To Howard Bauchner, MD, Visionary Editor in Chief of JAMA—A Sincere Thank You and a Fond Farewell | Medical Journals and Publishing | JAMA | JAMA Network
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June 1, 2021

To Howard Bauchner, MD, Visionary Editor in Chief of JAMA—A Sincere Thank You and a Fond Farewell

Phil B. Fontanarosa, MD, MBA1; Annette Flanagin, RN, MA1; for the JAMA and JAMA Network Editors and Editorial Staff
Author Affiliations
  • 1Dr Fontanarosa is Executive Editor and Interim Editor in Chief and Ms Flanagin is Executive Managing Editor, JAMA and the JAMA Network
JAMA. 2021;326(1):33-34. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.9772

On July 1, 2011, Howard Bauchner, MD, became the 16th Editor in Chief of JAMA.1 He brought with him experience as editor of Archives of Disease in Childhood and extensive clinical perspective and academic and research experience as a pediatrician at Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine. But most important, he brought to JAMA and the JAMA family of journals extraordinary vision and creativity, a commitment to absolute excellence, highest integrity and ethical principles, and an insatiable drive and unrelenting work ethic.

The past 10 years of Howard Bauchner’s leadership have represented unprecedented progress, growth, and innovation for JAMA and the JAMA Network of scientific publications. His diligence, perseverance, evidence-based approach, and keen instincts have led these journals to new levels of success that never seemed imaginable, except perhaps to him and his strategic “moon shots.”

During Howard Bauchner’s tenure and guided by his leadership, the major accomplishments achieved, with the editors and editorial and publishing staff, have profoundly changed the stature, trajectory, and reach of JAMA and the JAMA Network Journals (Box). In addition, he has championed editor and staff development and promotions; generously offered professional, personal, and health care advice to countless many; and frequently reminded all: personal well-being and family first.

Box Section Ref ID

Major Accomplishments During the Tenure of Howard Bauchner, MD, as Editor in Chief of JAMA and the JAMA Network Journals Since July 1, 2011

Created and Expanded the JAMA Network in Collaboration With AMA Publishing
  • Created the JAMA Network family of journals

  • Renamed all specialty journals from “Archives of…” to “JAMA [Specialty]” as in JAMA Surgery

  • Launched 4 new journals

    • JAMA Oncology (2015)

    • JAMA Cardiology (2016)

    • JAMA Network Open (2018)

    • JAMA Health Forum (2020/2021)

Redesigned All Print Journals and Journal Websites
Led Online First Initiative
  • Moved all specialty journals from monthly issues to weekly online publication of all articles

Increased Citations to and Impact Factors of All Journals
  • Increased JAMA’s impact factor to 45.5 in 2019; up from 30 in 2011

  • Ten of 13 JAMA Network Journals ranked in the top 3 among comparable journals in their fields

Increased Publication of Clinical Trials
  • JAMA: 79 in 2020; up from 35 in 2011

  • JAMA Network Journals: 318 in 2020; up from 138 in 2016

Expanded Digital Reach
  • 135 million JAMA Network article views in 2020; up from 29 million in 2012

Expanded Use of Social Media
  • JAMA social media followers in 2020 nearly 1.2 million; up from 19 400 in 2011

Expanded Multimedia
  • 5.5 million JAMA Network podcast downloads in 2020; up from 300 000 in 2011

  • 16 million JAMA Network video downloads in 2020

Expanded News Media Coverage
  • JAMA had 139 000 media mentions in 2020; up from 51 000 in 2011

Improved Author Services
  • Streamlined the manuscript submission process

  • Substantially reduced turnaround times for editorial decisions and publication

  • Automated the cascading process for manuscripts to transfer from one JAMA Network journal to another

  • Harmonized author policies and article types across journals

  • Expanded author outreach

  • Created visual abstracts

Supported and Encouraged Resources for Authors and Editors
  • Published the 11th edition of the AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors

  • Held the 7th and 8th International Congresses on Peer Review and Scientific Publication

Introduced New Articles That Represented More Effective Types of Communication
  • Guide to Statistics and Methods

  • Clinical Guidelines Synopsis

  • JAMA Insights

  • Arts and Medicine

Established and Furthered Important Relationships
  • Led agreement with the US Preventive Services Task Force to publish numerous recommendation statements and evidence reports about screening and prevention to improve public health

  • Actively collaborated with the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors on many important policies, including conflicts of interest, disclosures, and data sharing

  • Forged alliances with numerous medical specialty societies, research organizations, and governmental agencies to publish timely reports of new research, guidelines, and commentary to improve clinical practice, patient care, public health, and global health

Committed to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Charged all journals to improve the diversity of editors and editorial boards

  • Encouraged editors to invite authors representing diversity of gender, race, ethnicity, geographic location, career stage, and discipline to write opinion articles

  • Published more than 650 articles on race and racial and ethnic disparities and inequities in the last 5 years

  • Increased substantially the number of women, Asian, Black, and Hispanic members of the editorial boards and among decision-making editors of all JAMA Network Journals

  • Published major revision to guidance on reporting race and ethnicity in medical journals and invited wide review and feedback

  • Supported the African Journal Partnership Program

Rapidly Adapted to Emerging Science During the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • JAMA Network Journals managed nearly 69 000 submissions in 2020 (up from 37 000 in 2019)

  • Expedited editorial and peer review and publication of important science

  • JAMA Network Journals published nearly 1000 articles on COVID-19

  • Ramped up audio, video, and livestream interviews with researchers, government leaders, policy makers, and clinicians, providing up-to-date, evidence-based information in real time, crisis circumstances

  • Hosted numerous livestream interviews with Anthony Fauci, MD, and other leading health care agency officials, such as those from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and the World Health Organization, enabling their direct communication to clinicians throughout the world

  • All COVID-19 articles and multimedia content published free to the world

As announced on June 1, 2021, Howard Bauchner has decided to step down from his role as Editor in Chief of JAMA and the JAMA Network effective June 30, 2021.2 Even though this decision was undoubtedly difficult, it reflects his honor, his loyalty to the journals, and his commitment to and care for the JAMA Network editors and staff. He has always maintained that being Editor in Chief of JAMA and the JAMA Network is a position of honor and he has indicated he will miss the joy, exhilaration, and intellectual stimulation of being Editor, as well as the remarkable individuals he has worked with and met.

Howard Bauchner, MD, JAMA’s 16th Editor in Chief, has left an indelible legacy of progress, innovation, and excellence in medical journalism, as reflected by his accomplishments, and because of his vision and leadership, he has positioned JAMA and the JAMA Network Journals well for the challenges scientific publications will face in the future. For those reasons, and for so many more, the JAMA and JAMA Network editors and editorial staff express sincere gratitude and extend a fond farewell and very best wishes.

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Article Information

Corresponding Author: Phil B. Fontanarosa, MD, MBA (

Published Online: June 1, 2021. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.9772

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.

Bauchner  H.  My vision for JAMA.   JAMA. 2011;306(1):98-99. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.936PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
American Medical Association. AMA announces transition in JAMA editorial leadership. June 1, 2021.