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Volume 10 No. 12
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Editorials

Following the Footprints of Founding Editor Stuart Quan, M.D.

Timothy I. Morgenthaler, M.D., F.A.A.S.M., F.C.C.P.
President, American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Darien, IL

Lives of great men all remind us

     We can make our lives sublime,

And, departing, leave behind us

     Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,

     Sailing o'er life's solemn main,

A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,

     Seeing, shall take heart again.

From: A Psalm of Life, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow1

Successfully launching a vibrant, peer-reviewed, scientific journal in a young scientific field is so improbable that it is only accomplished through passion, dedicated work, wisdom, and daring courage. A founding editor faces the nearly insurmountable challenge of soliciting original research, the fruit of inspiration and sweat, from authors who might fear to submit their manuscript to a new, unindexed publication, where they worry that their work might rest in obscurity. What an accomplishment it is, then, that the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine (JCSM) has been well launched and is now so very sea-worthy. The success of our journal is a tribute to both the wisdom and intrepidity of early authors who chose to place their work into a then untested journal, and to the skill of the founding editor, whose achievement reminds us that dreams are brought to life through dauntless pursuit and earnest labor.

Stuart F. Quan, M.D. was appointed by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) Board of Directors as the founding editor of JCSM in 2004. A past president of the AASM (1999–2000) and a renowned physician scientist, Dr. Quan was the perfect choice. After graciously accepting the appointment, he began a decade-long journey marked by persistence and perseverance. In the early years he must have felt the temptation to broaden the journal's scope by casting a wide net in order to fill the pages of each issue. However, he wisely stayed true to the original vision for the journal by focusing on “applied sleep science” with direct applicability to the practice of clinical sleep medicine.2,3 Through his determination and steady leadership—and with critical assistance from Deputy Editor Daniel Buysse, M.D., and an outstanding team of associate editors—Dr. Quan has built a publication that has become an invaluable and indispensable resource for sleep clinicians. Each monthly issue consistently delivers quality research, insightful commentaries and practical instruction.

As he steps down from the editor's post after concluding his second consecutive five-year term, Dr. Quan leaves to his successor clear footprints on the sand, an established journal that has earned a position as one of the top-tier scientific publications in the sleep field. An annual impact factor hovering around 3.0 and an h5-index of 35 place JCSM in the top three of all peer-reviewed journals that publish original sleep and circadian science. Furthermore, data indicate that the journal is poised for continued growth. From 2011 to 2013 the number of original manuscripts submitted to the journal doubled from about 150 to more than 300. Submissions have continued to rise in 2014, providing a vast pool from which the best and most relevant papers can be selected and published.

At the helm of the journal in 2015 will be incoming Editor Nancy A. Collop, M.D., a past president of the AASM (2011– 2012) with more than 30 years of involvement in sleep medicine and two decades of experience as a deputy and associate editor of Chest. Dr. Collop is director of the Emory Sleep Center, program director of the Emory Sleep Fellowship, and a professor of medicine and neurology in the Division of Pulmonary/ Critical Care Medicine at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. She brings to the position a wealth of clinical expertise, energetic creativity, and a trained eye for quality research, and I am confident that she will build on Dr. Quan's success and advance JCSM further as the premier journal for clinically relevant sleep medicine research.

In addition to welcoming Dr. Collop as the new editor, I am pleased to announce that the AASM Board of Directors recently approved her request to bestow on Dr. Quan the title Editor Emeritus in recognition of his integral contributions to the journal. Furthermore, under Dr. Collop's leadership the AASM is initiating the Stuart Quan Award for Editorial Excellence, which will be presented annually to a deserving associate editor. These honors are an appropriate acknowledgement of Dr. Quan's legacy as the founding editor of JCSM.

Today JCSM is a vital resource for AASM members and the entire sleep field, and I believe that its importance will grow as both the U.S. health care system and the field of sleep medicine continue to implement models of care that emphasize patient-centered outcomes. One of the strategic opportunities in sleep research that was recently identified by a joint task force of the AASM and Sleep Research Society (SRS) is to “develop new approaches to improve treatment outcomes for sleep and circadian disorders and to address this in the context of personalized patient-centered care and healthcare disparities.”4 In the years ahead this forward-thinking research will find a welcome home in the pages of JCSM. In the immediate future, JCSM will be the venue of publication for the AASM's forthcoming quality metrics papers, which will present sleep-specific quality metrics that will help practitioners measure, improve and demonstrate the quality of the care they provide.5 The publication of these papers will represent a landmark achievement in sleep medicine's ongoing transition from volume-based to value-based care. This is just one example of how JCSM will play an influential role in the future of our field.

I encourage all AASM members to consider how you can show your support for your journal by submitting your best clinical research and case reports, writing a perceptive editorial or thoughtful letter to the editor, or contributing to a respectful pro/con debate. With the engagement and participation of our membership, JCSM will continue to flourish throughout its second decade of publication. In the words of Longfellow, “Let us, then, be up and doing.”1

DISCLOSURE STATEMENT

Dr. Morgenthaler has indicated no financial conflicts of interest.

CITATION

Morgenthaler TI. Following the footprints of founding editor Stuart Quan, M.D. J Clin Sleep Med 2014;10(12):1267-1268.

REFERENCES

1 

McClatchy JD, editor. Henry Wadworth Longfellow, Poems and Other Writings. 1st ed. New York: Library of America, 2000.

2 

Quan SF, author. Another sleep journal? Sleep. 2004;27:838.

3 

Quan SF, author. Now we begin. J Clin Sleep Med. 2005;1:10.

4 

Zee PC, Badr MS, Kushida C, et al., authors. Strategic opportunities in sleep and circadian research: report of the Joint Task Force of the Sleep Research Society and American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Sleep. 2014;37:219–27. [PubMed Central][PubMed]

5 

Morgenthaler TI, author. Joy in the practice of sleep medicine. J Clin Sleep Med. 2014;10:829–32. [PubMed]