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Introduction to 75 Years of Publishing CHEST FREE TO VIEW

Loren Harris, MD, FCCP; Glenn S. Tillotson, PhD, FCCP
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Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (www.chestjournal.org/site/misc/reprints.xhtml).

Copyright © 2009 American College of Chest Physicians

Chest. 2009;136(5_suppl):e15. doi:10.1378/chest.09-2258
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The initial publication foray in March 1935 by the ACCP was Diseases of the Chest, edited by C. M. Hendricks, from El Paso, TX, who ensured 10,000 copies of the inaugural issue were distributed to potentially interested physicians. In the foreword of the second issue, it is clear that there was, and still is, much interest in conditions and diseases that affect the chest.

The early editions of Diseases of the Chest focused almost exclusively on the management of TB—chemotherapy as we know it today had not begun to evolve. By the end of 1935, topics beyond TB were beginning to be published, including empyema and pulmonary hemorrhage and interesting case reports. Since the early exploratory days, the journal has changed its name, editors, and influence. It is now recognized by pulmonologists and other experts as being THE source of new breaking scientific data germane to the pulmonologist and many other disciplines. Recently, CHEST was voted one of the 100 most influential journals of the past 100 years in medicine and biology by the Biomedical and Life Sciences Division of the Special Libraries Association. CHEST won in the respiratory medicine area of the clinical medicine category, scoring three times higher than its closest competitor.

In the intervening 75 years, there have been > 36,250 scientific papers published. The number of publications identified using keywords for topics, such as treatment of TB or pneumonia, is in the thousands, thus presenting us with a formidable challenge when we began compiling this CHEST 75th Commemorative Edition—how do we select the “best of CHEST”?

This publication is our best effort to select 75 seminal studies published by the ACCP during its 75-year history. We have chosen to highlight and reprint 12 papers to represent specific topics that demonstrate the unique breadth of publications in Diseases of the Chest/CHEST. To give the reader some encouragement as to what is included in this “CHEST Hall of Fame,” a brief description of each paper is given, along with the impact it has made in the specific field of chest medicine. The remaining 63 papers, chosen for their further significant contributions to particular areas or topics, are cited at the end of the publication and are available in a special online collection at www.chestjournal.org/content/136/5_suppl.

The selections and choices are based on several criteria, including the number of citations each has received since publication. Additionally, we included papers that have made a significant impact on the practice of medicine, due to being either groundbreaking clinical- or laboratory-based studies that have subsequently improved the practice of pulmonary medicine. To choose the top surgical articles, we selected two we felt were the most meaningful in the overall scheme of surgical practice over the last three-quarters of a century. Since the journal started life with its roots firmly planted in pulmonary-related disease, we chose one article from the pulmonary category. Likewise, since the journal appropriately expanded its horizons over the ensuing years to meet the changing scope of modern surgical practice and, subsequently, published several seminal articles in the cardiovascular surgery arena, we chose a second article that came from this category to reflect the growing importance of this surgical genre over time. We avoided reviews, metaanalyses, and fascinating case studies but included some unusual manuscripts to reflect the broad style of this evolving learning vehicle.

Clearly, each reader of this collection will have favorites that have been missed or, like us, will feel that being restricted to 75 articles does not do justice to the vast impact Diseases of the Chest/CHEST has made in our field of medicine. However, we are confident our decisions will provide a stimulus for you to rediscover the origins of much of our current practices and to appreciate the impact the journal of the ACCP has had on medicine today.




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