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Computer Aided Surgery 2:67–68 (1997)
Editorial
The Editorial Board of Computer Aided Surgery
In the previous issue of Computer Aided Surgery,
we announced the sponsorship of the journal by
the International Society for Computer Aided
Surgery (ISCAS). This society was in part formed
from two Japanese societies with the same name,
each of which had their own publication. These
two publications, one edited by Dr. Toyomi Fujino and the other by Dr. Takeyoshi Dohi, have
ceased publication to allow the new society to
have its own journal. In this issue we list the
Tables of Contents for Dr. Fujino’s publication,
to allow our readers to reference important work
that has been published previously.
The affiliation of our publication with ISCAS has brought many opportunities as well as
significant challenges. The most pressing challenge is to transform the existing editorial board
of Image Guided Surgery to reflect the needs and
breadth of ISCAS. Clearly, the existing board,
which consisted predominately of American neurosurgeons, had to be expanded to cover a wide
spectrum of expertise both in clinical and engineering applications, as well as to cover the world
wide membership of ISCAS. Further, this expansion could not come at the expense of timely
review of submitted manuscripts, as rapid publication of manuscripts was a prime directive of
Image Guided Surgery.
The balance between the need to expand the
board while maintaining a quick response was
achieved by a complete reorganization of the
board and through the application of modern technology. First, I will discuss the reorganization,
which assures autonomy of review while maintaining speed and coverage, and then I will discuss the technological solution, which involves
the use of an encrypted editorial server on the
World Wide Web.
Expanding an editorial board for international representation has been accomplished by
many other journals and is straightforward com-
pared to the need to expand the journal in terms
of expertise. For this journal to cover all the developments within computer aided surgery, the
board needs engineering as well as clinical expertise in fields outside of neurosurgery. But such
an expansion, with a board consisting of diverse
clinicians and engineers, could be subject to the
criticism that the value of a specific manuscript
in one area, for example, orthopedics, would not
be appreciated as a significant contribution by
non-orthopedic clinicians. It is an impossible task
for any single editor to stay abreast of developments in many clinical and engineering fields simultaneously. An expanded editorial board could
also be poorly focused, resulting in authors submitting manuscripts elsewhere for fear that their
manuscript would not be well received by such
a heterogenous population of editors. Therefore,
the expansion of the board had to be accompanied
by structural changes in the board’s organization
so that the experts added would be free to review
articles in their field in an autonomous fashion
and would not have to educate editors from other
fields about the value of a particular contribution.
Further, the very expansion of the board had to
be orchestrated by experts in the various areas to
insure the selection of individuals who are internationally renowned in their areas. Thus, the
board was reorganized into seven sub-boards that
span the entire field of computer assisted surgery,
with four boards focused on clinical material and
three boards focused in engineering domains. The
clinical boards are organized by anatomy and are:
•
•
•
•
Neurological
Craniofacial
Musculoskeletal
Thoracoabdominal
The engineering sub-boards are organized
by areas of research and by technologies needed
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68 Bucholz: The Editorial Board of Computer Aided Surgery
to implement computer assistance for the delivery
of therapeutic interventions. The engineering subboards are:
• Image Modeling & Analysis
• Robotics & Instrumentation
• Systems & Communications
To assure that the sub-boards consist of appropriate editors who can review manuscripts
with autonomy, each sub-board is headed by an
Associate Editor. Each Associate Editor is a
leader within their field and was chosen with the
assistance of the ISCAS board. Associate Editors
have autonomy in the selection of their respective
sub-board, while retaining editors from the original board. Further, the Associate Editors will
make an attempt to mirror the geographic distribution of ISCAS in their sub-boards, with onethird of the members from Oceania (Asia and
Australia), one-third from the Americas, and onethird from Europe and Africa.
This extensive change in the organization
of the editorial board requires a change in the
manuscript review process. New manuscripts will
be assigned to a sub-board and sent to the respective Associate Editor. The Associate Editor will
assign appropriate reviewers and insure that the
reviews are conducted in a timely fashion. The
Associate Editor will be responsible for the decision to accept, reject, or suggest changes to a
manuscript, as well as the decision to publish the
article unless there are extenuating circumstances
(as determined by the Editor-in-Chief). Many
manuscripts cover subjects across two or more
sub-boards; in these cases, the editor in chief will
determine the best fit between sub-board and
manuscript. The Associate Editors will be free to
choose reviewers from any of the sub-boards to
review a paper or they can choose outside readers
as needed. Each manuscript will have at least 3
reviewers who work within the appropriate field
and uniform criteria for acceptance will be applied by each sub-board. The Editor-in-Chief will
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be responsible for maintaining a balance between
the sub-boards in the publication of papers in the
print edition.
An editorial board such as this, widely distributed in both expertise and geography, places
significant demands on the administration of a
publication. To serve the international community, we rely upon the same technology that has
been pivotal to this publication since its inception.
An encrypted editorial server on the World Wide
Web allows the downloading of manuscripts and
images to the assigned reviewers. The reviewer
has the option to either read the document on the
web or download the file for subsequent reading.
Each reviewer can choose the format of the file
to be compatible with their wordprocessor. Reviewers are notified by e-mail when there is a
paper on their personal hompage to be reviewed.
Each editor has access to only their personal
home page and manuscripts are available only to
the assigned reviewer. In this way, the speed of
the Internet, which we have been using to deliver
information to the readership, will be used to expedite the review process itself.
Given these changes, it is apparent that we
are continuing our tradition of innovation with
the expansion and reorganization of the editorial
board. The new review process will begin as the
sub-boards are filled with editors and the associate editors become accustomed to the editorial
server. Through this reorganization a world class
board for Computer Aided Surgery has been assembled to complement the world wide membership of ISCAS. As always, we welcome any comments from either subscribers or authors about
these changes. These comments could serve as a
discussion thread in our electronic edition. I hope
that you share our excitement with the changes
in the review process of Computer Aided Surgery,
and our conviction that the structure of the board
will attract the best manuscript in the rapidly developing field.
Richard D. Bucholz, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Editor-in-Chief
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