As pediatricians and editorial board members, we recognize the importance of partnering with families, and our journal is always looking for ways to promote such partnerships. Previously, this has been done through a wide range of articles, such as research articles, guidelines, and commentaries, in which researchers assessed how to develop partnerships to promote patient- and family-centered care. However, because the voices of patients and families are central to what we do, we decided this past year to go a step further by introducing a new section to Pediatrics entitled “Family Partnerships.” Articles for this section are coauthored by patients or family members and their health care professionals to illustrate the value in working together to address important and complex issues. Given the increasing volume of manuscripts we are receiving for this new section, we wondered if there was even more we could do to engage families.

Because family participation is central to the conduct of research and improving care, we have begun to invite relevant members of the public, most of whom are not scientists, to help review articles for the patient-centered sections of our journal, such as our Family Partnerships articles. These public-member reviewers are given guidelines to review articles from their perspective to assess (1) how relevant or important the manuscript is, (2) whether the outcomes being studied are important, (3) what elements should be included or expanded on, and (4) whether suggestions within the manuscript are feasible. To initiate this process, we are working closely with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Family Partnerships Network and other family advisory groups to help us recruit reviewers. This will help ensure that we have a broad, diverse, and representative perspective. We look forward to hearing from our public-member reviewers and our authors regarding the value of these reviews, and we will share the results with you, our readers, regarding what we learn.

In addition to our editorial board wholeheartedly supporting the piloting of nonmedical reviewers this year, they also believe that the board would benefit from having a member of the public participate in its journal oversight work. We plan to add at least 1 public member to our editorial board this year. Be on the lookout for the call for nominations, and help spread the word about this opportunity.

Of course, we appreciate the ongoing hard work of our traditional expert reviewers, without whom we would not be able to produce our journal. To recognize their work, starting this year we will offer continuing medical education (CME) credit for peer reviewers who meet posted review criteria. Each reviewer has the potential to earn 1 CME credit for each manuscript reviewed for those types of articles that lend themselves to the rigor of a formal peer-review process, including Regular Articles, Review Articles, Special Articles, Quality Reports, State-of-the-Art Reviews, and Diagnostic Dilemmas and Clinical Reasoning. CME credit will be awarded on the basis of the timeliness and completeness of the review and established guidelines. To learn more, see the reviewer guidelines at

In addition to the changes in the journal related to public participation and CME credit for reviewers, we also have an exciting addition in store for authors to disseminate their work: video abstracts. Video abstracts will give authors an opportunity to share their work visually through the creation of 3- to 5-minute videos that will be posted with the article online and on our social media channels. Authors of studies appropriate for video abstracts will be invited by the journal to develop these short video segments. Authors may create these themselves or work with members of our editorial board. We think these video segments will help authors draw more readers to their articles and give busy pediatricians a brief summary of the research within a new, enhanced user experience.

There are also changes coming regarding submitting clinical trials to our journal. Beginning in July 2018, in accordance with guidelines from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, we will require that manuscripts that report on clinical trials submit a data-sharing statement describing whether they will share their study data with other investigators. By January 2019, clinical trials must be registered with a data sharing plan. For more detailed information about these requirements, go to

We are also introducing a new way to bundle collections of articles on hot topics in child health. We have recently launched Pediatric Collections on high-impact content topics curated from Pediatrics and other AAP journals. Each collection addresses important issues related to child health and provides the latest evidence and AAP policies published on the topic. Pediatric Collections will grow over time, updating automatically as new studies are published in our journal and other AAP publications, and they will be digitally available for journal subscribers. Recent collections have focused on e-cigarettes, firearm-related injuries and prevention, the medical risk of marijuana, and influenza. Look for our upcoming collection topics that will focus on opioids, immunization, health consequences of obesity, transition of care, food allergies, newborn screening, and much more. Visit to read our topic lineup through 2018.

Of course, if you cannot read our monthly journal cover to cover with all the new features described in this commentary, we hope you will use our social media channels to keep you informed about the important articles appearing in our journal. The journal’s Web site continues to grow, and 9.5 million readers made more than 45 million visits to our journal (up from 22 million visits a year ago) through the AAP News and Journals Gateway Network. This high volume would not have been possible without social media helping to lead readers to the articles we publish. This past year, our journal has reached 112 000 Facebook readers and 1500 Twitter followers, and, 1 year after launch, our Instagram account ( has over 2000 followers. Instagram allows the journal to keep readers informed by bringing content directly to them through photos, charts, tables, and even brief videos highlighting articles being released early on a given week. Our social media audience continues to grow and includes many who are not pediatricians. This year, we will be adding our video abstracts to Instagram to continue to broaden our audience.

If you are reading the journal regularly online, we want to make that process even easier. We have introduced 2 new features: LENS and Altmetrics. LENS allows you to view figures, tables, references, and more without losing your place within an article as you read it ( The journal has also added an Altmetric tab with each online article to allow authors and readers to see how the article has been picked up online, by the media, and in other research articles.

Given our mission to provide valuable information to readers that will enhance the care we deliver in partnership with the families we care for, we want to close by thanking you, our readers, for your input and suggestions to help us improve the journal. We look forward to furthering our journal’s mission and, in turn, that of the AAP in the years ahead.

  • AAP

    American Academy of Pediatrics

  • CME

    continuing medical education

FUNDING: No external funding.

Competing Interests

POTENTIAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST: The authors have indicated they have no potential conflicts of interest to disclose.

FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE: The authors have indicated they have no financial relationships relevant to this article to disclose.