Editorial  |   April 2015
The JAOA: Growing, Changing, Improving
Author Notes
  • Dr Orenstein is the editor in chief of the American Osteopathic Association. From the Infectious Diseases Department at Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona. 
  •  *Address correspondence to The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, 142 E Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60611-2864. E-mail:
Article Information
Medical Education / Being a DO
Editorial   |   April 2015
The JAOA: Growing, Changing, Improving
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, April 2015, Vol. 115, 186-187. doi:
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, April 2015, Vol. 115, 186-187. doi:
In my past year as editor in chief of The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (JAOA), I have had the opportunity to speak with numerous academicians, clinicians, researchers, and students in the osteopathic medical profession. I have received compliments about the improvements that the JAOA has made over the years, and I have received encouragement to continue to evolve the JAOA into the publication I described in my May 2014 editorial1—a journal that has something to offer everyone in the profession and that generates dialogue about issues important not only to our audience but also to the advancement of health care in general. 
With this goal in mind, the JAOA continues to grow and advance. I am excited to announce that with this issue of The Journal, we are launching a brand new website at The site is now fully responsive for optimal viewing and navigation on every type of device—welcome news to the 35% of our readers who access the JAOA using their mobile or tablet devices. The new site also boasts a modern design with bold illustrations to appeal to the newest members of our profession. The JAOA's print logo and look have been refreshed to complement the new Web design. The homepage has been customized to highlight the best and most relevant content of the current issue, with additional space for important announcements related to the The Journal and the profession. The entire site features the latest in search engine optimization, providing search results that now include recommended additional articles related to visitors' search terms. A new topic collections section of the site provides readers an easy way to access research on popular topics in the JAOA. 
And this is just the beginning. In the coming months, we will be providing multimedia content from JAOA leadership and authors. We will also be uploading past issues of The Journal so that visitors can search and access full content from decades ago. We are planning to introduce Altmetrics—an article-level metrics tool—to better gauge the reach and influence of our content. 
Since I became editor in chief, we have launched several new sections—Health Policy, In My View, and SURF—to entice new readers and contributors. We are currently collaborating with the colleges of osteopathic medicine to engage faculty in scholarly publishing in the JAOA. Two accomplished researchers (Kendi L. Hensel, DO, and Jay H. Shubrook Jr, DO) have joined our key group of associate editors, and we plan to add another with the help of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine to oversee a new jointly sponsored medical education section. To ensure our research articles use appropriate and valid statistical analyses, we are also seeking to add a biostatistician to our ranks. We have created an International Editorial Board to recruit more international content from colleagues overseas, and we are in the process of recruiting high-quality review articles from prominent researchers both within and outside the profession. These last 2 items are crucial as we work toward obtaining an impact factor next year. 
These ongoing improvements and initiatives are not to say that we haven't received a fair share of criticism about what we are and are not doing. The JAOA is a vehicle for dissemination of research and influential ideas. Publication in The Journal is not a free and limitless resource, and we sometimes need to restrict content that does not advance our goals. The osteopathic tenets2 continue to be at the forefront of The Journal—and I am not talking about musculoskeletal medicine, though such content is a large part of what we publish. The message of the tenets is that osteopathic physicians employ all of the tools available to them to restore their patients' health—primarily that the human organism possesses an innate ability to heal itself and that osteopathic physicians can help facilitate the healing process. Articles that address this aspect of care are vital to the profession. 
As the quality and scope of articles published in the JAOA increases, we likewise are increasing our efforts to promote newsworthy articles to the media. A May 2014 article by Hasty et al3 on the use of Wikipedia as a resource for medical knowledge reached an estimated 10 million people through placements in prominent outlets such as The Atlantic.4 More recently, a January 2015 review from Bashir et al5 on platelet-rich plasma therapy was featured in an article in National Pain Report.6 We continue to disseminate our research through social media outlets such as Twitter and LinkedIn and encourage our readers to share our content. 
Change is never easy, but it is crucial to ensuring that one stays relevant. The JAOA is up to that challenge, and we continue to welcome feedback—both compliments and criticisms—to make The Journal a publication that our profession can't live without. (doi:10.7556/jaoa.2015.036) 
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association: the next generation. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2014;114(5):332-333. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2014.065. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Tenets of osteopathic medicine. American Osteopathic Association website. Accessed February 12, 2015.
Hasty RT, Garbalosa RC, Barbato VA, et al Wikipedia vs peer-reviewed medical literature for information about the 10 most costly medical conditions. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2014;114(5):368-373. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2014.035. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Beck J. Can Wikipedia ever be a definitive medical text? The Atlantic. May 7, 2014. Accessed February 12, 2015.
Bashir J, Panero AJ, Sherman AL. The emerging use of platelet-rich plasma in musculoskeletal medicine. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2015;115(1):24-31. doi:10.7556/jaoa. 2015.004. [PubMed]
Anson P. Study: plasma injections better than surgery or steroids. National Pain Report. January 27, 2015. Accessed February 12, 2015.