• Mon. Mar 20th, 2023

JAMA’s new editor brings open access and other alterations


Mar 17, 2023

ST. LOUIS — It is been eight months considering that Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, a common internist, cardiovascular researcher, and epidemiologist became the 17th editor in chief of the Journal of the American Healthcare Association and its network of journals. Bibbins-Domingo, who previously worked at the University of California, San Francisco, was named this week as a member of the 2023 STATUS List of individuals creating a distinction in well being care and life sciences.

She lately spoke at the annual conference of the Association of Wellness Care Journalists, in St. Louis, exactly where STAT’s Usha Lee McFarling sat down with her to understand a lot more about the alterations she’s implemented at the journal, such as a new open access policy. Below this policy, most JAMA articles stay accessible only to subscribers, but authors can publicly post their manuscripts the day they are published, and they are not charged open access costs as a lot of journals do. Bibbins-Domingo also spoke about what lies ahead for JAMA.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

I’ll start off by asking how points are going at JAMA and what your largest challenges have been, aside from adapting to the Chicago winter.

It is a incredibly large transform. I knew that this was going to be a large understanding knowledge. What I’ve began with is figuring out the logistics, and also considering about how an organization that has carried out points in a incredibly robust way, for a incredibly extended time — we’re 140 years old this year — can transform in an atmosphere that is quickly altering.

What’s been the most significant concentrate for you?

We are asking ourselves what are the troubles at the forefront of medicine and how does JAMA keep not only relevant to these troubles, but bring these troubles to light for our readers? How do we make confident that a lot of diverse voices and perspectives can be identified on our pages? We’re asking, how does this network of journals hold pace with the occasions and definitely shine a light on the most significant troubles in medicine?

You have been selected to lead JAMA just after a controversy more than how the journal handled the challenge of structural racism in medicine, which is anything a lot of journals are confronting. You have considering that announced a quantity of new hires and diversity editors at every single journal. What are these editors bringing to the publication approach?

All of our journals have an editor focused on troubles of equity, diversity, and inclusion and they operate in diverse strategies. These editors are component of the editorial group that is reviewing papers, but they have a unique lens or viewpoint they could bring to these papers. When we have a manuscript, we want to place science in context with an editorial, and they can play a function in the significant decision of who writes these editorials. We are also launching applications to bring a lot more individuals in to be component of our editorial teams by means of fellowships and these editors have an significant function in shaping these applications.

The challenge for equity for me is not that one particular particular person must hold that for the organization, but it must be the strategy the whole organization requires. What these editors do is support assume about that. More than time, you will see these editors considering across the journals and writing about what we at healthcare journals can do greater in this region. You will see us constructing on the energy of possessing 13 or 14 individuals considering about this.

Open access is a massive challenge in scientific publishing appropriate now. You have referred to as broad access a “cornerstone of transparency” that is crucial to trust in science. Can you clarify JAMA’s new policy and how it was created?

Scientific findings will need to be accessible to as broad an audience as attainable to allow scientists to do greater experiments and translate science into improvements in well being. The movement behind open science is about that. As it turns out, with most points, this entails that individuals spend for what tends to make this facts fantastic — journals vetting the content material and conveying it in various formats to attain readers, for instance. I do not want to stand in opposition to open science.

So what we decided as a journal was that authors, on the day we publish their operate, can make their operate accessible to any public repository and post it. So if you want to obtain the benefits of an write-up and you are in a nation or at an institution that does not subscribe to our journals, you can nonetheless obtain that science simply because it is accessible in a public repository. This selection is rooted in the principles of what’s great for science and it is rooted in equity, frankly, simply because not all institutions, and not all individuals, have a subscription to JAMA.

This public access strategy is also rooted in the principles of equity of who can publish. Open access has focused on largely creating confident there’s equity in what’s accessible to study, but that is on the backs of often incredibly higher costs that authors spend to publish in open access journals. What we’re saying is we think in open access — and also think in the worth of what we do. We nonetheless assume individuals will spend to subscribe to JAMA simply because there is worth in the final version of record, the graphics editors creating the figures, the podcasts, the corrections that get posted simply because points do transform more than time, that is what that subscription is acquiring you, all of these pieces.

But we can not have open access costs place publishing out of attain for authors that could be early-profession, or in disciplines or at institutions that are not as effectively-funded. We’re definitely pleased that the National Institutes of Wellness just announced and posted for public comment that this is the strategy they are thinking about for all funded researchers in the NIH.

I’d also like to ask you about yet another subject that has some editors quaking in their boots: ChatGPT and other AI tools in publishing.

I have to say there’s a lot of technologies that comes across and we assume of it as a basic shift and an existential threat, but I view a lot of these as tools. In so significantly of what we do as scientists, as publishers, as clinicians, we will need to be capable to obtain strategies to access facts greater and these are tools that seem to be beneficial. I do not assume it is beneficial to ban a tool that is going to fill a will need, but I do assume we have to ask what it indicates for us.

Apparently ChatGPT is currently indexed as an author in PubMed, simply because individuals are currently applying it inside just weeks of its announcement. So we had to be incredibly clear: No, ChatGPT can not be an author. Only humans can be authors. If authors use these tools, they have to inform us. That is what we say for any tools, like statistical applications — you have to inform us if you use them. And you are accountable for them. ChatGPT might be filling a niche but it is clearly not the specialist in the field we anticipate authors to be that publish with us. The author requires duty for what’s published on the web page, so if this tool is applied, the author in the end requires duty for it.

My final query is if you can give us any glimpses of what might be ahead, or new, for JAMA. What’s anything new your subscribers might be seeing quickly?

There are a lot of troubles connected to the conduct of science. We assume our duty is to be a location exactly where some of the controversies and large dilemmas in how science is at the moment becoming carried out can be discussed. We want to have these conversations in our journal and we want to have them in particular person. You will see us possessing a lot more convenings, you will see us offering a forum for various points of view. Covid showed us how fantastic our scientific discoveries can be in terms of translation to well being but also how they’re not fairly maintaining pace. They do not take place fairly rapid sufficient, they do not take place to support me to comprehend an challenge for the patient in front of me. You see a lot of introspection now about how science is funded, how it is regulated, how it is carried out, and we as a journal want to be a house for convening and possessing these discussions.