VOLUME 115, ISSUE 6, P1358-1359
Samantha M. Pfeifer, M.D., Board of Directors, American Society for Reproductive Medicine
With this issue of Fertility and Sterility, we mark the end of an era that saw phenomenal growth of our journal with the retirement of our co-Editors-in-Chief Craig Niederberger, M.D., and Antonio Pellicer, M.D., Ph.D. Although having two individuals serve as co-Editors-in-Chief was unprecedented, these two, an American urologist and a Spanish reproductive endocrinologist, brought a breadth and depth of experience and vision as they modified the journal to reflect the change in how readers engage with Fertility and Sterility, to broaden its appeal to our young incoming colleagues, and to enable global participation and recognition.
Drs. Niederberger and Pellicer assumed the role of co-Editors-in-Chief of Fertility and Sterility in July 2011. Craig Niederberger is the Clarence C. Saelhof Professor and Head of the Department of Urology and Professor in the Department of Bioengineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Antonio Pellicer is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at La Fe University Hospital, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Medical School, Valencia, Spain, and the CEO and Co-president of Instituto Valenciano de Infertilidad Reproductive Medicine Associates (IVIRMA) Global in Valencia. Both have had important editorial experience, have published extensively, and have been recognized as exceptional in their respective areas of expertise.
Since assuming the role of co-Editors-in-Chief of Fertility and Sterility, Drs. Niederberger and Pellicer have made significant changes in the editorial process, including increasing the number of editors, shortening the time to publication, and increasing the selectivity of accepted articles. Since 2011, the editorial board has grown from 33 to its current 120 individuals, encompassing a wide variety of specialties from the United States as well as Asia, Europe, South America, the Middle East, the United Kingdom, and Australia. They also expanded the role of the Associate Editors to include a diverse group of Associate, Editorial, and Specialty Editors. Recognizing the importance of alternative modes of communication, they created the position of Video and New Media Editor, expanding our presence in digital venues. As a result, Fertility and Sterility has raised important recognition metrics, such as impact factor and eigenfactor. As of June 2020, Fertility and Sterility had increased its impact factor to 6.312, making it the highest-ranked original research journal dedicated to reproductive health. This accomplishment is amazing. Fertility and Sterility is the leading journal in the field of reproductive medicine worldwide and is the crown jewel of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. It attracts high-quality submissions from the United States and all corners of the globe.
Drs. Niederberger and Pellicer recognized that young authors and readers are vital to the success of the journal. They established and formalized active participation of these individuals with the formation of Interactive Associates, composed of current fellows, recent graduates, and those still junior in their career. This group of young individuals, under the guidance and mentorship of the Interactive Associate-in-Chief and the Video and New Media Editor, are involved in generating activity and moderating comments on the Fertility and Sterility Dialog, serving as reviewers for Dialog contributions, and creating related social media content. Drs. Niederberger and Pellicer also established an “Investigator Achievement” award for an exceptional article published in Fertility and Sterility whose first author is less than 5 years out of fellowship training or less than 35 years of age. Beginning in 2012, this award has been presented annually at the ASRM Scientific Congress and Expo.
Drs. Niederberger and Pellicer have also made significant changes to the way Fertility and Sterility disseminates information and interacts with the journal’s readership. They recognized that the world is changing and a print version should not be our only focus. Thus, they have expanded into more interactive platforms. For example, Journal Club Global hosts a live discussion between authors and invited experts about a recent Fertility and Sterility article and is viewed live around the world. Since its inception, there have been nearly 60 such events, with more than 11,000 registrations worldwide. Another example is the Fertility and Sterility Dialog, a conversation platform for journal readers and authors to post comments, which has received over 318,000 visits so far. In fact, Fertility and Sterility was one of the first journals on the Elsevier platform to develop a successful interactive forum for authors and readers and serve as a model for other scientific journals. The Dialog also includes video interviews with plenary speakers and authors of prize-winning abstracts from the ASRM Scientific Congress and Expo. The Fertility and Sterility on Air Podcast reviews the content of the journal interactively. Daily downloads of this content continue to increase both in the United States and internationally, with over 3,600 downloads to date. Video Articles have been incorporated into our content with the Fertility & Sterility You Tube Channel, which has received more than 411,000 views since September 2019. Finally, the journal’s presence on social media, including Facebook and Twitter, has been expanded with great success.
Fertility and Sterility has also grown to include new and popular sections of the Journal to engage readers and sustain interest. These include “Inklings,” “Seminal Contributions,” “Views & Reviews,” “Video Articles,” and “Fertile Battle.” Since July 2018, abstracts of published articles have been translated into Spanish, an effort overseen by a group of Global Associates who translate and proof the abstracts.
Another innovation that our co-Editors-in-Chief were instrumental in initiating and supporting is the creation of the three new sister journals of Fertility and Sterility: F&S Science, F&S Reports, and F&S Reviews. These journals enhance the Fertility and Sterility brand, as they allow publication of a broader range of high-quality articles in diverse areas that may not be encompassed by Fertility and Sterility. They are online journals introduced in early 2020 and have already had great success in their first year of life under the able guidance of their respective Editors-in-Chief. Finally, beginning in January 2021, and consistent with the global need to care for our planet, Fertility and Sterility has moved to an online format, with few exceptions.
We owe a great deal to Drs. Niederberger and Pellicer for their drive, commitment, enthusiasm, support, and innovations that have changed the face of Fertility and Sterility for the better. Drs. Niederberger and Pellicer leave the journals in superb standing and will inspire the next generation to think big. They will be missed.