Guiding Pediatric Critical Care Medicine Toward a Bigger “Impression” in 2017 and Beyond

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Now in its 18th year of publication, Pediatric Critical Care Medicine (PCCM) is capturing many of the highest quality key articles in our field from diverse locations worldwide, making it imperative that we facilitate the broadest possible dissemination of the published findings. It is evident that we have much to learn from each other, and the cycle of local to global communities of practice can be fueled by leveraging social media. With this in mind, this year, we have launched an initiative to expand and optimize the social media presence of PCCM, most notably on Twitter. Our goal is to create a much more engaging presence for our journal, and expand the dialogue between our readership and authors. As the official pediatric journal of the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the World Federation of Pediatric Intensive and Critical Care Societies (WFPICCS), PCCM’s engagement on the social media platform will also be invaluable in linking the members of these and the other many societies that have endorsed us along with organizations that may be impacted by the findings that we publish.
Spearheaded by one of us (Sapna Kudchadkar, MD), the new PCCM Associate Editor for Social Media, our journal has already begun to feature a much richer social media presence and is better informing the field by providing brief commentary, including key figures or tables from the published works in each tweet. We are directly linking tweets about PCCM articles to a wealth of highly relevant hashtags in a very targeted manner, along with unifying our community via use of the hashtag #PedsICU. “Impressions” are the metric for measuring the exposure that a tweet has received, defined as the number of times that a tweet containing a specific hashtag has been viewed. The power of Twitter and the inherent value of linking our journal-related tweets to #PedsICU are evident by the fact that in November 2016, during the highly successful Pediatric Critical Care Colloquium in New York City, #PedsICU had more than 600,000 impressions. As evidence of growing momentum, the 2017 SCCM Annual Congress achieved 3.1 million #PedsICU impressions, and in just the first week of active social media engagement by Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, #PedsICU hit 1.5 million impressions.
Moving forward, we are further enhancing the potential utility of PCCM’s Twitter presence to benefit our readership and raise the academic profile of our authors by requiring that submitting authors include a ≤ 140 character tweet about the key findings of their study as part of their manuscript submission. These submitted tweets will actually undergo peer review and revision (if necessary) similar to that of an abstract. For prospective authors submitting new manuscripts, please see the instructions for the authors beginning with this issue for additional details.
Important articles and supplements such as strategic planning for research in our field (1), last year’s report on the new pediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome definition (2), the outstanding articles in the recent NIH-sponsored supplement on pediatric Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome (3–11), and the findings of the Prevalence of Acute Critical Neurological Disease in Children (PANGEA) initiative (12), and others are highly worthy of greater public exposure than has been garnered by our articles in the past. As we move forward with this social media initiative, we will also monitor its impact via available tools including Symplur and Altmetric, and traditional metrics such as Impact Factor. The recent literature on the impact of a Twitter presence on these outcome metrics strongly suggests that the approach that we have launched will pay considerable dividends (13).

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