The rest of the story about the journal SLEEP and JCSM
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
You may have seen the recent announcement: After 38 years of jointly publishing the journal SLEEP with the Sleep Research Society, the AASM Board of Directors voted to sell the AASM’s interest in SLEEP to the SRS. This note is to explain the rest of the story.
Eleven years ago, the AASM started a second publication, Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine (JCSM), to provide its members with an accessible forum more squarely focused on what most of us spend our time on: the clinical practice of sleep medicine. It was widely recognized by both the AASM and SRS that SLEEP was receiving an increasingly high volume of manuscript submissions, which was limiting its capacity for clinical research, reviews and case reports. Therefore, SRS leaders supported the AASM’s decision to establish a clinical journal that would complement SLEEP by focusing on applied sleep science and sleep medicine. In the years since, JCSM has been exceptionally successful. It is now considered one of the most effective and educational products of the AASM.
However, the complete development of this journal was hampered somewhat by an underlying dilemma: the AASM was invested in the success of two journals, rather than just one. As the AASM sought to make both journals simultaneously relevant to the needs of its members, questions sometimes arose about what should be the differences between the two journals, both for prospective authors as well as for readers. Moreover, the vision for SLEEP had to be a synthesis of what the SRS and AASM each targeted for its members. Although the AASM and SRS have collaborated well for many years within this publishing framework, their two Boards of Directors have had relatively few opportunities each year to meet and interact. In contrast, the Boards and Executive Committees of each organization meet on their own much more frequently.
In this context, the AASM Board saw considerable advantages for the AASM, the SRS, and the field of sleep medicine in assigning responsibility for the two journals separately to the two societies. This now offers a clear opportunity for each society to refocus its vision and efforts through its own journal. For its part, the AASM has the unfettered opportunity to continue development of the JCSM as the premier peer-reviewed publication addressing the needs of sleep medicine physicians, their clinical partners, clinicians in allied fields that seek to improve sleep health, and all of our patients. With its new focus on one clinical journal, the AASM Board of Directors will collaborate more effectively with the JCSM Editor-in-Chief and editorial staff in a mutual effort to make JCSM the go-to journal when it comes to questions that have direct impact on your clinical practice, and the patients you see.
We remain immensely proud of the integral role that SLEEP has played in the advancement of our field, and in the key role that the AASM has had for nearly four decades in the success of the journal. At the same time, we are excited about our newly clarified and consolidated opportunity to take JCSM to the next level, and to profit from the success of the SRS as it makes plans to do the same with SLEEP. As a reminder, AASM members will continue to receive complimentary, online access to both JCSM and SLEEP as a free benefit of membership.
As always, our ears are open. Please send us an email to share your thoughts with us.