The Princeton Conference
Journal supplements have a mixed reputation. Too often they represent the non-peer–reviewed proceedings from a conference sponsored by an organization with a viewpoint to push, or a pharmaceutical company with a product to sell. Supplements reached such low ebb that they were discontinued by the Scientific Publications Committee of the American Heart Association (AHA). Recently the AHA has encouraged the publication of journal supplements, if they can meet a new high standard. The articles must be peer-reviewed, and follow a scientific or educational logic for why the articles should be presented in a single publication. The supplement must be sponsored by a medical society, a government agency, or be continuous medical education (CME) accredited. A minimum of two industry sponsors is preferable. Supplements should not focus on a single product, nor be perceived as endorsing a particular one.
We had been looking for an opportunity to begin a new series of supplements, with an exemplary first issue. The opportunity came in the form of the 24th Princeton Conference of Cerebral Vascular Diseases. It covers clinical and basic sciences, and aims to give equal time to presentations and discussion. This is the premier research meeting in our field. The first took place at Princeton, New Jersey in 1954, and since 1966 it has been held every other year in the city of the organizer of turn.
The 24th Princeton Conference featured a systematic effort at integrating the clinical and basic sciences. Papers on a given topic were presented in the same session, whether basic science, clinical or epidemiological. A basic scientist and a clinician cochaired the each session. The discussions sought common ground and synergistic themes. We agreed with Dr. Richard Traystman to publish a selection of the articles from the Conference as a supplement to Stroke. This supplement is unique in that it encompasses peer-reviewed articles from leaders in the field. As a further attempt at integration, session cochairs also served as joint editors for each of the manuscripts submitted as part of their sessions. Each pair of session editors wrote an introductory overview indicating how each article helps to advance the field, and identifying the major research problems that remain. Given the peer review and high quality of the articles, we decided to publish them as part of the journal itself. This, as far as we know is a first. These selected proceedings will be unique also in that for the first time, they will be published in the same year as the conference itself.
We aimed for the November issue, so that the supplement would be available at the AHA Scientific Sessions and the Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience to publicize the latest thinking in cerebrovascular disease and encourage individuals not yet involved in stroke research to do so.
Accomplishing this required an extraordinary short timeline and the hard work of authors, editors and Stroke, AHA and Lippincott Williams and Wilkins (LWW) staff. We thank them all. We also are very grateful to Dr. Traystman for his willingness to have the proceedings published in Stroke and for working closely with us to accomplish it, Stephen Prudhomme, Director of Publications, AHA, for his unequivocal and unqualified support and, Cordelia Slaughter from LWW, Publisher of the AHA Journals, for her rapid decision making and continuous support. Last and not least, we also thank Rebecca Nott, Managing Editor, Administrative Operations, whose resourcefulness and relentless pleasantness kept everyone on track throughout an arduous production schedule.
We relaunch supplements for Stroke with a first issue that we hope will set an example and a standard.
- Received September 22, 2004.
- Accepted September 22, 2004.