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January 3, 2011

The Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine at 100: Another Turning Point in Medical Publishing

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Seattle Children's Hospital and Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington, Seattle (Dr Rivara); and Department of Pediatrics and Mailman Center for Child Development, University of Miami, Miami, Florida (Dr Brosco).

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2011;165(1):6-8. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2010.263

In January 1911, the inaugural issue of the American Journal of Diseases of Children (AJDC) (the original title for the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine) was published. Like many other specialty journals emerging at the time, the founding of AJDC was one part of an extraordinary transformation in American medicine. Periodic medical journals like AJDC, in contrast to textbooks, implied that new knowledge was constantly being produced and should be disseminated; specialty journals in particular reflected the growing complexity of medicine and the emergence of new practice patterns in American cities. In this essay, we review the historical context of the founding of AJDC, note some contrasts to today's journal, and speculate on the future of medical journals as medicine is again undergoing a radical transformation in practice patterns and the availability of medical knowledge.