Pneumologia renews itself!

Irina Strâmbu

As the readers of the journal already acknowledged from the SRP Newsletter, Pneumologia changes its Editor-in-Chief: my place in this position is taken over by my younger colleague, Alina Croitoru.

This change elicits from the former Editor-in-Chief a short review of the 20 years of activity in the editorial board. A significant period of time, covering almost a third of the Journal’s life, born in December 1951, at the initiative of the remarkable Professor Marius Nasta.

I took over the Journal’s activity in 1997 from the one that revived it after the 1989 Revolution, Professor Ioan Paul Stoicescu. In his position of President of the Romanian Society of Pneumology, he passed the leadership of the Journal to the late Prof. Cristian Didilescu, charging me as the secretary of the Journal. I became Editor-in-Chief three years after.

The Journal was always edited by an editorial board consisting of a small number of dedicated people, carrying on this activity from pure passion and love for medicine and the written word. Initially, in the group were only Anca Macri (the most constant presence in the Journal’s soul) and Elmira Ibraim. Later, the Journal benefitted from the episodic and stormy, but nonetheless beneficial involvement of Professor Traian Mihăescu from Iași, who provided the essential support for indexing Pneumologia in the SCOPUS-Elsevier database since 2003, as well as a bunch of constructive criticisms that led to the overall improvement of the Journal’s quality.
In my early years of activity, I also collaborated with Nini Evian and the late Petre Mihăilescu, who taught me the importance of the detail, of the pettifogging, of each character, each reference, each figure legend, for a good medical publication.

Alina Croitoru decided to join us in 2012. Besides the relief of receiving fresh forces next to me and Anca, I was more than happy to hear Alina saying that before starting medicine she used to dream to become a journalist. Since 2014, Tudor Toma brought with him a breath of fresh air (with the intensity of a medium grade storm) and along with it also the young junior editors: Bianca Paraschiv, Nicoleta Moțoc, Alexandru Muntean and Radu Crișan. Tudor catalyzed the switch to editing the Journal entirely in English and initiated a series of workshops entitled “How to write a scientific paper”, dedicated to young doctors, potential future authors.
In 20 years, the Journal remained equally unchanged and changed. It remained unchanged in its dedication for the respiratory medicine, its structure, in mirroring of the Society’s activity, but mostly in the constant appearance, trimester by trimester, in all these years.

In 20 years, the Journal remained equally unchanged and changed. It remained unchanged in its dedication for the respiratory medicine, its structure, in mirroring of the Society’s activity, but mostly in the constant appearance, trimester by trimester, in all these years. It changed in many aspects, first of all in the format, try-ing to remain attractive: a Journal that, when held in hand, invites you to open it and read it. A subtler change was the shift from mostly educational articles, written by the most relevant members of the Society for the benefit of all pneumologists, to prevalent publication of research findings in respiratory field of younger and younger authors from Romania and abroad. The Journal was able to host articles written by doctoral students after Alina’s extensive campaign next to medical uni-versities rectorships, explaining that the ancient B cat-egory for the evaluation of medical journals is obsolete, while Pneumologia is indexed for a long time in databases of international journals. The most relevant change of the Journal was the switch to full publication in English since 2014, associated to an immediate increase of arti-cle submissions and citations.

Currently, Pneumologia is listed in PubMed (the for-mer Medline) ever since 1991, making the abstracts of all published articles worldwide visible, in SCOPUS (the database of the Elsevier publishing group) and EBSCO. It is a member of COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics) since 2012, adhering to its guidelines on the ethics of scientific publications.

Yearly, Pneumologia is evaluated by the SJR index (Scimago Journal Ranking), the indexing system devel-oped by Elsevier. Currently, the Journal has a Hirsch index of 6 and SJR index of 0.13, modest but constantly increas-ing since 2000 (Figure 1). Compared to other journals dedicated to respiratory medicine worldwide, Pneumologia is ranked 106th (the first place is occupied by the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine with a H index of 303 and SJR index of 5.832). Among the four pneumology journals in Central and Eastern Europe, Pneumologia ranks second after Pneumologia i Alergologia Polska, with an H index of 13 and SJR index of 0.199.


Initially, the editing costs of the journal were sup-ported by the Society, which paid for the editing, print-ing and shipment fees. This implied for me a constant (and not so pleasant) effort to find contracts for adver-tisement to cover those costs. Since 2005, things changed for the better by the collaboration with Target (led by Mrs. Adela Marinescu) and later with Versa Media (currently Medic Hub). These companies took over not only the editorial and printing activity, but also the search for financial support, the Journal being actu-ally cost-free for the Society.

Since 2008 the Journal had its own website, distinct from the Society’s website, designed together with Laurențiu Nicolae who, unlike other web designers, understood the features of a medical journal (probably because his wife is a medical doctor). We constantly posted all full-text articles, open-access, aiming to increase the Journal visibility and to facilitate citations.

Besides the figures, indexes and graphics, for me the activity of Editor-in-Chief represented a pleasant work, marked by the undisputable satisfaction of seeing each new-born, each new issue delivered directly from the typography, smelling of fresh ink. Even a greater satis-faction was provided by the team work, alongside Anca, Alina, Tudor and our young mates. Collaborating with them, face-to-face or by millions of e-mails, brought to me only joy: that what we do matters, that each one’s opinion is valued, that it is worth to work for free to create together something good, durable, something that brings value into our little world. For all these, to my colleagues: thank you from all my heart!

I had very little feedback from the pneumologists in the country, who are actually the target of the journal. I rarely received compliments. Here I must mention Professor Mircea Nanulescu from Cluj-Napoca, the ini-tiator of the Pediatric Pneumology column, the one who surprised me by thanking me for my activities to sup-port the Society. I received more criticisms, some con-structive (the champions were Prof. Mihăescu and the late Petruș Mihăilescu, but I need not to forget Professor Florin Mihălțan), while others simply deserved to be ignored. These latter made me reflect on how easy it is, while acting only for one’s own good, to criticize others who struggle to do something for the common good.

I leave Pneumologia on good hands. I am happy that Alina accepted to assume the position of Editor-in-Chief and to keep united this wonderful team. It is expected that the newcomers (Irina Pele, Ana Zaharie and Ovidiu Fira Mlădinescu) will bring a fresh energy, so much needed for the old Pneumologia. Still, we need not to forget that the future development of this long standing publication depends not only on the efforts of the edito-rial board, but also on the support and active involve-ment of all the members of the Society’s Council, and also on the interest and good research work of all the members of the Society.

Thank you all!





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