The current issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine (JCSM) marks the 15th year of its continuous publication. We are celebrating the occasion with a special 15-year anniversary logo on the journal's website and Twitter page (https://twitter.com/JCSMJournal). By almost any metric, JCSM has been an enormous success. From a humble beginning as a quarterly publication with 22 scientific investigations in its first year, it has grown to become one of the most recognized journals focused on clinical sleep medicine publishing approximately 20 papers per month.
The impetus to start JCSM was a response to a general consensus among members of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) in 2004 that there were few options to both read and publish good clinical sleep research. At the time, there were only 6 peer-reviewed journals with a focus on sleep. However, most did not have clinical sleep medicine as a priority and were not readily accessible to AASM members.1 As outlined in an initial editorial by Dr. Michael Sateia in the inaugural issue of JCSM,2 the field of sleep medicine in 2004 was in a period of growth and evolution with recent recognition as an independent medical specialty with fellowship programs accredited by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education and a certification examination administered by the American Board of Medical Specialties. It seemed obvious that a new journal devoted to clinical sleep medicine would be well received. Nonetheless, the decision by the AASM's board of directors in March 2004 was controversial. There was spirited debate with some expressing the view that a new journal would detract from the journal Sleep, which in 2004 was jointly published by the AASM and the Sleep Research Society. Others opined that there was insufficient good clinical research to justify starting a new journal. In addition, there were concerns about revenue, advertisers and time commitments. In retrospect, the decision by the AASM's board of directors to start JCSM ultimately was an enlightened one.
Starting a new journal immediately necessitates a number of important decisions. Issues such as selection of an editor, choosing the manuscript submission system and writing various policies and procedures have significant future impacts for journal operations. One of the most important decisions was choosing a name for the new journal. Although now the choice of Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, proposed by Dr. John Shepard, seems obvious to most, other names were considered such as Annals of Sleep Medicine, Archives of Sleep Medicine and Proceedings of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Even the black and white cover design and the manuscript numbering system, both attributed to then Deputy Editor Dr. Daniel Buysse, engendered considerable discussion. Although these decisions now appear to be of minor historical interest, they laid the foundation for JCSM as it exists today.
As with all journals, indexing in major databases such as PubMed and Web of Science does not occur immediately thus inhibiting submissions. Nevertheless, submissions gradually increased and JCSM grew from a quarterly publication to bimonthly after only two years, and by 2013, became a monthly publication. At its inception, the focus of JCSM was publishing papers that would be of interest to members of the AASM and sleep medicine clinicians in contrast to papers that had the potential to be highly cited. However, in 2012, JCSM received its first Impact Factor, a very respectable 3.232, third among non-review sleep journals,3 and was indexed in PubMed. Although print versions of JCSM ceased beginning in 2013, this did not inhibit its growth.
In 2015, JCSM transitioned editorship from Dr. Stuart F. Quan to Dr. Nancy A. Collop. At that time, JCSM was in great shape with rising submission rates, consistent increases in citations, and broadening readership. Dr. Collop continued with many of the processes Dr. Quan had put in place including using associate editors with relevant areas of expertise to assist with managing reviews, pulling together manuscripts for each issue from a variety of sleep disorders and topics, and keeping sections like case reports and sleep medicine pearls. To acknowledge Dr. Quan's expertise and vision in establishing the journal, the AASM now provides an annual award, the Stuart Quan Award for Editorial Excellence, of which he was the first recipient. JCSM will be forever indebted to his guidance through the journal's “birth.”
Since 2015, JCSM has tried to enhance the offerings for its readership while maintaining a scholarly direction. The Impact Factor reached its highest level in 2016 (Figure 1), and the Eigenfactor score (a metric that removes the influence of self-citation—a tactic some journals encourage to enhance their Impact Factor) has continued an upward trajectory (Figure 2). In addition, the total number of submissions per year has increased from a little less than 500 in 2015, to over 750 in 2018. We have added a number of new sections such as Emerging Technologies and the Global Practice of Sleep Medicine. Most recently, in an effort to attract more physicians into the sleep medicine field, we started REM: A Publication for Residents and Fellows, a section that is specifically for residents, fellows and young faculty. In this section, the reviewers are colleagues—predominantly sleep fellows—and the manuscripts are handled by junior editors. This will hopefully help aspiring sleep specialists to both publish in the journal as well as get involved as reviewers.
Impact Factor and citations.
Orange represents the Impact Factor (IF); blue, the number of citations in thousands; and purple the 5-year Impact Factor for the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.
Orange represents the Eigenfactor score and blue the normalized Eigenfactor.
A few other changes have evolved since 2015. We switched to a new manuscript management system (Editorial Manager) which has more flexibility than our old system. We have encouraged the associate editors and reviewers to be more punctual in their reviews and decisions resulting in an average decrease in the time from submission to first decision by 14% and time from acceptance to publication by 41 days.
Some of the most important papers the journal publishes are AASM position statements, guidelines and practice parameters. These papers not only greatly impact the field of sleep medicine, but garner citations that boost JCSM's metrics. To date, our top 5 cited articles are:
Berry RB, Budhiraja R, Gottlieb DJ, et al. Rules for scoring respiratory events in sleep: update of the 2007 AASM Manual for the Scoring of Sleep and Associated Events. Deliberations of the Sleep Apnea Definitions Task Force of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. J Clin Sleep Med. 2012;8(5):597–619. (1,144 cites)
Epstein LJ, Kristo D, Strollo PJ Jr, et al. Clinical guideline for the evaluation, management and long-term care of obstructive sleep apnea in adults. J Clin Sleep Med. 2009;5(3):263–276. (1,130 cites)
Collop NA, Anderson WM, Boehlecke B, et al. Clinical guidelines for the use of unattended portable monitors in the diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea in adult patients. Portable Monitoring Task Force of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. J Clin Sleep Med. 2007;3(7):737–747. (653 cites)
Banks S, Dinges DF. Behavioral and physiological consequences of sleep restriction. J Clin Sleep Med. 2007;3(5):519–528. (530 cites)
Schutte-Rodin S, Broch L, Buysse D, Dorsey C, Sateia M. Clinical guideline for the evaluation and management of chronic insomnia in adults. J Clin Sleep Med. 2008;4(5):487–504. (524 cites)
In the queue for expected publication in 2019 are guidelines covering PAP therapy for OSA, behavioral and psychological treatments for insomnia, and the treatment of narcolepsy and other hypersomnias. More information is available on the AASM website here: https://aasm.org/clinical-resources/practice-standards/guidelines-in-development/
In conclusion, we would like to thank all of our contributing authors and reviewers, the associate editors, editorial board, and the journal staff at the AASM. But most of all, we would like to thank our readership for your continued support, without you this crystal anniversary would not be possible!