The Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine was first published in 1926 as a subspecialty journal of the American Medical Association. It became the official journal of the College of American Pathologists in 1995. Under the dynamic leadership of its most recent editor-in-chief, Philip T. Cagle, MD, and his vibrant editorial board, the Archives has nearly doubled its impact factor and become the most widely read general pathology journal today. Dr Cagle has consistently added leading pathologists to the editorial board, and the collective expertise of these individuals is clearly evident in new, cutting-edge journal masthead sections. The Archives has featured innovative content in the field of digital pathology, including articles on the utilization of smart phones in pathology and incorporation of whole-slide images and videos into the content of articles. Special sections have characterized the Archives during the current editorial board's tenure and have proven immensely popular with the journal's readership. As the Archives celebrates its 90th anniversary, its editorial board remains committed to providing insightful and relevant medical knowledge. The journal's open access Web site (www.archivesofpathology.org) allows the dissemination of this knowledge to every corner of the globe at no expense to those who wish to be educated or improve their medical practice.
The Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine became the official journal of the College of American Pathologists (CAP) in 1995. The Archives was first published 90 years ago in 1926 as a subspecialty journal of the American Medical Association (AMA) and, although it was a joint publication with the AMA for slightly more than a decade beginning in 1984, the Archives has been the CAP's official journal for only 21 years of the journal's 90-year history. For about half of those 21 years, the Archives has been under the dynamic leadership of Editor-in-Chief Philip T. Cagle, MD, and his vibrant editorial board.
Subsequent to the untimely death of former Editor-in-Chief Kenneth D. McClatchey, DDS, MD, in 2003, a search committee was formed under CAP President Mary Kass, MD, and chaired by Thomas Wheeler, MD, to identify a new Archives editor-in-chief. In the meantime, Gregorio Chejfec, MD, assumed the role of acting editor-in-chief for the journal. Late in 2004, Dr Cagle, director of pulmonary pathology at Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas, and a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York, was selected as the new editor-in-chief.
In December 2004, the Archives staff moved from their offices at Loyola University Medical Center (Maywood, Illinois) to the CAP headquarters in Northfield, Illinois. In 2004, manuscript submission and peer review at Archives were still done by conventional postal delivery (“snail mail”) of hard-copy materials. Immediately after receiving notice of his appointment, Dr Cagle and the Archives team (which at that time consisted of Publisher Bob McGonnagle, Managing Editor Patrick Kearns, and Editorial Assistant Katie Giesen) began work to establish a Web-based manuscript submission and review system named AllenTrack.
Using AllenTrack as a daily management tool, Dr Cagle instituted a unique editorial board hierarchy that includes a general editorial board, section editors for a wide range of subspecialties and special topic areas, and at an advisory level, associate editors, an executive advisory board, and deputy editors-in-chief. This complex structure includes editors from all types of pathology practice (including academic, community, and commercial laboratory) and across 3 generations of pathologists, as well as physicians from other specialties.
Over the years, in addition to the traditional subspecialty areas, Dr Cagle has pioneered new leading-edge masthead sections to keep ahead of evolving practices in pathology, including Informatics, Pathology Education, Quality Assurance, Global Health, Precision Medicine, Environmental Pathology, Transplantation Pathology, Advanced Imaging in Pathology, Clinical Effectiveness and Economics, Digital Pathology, Emerging Technologies and Techniques, and most recently, Immune Therapy, and Molecular Cytopathology, and recruited expert editors for these sections. To provide special opportunities for residents and fellows-in-training, a Residents Affairs masthead section was created to mentor trainees in the authorship and publication processes. Over the years, other fields of interest have been specifically represented on the masthead; for example, Tony Gal, MD, served as section editor for Historical Perspectives for a decade.
As the editorial board grew in scope and depth, the journal tightened its criteria for accepting manuscripts for publication. Archives readers have enthusiastically praised its improved content, and its impact factor has nearly doubled during the editorial board's tenure to date. In addition, the Archives has become recognized as the most widely read of all general pathology journals in the United States. The 2011 Kantar Media Readership Survey of Pathologist Publications found that Archives readership had risen to 73% among pathologists, making it the most highly read journal/periodical title among US practicing pathologists by a wide margin. A subsequent Kantar Media survey in 2015 again found that the Archives is the most widely read of all general pathology journals in the United States, with readership among pathologists at 70%. It should be noted that the Kantar Media Readership Survey is a scientific survey that contains responses drawn from a masterfile list of pathologists from the AMA and, therefore, is not biased toward CAP membership. In 2009, the Division of Biomedical and Life Sciences of the Special Libraries Association voted Archives the most influential pathology journal of the past 100 years.
Dr Cagle, with the help of his editorial board and the Archives staff, has introduced many innovations to the journal. Pioneering in the digital field has been particularly noteworthy, including articles on the utilization of smart phones in pathology by Archives Deputy Editor-in-Chief Jerad Gardner, MD, and other authors (eg, http://www.archivesofpathology.org/doi/pdf/10.5858/arpa.2014-0315-RA,1 http://www.archivesofpathology.org/doi/pdf/10.5858/arpa.2013-0425-ED,2 http://www.archivesofpathology.org/doi/pdf/10.5858/arpa.2014-0593-OA3), and incorporation of whole-slide images and videos into the content of articles (http://www.archivesofpathology.org/doi/pdf/10.5858/arpa.2014-0044-ED,4 http://www.archivesofpathology.org/doi/pdf/10.5858/arpa.2014-0042-ED5). In 2014 the Archives became the first major pathology journal to incorporate whole-slide images and QR codes as integrated components of an article6 (http://www.archivesofpathology.org/doi/pdf/10.5858/arpa.2013-0179-OA) with Lynette Sholl, MD, as senior author. The journal's digital pinnacle to date was the November 2015 Special Section on Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma, organized by Michael B. Prystowsky, MD, PhD, which featured an article7 from Richard Smith, MD, and colleagues that included multiple whole-slide images and supplemental videos (http://www.archivesofpathology.org/doi/pdf/10.5858/arpa.2014-0573-RA).
The journal is led in this field, as well as social media and other trailblazing areas, by Dr Gardner, Executive Advisory Board Member Eric Glassy, MD, and the section editors for the Emerging Technologies & Techniques masthead section, consisting of Shane Battye, MBBS, FRCPA; Paul Christensen, MD; Junya Fukuoka, MD, PhD; Raul Gonzalez, MD; Mark Gustavson, PhD; Xiaoyin “Sara” Jiang, MD; Keith Kaplan, MD; Nathan Lee, MD; Matthew Wasco, MD; and Sean Williamson, MD.
Special sections have characterized the Archives during the current editorial board's tenure and have been immensely popular with the journal's readership, often serving as mini-courses or condensed books on specific topics. To date, since Dr Cagle and the current editorial board assumed leadership, the Archives has published nearly 90 special sections and there are multiple more in process. These special sections have included invited themes on many specific anatomic, clinical, and molecular pathology topics, the proceedings of multiple institutional and specialty organization courses, and invited collections from the pathology departments of prestigious medical schools. Of particular note, the University of Michigan's “New Frontiers in Pathology” conference, organized by Jeffrey Myers, MD, and Joel Greenson, MD, has had a special section in Archives annually since 2009. In addition to tutorials on pathology diagnosis and practice, the special sections have provided forums for diverse themes, including Frozen Sections in Contemporary Practice, Future of Pathology Training and Training Programs, First World Congress on Pathology Informatics, Contributions of Anatomic Pathology to Women's and Perinatal Health, CSE (Council of Science Editors) Global Theme on Poverty and Human Development, and Pathology Services in Resource-Poor Nations.
The many impactful manuscripts produced by various CAP committees and councils are published in Archives, including CAP Laboratory Improvement Program articles. A complex enterprise in recent years has been the joint publication of evidence-based guidelines from the CAP Pathology and Laboratory Quality Center in collaboration with the journals of other participating medical organizations. Examples of such published guidelines include Recommendations for Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 Testing in Breast Cancer8 and Molecular Testing Guideline for Selection of Lung Cancer Patients for EGFR and ALK Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors.9 Often, the Archives takes the lead in this intricate joint publication process.
Dr Cagle and the Archives Editorial Board do more than manage the most widely read general pathology journal. Each year, members of the editorial board review and score the abstract and case study submissions for the CAP Annual Meeting, with Dr Cagle as editor-in-chief making final adjudication based on their scores. The success of this program is reflected in the approximately 400% increase in the number of submissions received since the Archives took over management of the CAP Annual Meeting Abstract Program in 2006, making a significant impact on attendance at the meeting and furthering the exchange of medical knowledge. Most recently, submissions to the CAP16 Abstract Program increased by more than 40% as compared to the previous year. In addition, a select group of Archives editors selects the winners of the Top 5 Junior Member Abstract Program, who receive cash prizes and recognition at the CAP Annual Meeting. Archives staff oversee the poster sessions and Poster Focus periods on-site, and will help organize the new platform presentation session at the CAP16 meeting.
Today, the Archives editorial staff consists of Executive Managing Editor Patrick Kearns, Managing Editor Katie Giesen, and Associate Managing Editor Hilary Price, and a publication staff is headed by Publisher Bob McGonnagle with Ad Materials Manager Keith Eilers and Circulation Director Kimberly Gilfillan. The Archives continues to be an open access journal (www.archivesofpathology.org) available to everyone via the Internet, allowing it to reach every corner of the globe at no expense to those who wish to be educated or improve their medical practice. Given this free global access, the quality of the educational content, and the innovation and forward-thinking vision of Dr Cagle and his editorial board, it is no wonder that Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine is the most widely read pathology journal today.
The author has no relevant financial interest in the products or companies described in this article.