Iurie Acalovschi | Editor-in-Chief, Romanian Journal of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care
The publication of the first issue of the Romanian Journal of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care in May 1994 represented an important step for promoting scientific research among Romanian anaesthesiologists.
The medical speciality of anaesthesia has a long tradition in Romania. Training of anaesthesia started in 1951 and six years later it was recognised by the health authorities as an independent specialty. In 1975 the first postgraduate Chair of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care was founded in Bucharest, chaired by Professor George Litarczek, who provided an outstanding contribution to the development of this specialty in our country.
A scientific society (Societatea Romana de Anestezie si Terapie Intensiva -SRATI), founded in 1972, started to organise annual symposia and congresses with international participation. Joint meetings were organised with the Association des Anaesthesiologists d’Expression Francaise in 1979 and in 1989, and with the Bavarian Society of Anaesthesiologists in 1987.
However, in that period, when a strict control of publishing activity was installed by the political authorities, publication of its own journal was not approved, in spite of many efforts, by the Romanian Society of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care.
In the free-speech publishing environment that started after 1989, many journals appeared, and among them, the Romanian Journal of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care as the official journal of the SRATI. Radu Simionescu, at that time Secretary of the Society, was appointed Editor-in-Chief and George Litarczek, the President of the Society and Emil Cardan were both appointed co-editors.
However, to launch a scientific journal proved to be a difficult task. Besides the lack of experience and the reduced number of manuscripts submitted by the Romanian anaesthesiologists, the society’s limited financial resources delayed the publication of the journal by one year. The publication was made finally possible thanks to the support offered by colleague anaesthesiologists from many European countries. The first issue was warmly welcomed by Wolfgang Dick, President of the European Academy of Anaesthesiology and Jean-Louis Vincent, President of the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine. A message of encouragement was sent by Sywan Lim, President of the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists.
Colleagues from the UK, France, Germany, Austria and Poland sent manuscripts to complete articles written by Romanian authors. The contribution of the distinguished researchers Ph. Scherpereel, K. Eyrich, J. Little, P. Nightingale, M. Inman, R. Szulc, F.X. Lackner, L. Grabow assured the successful launch of the Journal. Financial support was offered by Professor Bernard Caillard, who obtained sponsorship for our journal from the pharmaceutical industry.
Over the following years we continued to benefit from the assistance offered by the European Society of Anaesthesiology and by many international personalities, who contributed with clinical reviews and editorials to the journal. We translated and then published guidelines and other educational materials acquired with the permission of the European Society of Anaesthesiology. Important documents released by ESA and UEMS Board of Anaesthesiology were also translated and published, among them, The Helsinki Declaration 2010. The Editorial Board was expanded by inviting international personalities to become part of it.
At the beginning, the full articles were published in the Romanian language, while the abstracts were published in both Romanian and English. We encouraged the Romanian authors to submit manuscripts written in English, and gradually, the number of articles in English increased. That facilitated the inclusion of international experts to review the original manuscripts submitted. The peer review enhanced the quality of the publications, stimulated more original research, and eventually led to the indexing of the Journal in the Elsevier Bibliographic Database (EMBASE and SCOPUS) in 2009.
Starting with this year, in order to reach an international audience and to be fully accepted by the indexing databases, we decided to publish all manuscripts in English. A native English-speaker editor agreed to assist the Romanian authors with style and grammar corrections.When the journal was launched, many medical journals followed in Romania, but not all of them survived. Thanks to its international assistance, the Romanian Journal of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care is one of the survivors.