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Editorial  |   August 2008
Evidence-Based Publications: Balancing Research Mission and Our Community's Needs
Author Notes
  • Address correspondence to Gilbert E. D'Alonzo, Jr, DO, AOA Editor in Chief, 142 E Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60611-2864. E-mail: jaoa@osteopathic.org 
Article Information
Evidence-Based Medicine
Editorial   |   August 2008
Evidence-Based Publications: Balancing Research Mission and Our Community's Needs
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, August 2008, Vol. 108, 369-370. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2008.108.8.369
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, August 2008, Vol. 108, 369-370. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2008.108.8.369
During the past several years, the American Osteopathic Association has been dedicated to enhancing the quality and content of the profession's premier scholarly peer-reviewed journal. The Journal is published monthly and distributed nationally and internationally and is also available online (http://www.jaoa.org). 
The JAOA and its supplements have grown in size and number at the same time your Publications department continues to produce The DO and its supplemental publications, including the Whole Patient, AOA Heath Watch, and Dialogue and Diagnosis. 
My primary goal as AOA editor in chief is no secret: the AOA's publications must enhance and encourage scholarly endeavors directed at advancing osteopathic medicine. This goal also continues to be the focus of the JAOA`s associate editors, Michael M. Patterson, PhD, and Felix J. Rogers, DO. 
Most recently, with the assistance of the JAOA Editorial Advisory Board, we launched a new mission statement for The Journal.1 The JAOA`s mission, “to advance medicine through the timely publication of peer-reviewed osteopathic medical research,” is clearly expressed through seven goals. Taken together, these statements are an expression of our intentions and they serve as a guide to editors and peer reviewers when selecting manuscripts for publication. 
In another attempt to accelerate the scholarly evolution of osteopathic medicine, we have decided to assign a high priority to the review and publication of systematic reviews and meta-analyses that are relevant to the art and science of osteopathic medicine.1,2 Our hope is that such articles will generate questions that stimulate pivotal research within our profession. As of August 2007, the JAOA began publishing calls for papers on topics relevant to osteopathic medicine (2007;107;326).2 We will continue to do so. 
We have also been hard at work improving the peer review process at the JAOA, issuing our first call for peer reviewers earlier this summer.2 We encourage interested parties to submit a curriculum vitae following the instructions provided on page 455 of this issue. Contributions made by volunteer reviewers are acknowledged in print every January. In fact, this year, we were proud to announce the names of five peer reviewers who have served as consultants to the JAOA for 5 years running.3 At the JAOA as at other biomedical publications, the importance of obtaining quality reviews cannot be overstated. 
Part of our effort to stimulate research includes honoring the best original contribution published in the JAOA each year with the annual George W. Northup, DO, Medical Writing Award (http://www.jaoa.org/misc/northup_2002.shtml). All original contributions are considered for this honor, but the final process involves careful review and selection by the Journal`s Editorial Advisory Board. This year, we are pleased to announce that this coveted award will be bestowed on Kate R. Meltzer, MS, and Paul R. Standley, PhD4 (see page 371). Their December 2007 article4 explored the effect of osteopathic manipulation on cellular mechanisms, specifically human fibroblast proliferation and interleukin secretion. Each year, the George W. Northup, DO, Medical Writing Award recognizes excellence in writing and scholarship and is presented at the AOA Annual Convention and Scientific Seminar. This fall, the Convention will be held in Las Vegas, Nev (https://www.do-online.org). 
We also provide a forum for members of the profession to address controversial topics. While the JAOA has addressed for-profit osteopathic medical schools5-7—a discussion that continues on page 366 of the current issue— and student debt,8-13 The DO has addressed changing the initials of the DO degree14,15 and issues confronted by gay, lesbian, and transgender DOs.16,17 An important job of AOA publications is to facilitate thought and discussion among members of our community— not necessarily to identify specific solutions. We will continue to be vigilant in our pursuit of fair and balanced coverage of such topics so that members of the osteopathic medical profession and those that represent them are in a position to weigh all available information as they strive for just and enlightened solutions. 
The AOA's publications also continue to provide practicing osteopathic physicians with information intended to assist them in delivering high-quality patient care. Topics that have recently been addressed by AOA publications include: pain management,18-21 human papillomavirus,22 dyslipidemia,23,24 diabetes,25-28 and obesity.29 
We recently conducted a practice characteristics survey to identify the educational needs of primary care DOs. Respondents reported interest in several educational topics, chief among them were: pediatrics, including vaccination (37%); electronic health records systems (27%); nonpediatric vaccines (24%); sleep disorders (20%); and obesity (18%).30 Therefore, by way of this editorial, I am initiating a call for papers that focuses on these areas of inquiry (see page 368). Potential authors are encouraged to review the latest version of “Information for Contributors” prior to embarking on their projects (http://www.jaoa.org/misc/ifora.shtml). This document has recently been recrafted to assist authors in developing high-quality manuscripts. Hyperlinks to additional resources have been added throughout. An abbreviated version of “Information for Contributors” can be found on page 456 of this issue. 
Finally, I would be remiss if I did not mention the excellent abstracts that can be found in the current issue of the JAOA beginning on page 413. These abstracts represent the poster presentations that will be given at the 52nd Annual AOA Research Conference. Poster presentations will be provided by AOA research fellows, as well as osteopathic physicians, medical students and educators, clinicians, and researchers on the following general topics: osteopathic manipulative medicine and osteopathic principles and practice, clinical studies, basic sciences, and medical education and health policy. The efforts of these contributors clearly demonstrate the excellent research currently underway at osteopathic medical schools across the country. And yet, our highest priority remains the production of research with osteopathic relevance. It is this research that is necessary to drive our profession forward in the 21st century. I would ask each osteopathic physician to consider what he or she can do to support research in our schools and colleges. 
Rogers FJ. Saying what you mean and meaning what you say [editorial]. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2008;108:281-282. Available at: http://www.jaoa.org/cgi/content/full/108/6/281. Accessed August 1, 2008.
Rogers FJ. A call for evidence-based medicine: evolving standards and practices for JAOA readers and authors alike. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2007;107:293-294. Available at: http://www.jaoa.org/cgi/content/full/107/8/293. Accessed August 1, 2008.
JAOA Peer Reviewers, 2007. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2008;108:37-38. Available at: http://www.jaoa.org/cgi/content/full/108/1/37. Accessed August 4, 2008.
Meltzer KR, Standley PR. Modeled repetitive motion strain and indirect osteopathic manipulative techniques in regulation of human fibroblast proliferation and interleukin secretion. JAm Osteopath Assoc. 2007;107:527-536. Available at: http://www.jaoa.org/cgi/content/full/107/12/527. Accessed August 1, 2008.
Mychaskiw G. COM accreditation: the Flexner report revisited [letter]. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2007;107:246-247,277. Available at: http://www.jaoa.org/cgi/content/full/107/7/246-b. Accessed July 31, 2008.
Ajluni PB. Nonprofit and for-profit COMs: investing in the future of osteopathic medicine [letter]. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2007;107:425-426. Available at: http://www.jaoa.org/cgi/content/full/107/10/425. Accessed July 31, 2008.
Martin RB. RVUCOM: striving to meet the needs of the osteopathic medical profession [letter]. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2007;107:426-428. Available at: http://www.jaoa.org/cgi/content/full/107/10/426. Accessed July 31, 2008.
Wagner E. Debt control for young DOs [letter]. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2008;108:53,81. Available at: http://www.jaoa.org/cgi/content/full/108/2/53. Accessed April 14, 2008.
Andrews CK. Excessive tuition does not equal excellent education [letter]. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2008;108:231. Available at: http://www.jaoa.org/cgi/content/full/108/5/231. Accessed August 4, 2008.
Kraus CK. Mortgaging our future, foreclosing our profession [letter]. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2008;108:231-233. Available at: http://www.jaoa.org/cgi/content/full/108/5/231-a. Accessed August 4, 2008.
Goeppinger KH. Award-winning debt-management education [letter]. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2008;108:233,264. Available at: http://www.jaoa.org/cgi/content/full/108/5/233. Accessed August 4, 2008.
Shannon SC. Working to ease debt burdens [letter]. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2008;108:264-265. Available at: http://www.jaoa.org/cgi/content/full/108/5/264. Accessed August 4, 2008.
Crosby JB. AOA is strong advocate for debt relief and primary care [letter]. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2008;108:321,350. Available at: http://www.jaoa.org/cgi/content/full/108/7/321. Accessed August 4, 2008.
Greenwald B. Letter perfect: Can a new degree lead to more respect, recognition for DOs? The DO. February 2008;49:30-34. Available at: https://www.do-online.org/pdf/pub_do0208dodegree.pdf. Accessed August 4, 2008.
Letter perfect [letters]? The DO. April 2008;49:10-12. Available at: https://www.do-online.org/pdf/pub_do0408letters.pdf. Accessed August 4, 2008.
Johnson B. Out but not loud: even as acceptance grows, gay DOs, students remain wary. The DO. May 2008;49:36-41. Available at: https://www.do-online.org/pdf/pub_do0508outnotloud.pdf. Accessed August 4, 2008.
Evans DE. Ethically speaking: AOA code needs revamping [letter]. The DO. July 2008;49:13. Available at: https://www.do-online.org/pdf/pub_do0708letters.pdf. Accessed August 4, 2008.
Nichols KJ, ed. Caring for patients at end of life. Pain management: Part 1. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2007;107(6 suppl 4):S1-S40. Available at: http://www.jaoa.org/content/vol107/suppl_4/. Accessed August 4, 2008.
Dekker AH, ed. Surmounting barriers to optimal pain control. Pain management: Part 2. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2007;107(9 suppl 5):S1-S39. Available at: http://www.jaoa.org/content/vol107/suppl_5/. Accessed August 4, 2008.
Galluzzi KE, ed. Offering comfort to patients with chronic nonmalignant pain. Pain management: Part 3. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2007;107(11 suppl 6):S1-S50. Available at: http://www.jaoa.org/content/vol107/suppl_6/. Accessed August 4, 2008.
Pharo GH, ed. Treating body, mind, and spirit of patients with cancer pain. Pain management: Part 4. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2007;107(12 suppl 7):S1-S49. Available at: http://www.jaoa.org/content/vol107/suppl_7/. Accessed August 4, 2008.
Weaver BA, Marino RV, eds. Facing the future protected from HPV. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2008;108(4 suppl 2):S1-S13. Available at: http://www.jaoa.org/content/vol108/4_suppl_2/. Accessed August 4, 2008.
Shishehbor MH, ed. Unleashing patient power: secrets to improving dyslipidemia outcomes. The Whole Patient. March 2008;6:1-24. Available at: http://www.docmeonline.com/ce-bin/owa/pkg_disclaimer_html.display?ip_cookie=27384795&ip_mode=secure&ip_test_id=12524&ip_company_code=AOAM. Accessed August 4, 2008.
Clearfield MB, ed. Aggressively managing dyslipidemia. The Whole Patient. May 2007;5:1-25. Available at: http://www.docmeonline.com/cebin/owa/pkg_disclaimer_html.display?ip_cookie=27384885&ip_mode=secure&ip_test_id=11321&ip_company_code=AOAM. Accessed August 4, 2008.
Repas TB, ed. Achieving glycemic control: think beyond the numbers. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2008; 108(5 suppl 3):S1-29. Available at: http://www.jaoa.org/content/vol108/5_suppl_3/. Accessed August 4, 2008.
Langer ES, ed. Targeting glycemic control: the incretin factor. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2007;107(5 suppl 3):S1-S18. Available at: http://www.jaoa.org/content/vol107/suppl_3/. Accessed August 4, 2008.
Chaudhry HJ, ed. DOs against diabetes, Part 5. AOA Health Watch. April 2008;3:1-19. Available at: http://www.docmeonline.com/ce-bin/owa/pkg_disclaimer_html.display?ip_cookie=27384869&ip_mode=secure&ip_test_id=13424&ip_company_code=AOAM. Accessed August 4, 2008.
Chaudhry HJ, ed. DOs against diabetes, Part 6. AOA Health Watch. June 2008;3:1-23. Available at: http://www.docmeonline.com/ce-bin/owa/pkg_disclaimer_html.display?ip_cookie=27384855&ip_mode=secure&ip_test_id=13608&ip_company_code=AOAM. Accessed August 4, 2008.
Still CD, ed. Addressing overweight and obesity: evolving to a medical consensus. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2008;108(2 suppl 1):S1-S16. Available at: http://www.jaoa.org/content/vol108/2_suppl_1/. Accessed August 4, 2008.
Analytical Research Service Inc. Practice Characteristics—2007: Osteopathic Primary Care Physicians. Deerfield, Ill: Analytical Research Service Inc;2007 .