. The above describes how 24 volumes were published by Phil and his 3 prestigious predecessors, Drs Ancel Blaustein, Steven Silverberg, and Henry Norris. With some trepidation, I was surely walking in the footsteps of giants that fall of 2004. It is hard to believe that was just 10 yr ago. Oh did I mention, both Phil and my biggest concern centered on having enough quality submissions to fill each issue? We kept that one just between us, no need to trouble the Board with such trivia.
But the change of editor coincided with other changes. With the timely and essential modernization of the publication process, promoted and lead by our publishing partner Lippincott, the entire physical process of journal production transformed literally overnight to one that was (ok almost) exclusively web and email based. This allowed the editor, reviewers, and authors to focus their truly valuable time on quality and content. The layout of the journal was updated. The review board and the community responded with increased submissions. Just 18 mo later we had an unprecedented experience, a backlog! By 2009, more major changes and upgrades for both readers and authors were instituted, a product of the ongoing productive partnership between the Society and our publisher. A new Journal layout, 6 issues per year and 100 pages per issue, color images on the cover, a new Web site for readers, and free color images for all authors. WOW! Submissions increased with improved ratios of original articles to case reports and impact factors improved. By 2010, submissions were up over 150% from the prior 5 years and impact factors continued to improve.
In many respects, the last 5 years have flown by. Time flies when you are having fun and especially when you are busy. In my opinion, the Journal is well positioned to move to the next level. The official version of the Journal is no longer paper. The app version, I am proud to say, is a beautiful, state-of-the-art piece of software that will only get better. Submissions have grown to the point where further expansion of the Journal to 8 issues per year or even monthly publication should be a serious consideration. Monthly publication would clearly bring the Journal into direct competition for even higher quality submissions, a good and necessary thing to move the impact of the Journal to an even higher level.
And so dear reader, it has been one of the great privileges of my career to serve as Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Gynecological Pathology. Believe me, I learned a lot being in the position to have my fingers on the dynamic pulse of our specialty. I deeply and sincerely thank all the members of the editorial board for their support and hard work over this decade, of what I hope all will agree, was one of great progress. I especially thank and acknowledge the indispensable support and talent of Ms Leslie Thacker, whose role as managing editor made it all possible.
The future possibilities alluded to in the brief history above and many others yet imagined, all directed at fostering the Journal’s mission of education and dissemination of cutting edge knowledge, now needs the help of a new editor. Thus the executive board of the Society, appointed a Search Committee led by Dr Esther Oliva, who took this task seriously and performed admirably. Their mission was a great success. Dr Lora Hedrick Ellenson, Professor of Pathology at Weill Cornell Medical College will take over as the sixth Editor in Chief, effective the second issue of Volume 34 in 2015. I know the Journal is in very good hands and I encourage the entire readership to support Lora, the Journal, and the Society by simply sending in your best work, as it is the quality of submissions that is the lifeblood of any Journal and ultimately of any academic field of endeavor.
Now all Leslie and I have to do is press a few buttons in a browser window, and send a few emails. No snail mail, no boxes of paper, no tape.
Once again, my colleagues and friends, thank you and farewell.