Published May 10, 2020
Come July, the future of the 113-year-old American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR) will rest in the hands of “one of the most widely published researchers in academic radiology” (Radiology Business Journal).
As prolific as his city is sleepless, Andrew B. Rosenkrantz of New York University has edited the textbook MRI of the Prostate: A Practical Approach and authored or co-authored more than 350 peer-reviewed publications, all while training some 40 clinical fellows and mentoring over 80 residents resulting in publication. As NYU Grossman’s Professor of Radiology and Urology, Director of Prostate Imaging, Director of Health Policy, and Section Chief of Abdominal Imaging, he thrives in every last one of those professional titles, too.
For this professional society, in particular, Rosenkrantz remains so much more.
An ARRS member since 2004, he has received both the 2014 Melvin M. Figley Fellowship in Radiology Journalism and the 2017 Leonard Berlin Scholarship in Medical Professionalism. In addition to starring roles with ARRS’ Publications and Practice Improvement Committees, Rosenkrantz serves on the Scientific Program Subcommittees for Genitourinary Imaging, Efficacy, Administration, and Informatics.
Speaking on his appointment to AJR’s chief chair, Deborah Baumgarten, ARRS Publications Committee chair, said, “It became clear during the selection process that Andy Rosenkrantz is visionary, dedicated, proactive, and really quite brilliant.”
InPractice spoke with AJR’s soon-to-be editor in chief—a creative and affable man who, despite being aged much closer to the left side of 40, was named AuntMinnie’s Most Influential Radiology Researcher of 2018 and can already measure his CV in plain-text kilobytes.
InPractice: You will be just the 13th chief editorial officer of the world’s oldest continuously-operating radiological journal. For context, when did you first encounter “the yellow journal?” And what does taking the reins from someone like Thomas Berquist mean to you now?
Andrew B. Rosenkrantz: I began reading AJR early in residency, around the time that Robert Stanley began as Editor in Chief. At the time, given their educational value, I was drawn to the journal’s clinically-oriented research and image-rich review articles. Indeed, it was quickly clear that radiologists could rely on each issue to provide a wealth of practical content and that staying abreast of the journal’s latest articles would help in learning to be a clinical radiologist. I’ve remained an avid reader since that time, including throughout Berquist’s tenure. During his many years at the helm, Berquist has worked tirelessly on behalf of the quality and integrity of the journal’s content and launched a staggering array of pilots and new initiatives to the benefit of the journal’s authors, reviewers, and readers. It is an enormous privilege, though also humbling, to now have this opportunity to follow Berquist in this role.
IP: From 2012–2015, you were AJR’s CME Consulting Editor for Genitourinary Imaging; currently, you’re one of the journal’s five Genitourinary Imaging Assistant Editors, a position you’ve held with distinction since 2014. To what do you attribute your success at AJR?
ABR: I’ve benefitted greatly from the AJR as a practicing radiologist, and I have felt that it’s been important to give back and serve the journal as opportunities to do so have arisen. Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to have been provided chances to support the journal in these various editorial board capacities, and I have sought to make the most of these roles. I’ve also come to recognize the importance of the entire editorial team in enabling the journal to thrive, and I look forward to empowering a new generation of editorial board members to continue to shape the journal.
IP: You published your first article in AJR in 2010, and since that February issue, you’ve authored and co-authored some 60 articles, letter-to-editor replies, and guest editorials for the journal. Given your wide-ranging interests, as well as that “Most Influential Radiology Researcher of 2018” laurel from AuntMinnie, what is it about AJR, specifically, that’s drawn and kept your attention?
ABR: Even as my own research interest have evolved, the AJR has remained a primary journal in which to try and publish. AJR publishes articles on a wide range of topics, covering all areas of radiology practice. Despite this breadth of the journal’s content, it has maintained a compelling track record of publishing articles that are clinically impactful and will make a difference in radiologists’ practice. The journal’s editorial board has done an impressive job of staying in touch with its readership and knowing what articles its readers will find interesting and relevant to their day-to-day work.
IP: Meanwhile, you’ve been “Rocking the Review” for AJR for more than a decade, receiving the Top, Outstanding, and two Distinguished Reviewer Awards. How does the implied dichotomy here (author vs reviewer) influence your overall approaching to medical publishing?
ABR: Authors and reviewers need to work together to produce the highest-quality final accepted manuscripts. Reviewers must recognize their role as not just advising whether to accept or reject a submitted paper, but to provide the critical feedback that will fundamentally improve the paper. Authors must take the reviewer feedback seriously and be as responsive as possible in revising their work. The AJR will focus on strategies for best engaging and serving both of these important groups.
IP: Similarly, as the recipient of ARRS’ Figley Fellowship and Berlin Scholarship, how have these two Roentgen Fund® accolades— the first for journalism, a second for professionalism—informed your subsequent research and practice?
ABR: The Figley Fellowship provided a unique opportunity to learn the inner workings of the journal and its operations. I was invited to spend time at ARRS headquarters in Leesburg, Virginia and work closely with the journal staff—observing all the steps in the review and production pathway, from manuscript submission to publication. That experience laid a key foundation for an even deeper level of involvement with the journal in the following years. I dedicated the Berlin Scholarship to exploring issues relating to diversity among radiologists pursuing research and publication, encompassing projects seeking to not only understand challenges and barriers, but also strategies and opportunities for change. Likewise, this work will be important in guiding the journal in the coming years.
IP: As the incoming Editor in Chief, do you foresee a more equitable union of, say, the types of informatics research you’ve been pursuing at the Neiman Health Policy Institute with the more diagnostic content for which AJR has long been heralded?
ABR: No question, AJR has been a home for outstanding research and reviews in health policy, along with the journal’s more traditional diagnostic content. A large part of the journal’s appeal has been the inclusion in each issue of articles addressing policy, quality, informatics, and other aspects of modern radiology practice management. More recently, the journal has introduced “Best Practices” articles that provide an evidence-based assessment to guide radiologists in addressing focused clinical questions. These articles have quickly become very popular with the journal’s readership and will become an even more frequent component of the journal in the coming years.
IP: These days (and especially with AJR), a scientific journal’s impact factor is a lot more than just a number. Can you explain your philosophy concerning impact factor at large?
ABR: The impact factor reflects the number of citations in a given year to the journal’s contents in the prior two years, divided by the total number of citable items in the journal in those two prior years. As citations by subsequent investigators indicate that an article is influencing future researchers, the AJR will seek to publish high-quality, innovative articles that will contribute to a growth in its impact factor. At the same time, this metric is only one component of a journal’s overall reach, not necessarily reflecting interest by broader audiences. Thus, the journal will need to complement impact factor with other measures, including those relating to social media and online communication platforms, in tracking its influence.: These days (and especially with AJR), a scientific journal’s impact factor is a lot more than just a number. Can you explain your philosophy concerning impact factor at large?
IP: An abdominal imaging specialist yourself, what would be on the not-too-distant horizon for AJR regarding your primary research focus: prostate MRI? Relatedly, how close are researchers to something like an optimal MRI for targeted prostate biopsy and risk assessment?
ABR: As it turns out, a good number of the landmark papers in prostate MRI were published in AJR over the past decade, a testament to authors’ recognition of the journal’s role as a leader in clinically-oriented radiological research. While I’ve largely pulled back on my own research efforts in prostate MRI, I continue to be amazed by the tremendous work being pursued in this area by numerous research teams across the globe. In the next few years, I anticipate that we’ll see research in this field seeking to validate shorter and more streamlined prostate MRI protocols, establish paradigms that leverage prostate MRI results to reduce the overall number of biopsies performed, and support wider adoption of MRI-guided minimally invasive therapies for prostate cancer.
IP: Given all that has happened in medical imaging since AJR was established—and particularly what’s happening in the field right now—what would you mark as the biggest challenges to and opportunities for radiology here in the 21st century?
ABR: Radiology is inherently a technology-driven specialty, and radiologists have always been leaders in embracing new technologies and quickly translating these to clinical practice. A critical challenge now facing radiology is to continually ensure the value of such technologies—beyond, say, incremental improvements in image quality. As a specialty, we must be prepared to address deeper questions, such as how our latest technological advances alter care pathways and improve outcomes that are meaningful to patients. Patients, payers, and policy makers are expecting us to provide a strong evidence basis to support the clinical adoption of the new imaging methodologies that we develop. This creates an exciting opportunity for researchers in the field to take the lead and pursue the kind of novel, high-quality work that will provide this important evidence to support our clinical practices.
The opinions expressed in InPractice magazine are those of the author(s); they do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint or position of the editors, reviewers, or publisher.