Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination

Did you know? The green and the gray: Pediatrics and The Journal of Pediatrics :

August 24, 2016

The Academy has had an official journal since 1932, but for the first 15 years, it was under the financial control of an outside company, in a different city.

From 1932 to 1947, the official AAP organ The Journal of Pediatrics — known by its gray cover — was owned not by the Academy, but by its publisher, C.V. Mosby (now Elsevier), then based in St. Louis, Mo. Eventually, AAP leaders launched Pediatrics, with its green cover, today the No. 1 most-cited journal in a field of 120 pediatric journals.

Clifford G. Grulee, M.D., FAAP, an AAP founder and secretary-treasurer at the time, executed what later was deemed an unfavorable contract with the publishing company. The Academy appointed the journal’s editors and editorial board, retaining responsibility for the content and policies. Mosby handled the mechanics of publication and assumed financial liability, including losses and profits.

The Academy, then headquartered in Evanston, Ill., underwrote 400 subscriptions, charging members $5 each in their member dues. Nonmembers paid $8.50 a year.

Under the arrangement, the Academy also appointed the journal’s co-editors (Borden S. Veeder, M.D., FAAP, and Hugh McCulloch, M.D., FAAP) and editorial board. Readers of The Journal of Pediatrics turned to its pages for the AAP Executive Board proceedings and reports, original papers, an editorial and departments such as News and Announcements, Book Reviews, and the Pediatrician and the Public.

As the Academy’s membership and influence grew, so did the journal. By 1947, The Journal of Pediatrics was said to be highly successful and profitable for Mosby, according to historical accounts. AAP leaders decided that as long as the Academy continued to expand, the journal’s profits would increase — to Mosby’s benefit.

AAP leaders requested a review of the company’s financial records for the journal, looking to renegotiate terms. Mosby declined to open its books, and its offers of higher shares of the profits were refused by the Academy.

Consequently, it wasn’t difficult for the Academy to build a case for a new journal it could fully control. The final decision was made at a February 1947 board meeting with a unanimous recommendation by The Journal of Pediatrics editorial board to no longer be the official organ of the Academy. The board was to resign from the journal’s staff as of July 1, 1947.

The first issue of Pediatrics came out the following January, published by Chas. C Thomas. Dr. McCulloch served as sole editor until 1954, and most of the editorial board of The Journal of Pediatrics moved to the new publication. The subscription rate was $10 per member.

While the first volume of Pediatrics was published at a loss of several thousand dollars, it began to pay for itself by the second volume. In 1950, Pediatrics netted a substantial sum “and gave promise of becoming a profitable venture to the Academy,” according to A History of the American Academy of Pediatrics by Marshall Carleton Pease (1951).

The Journal of Pediatrics never ceased publication. Since 2001, it has been affiliated with the Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs.

Over time, readers of Pediatrics and The Journal of Pediatrics have fondly referred to them as the green journal and the gray journal, respectively, due to the predominant color of their covers in the early years.

Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal