Menopause: past success and future direction 25th anniversary: past success and future direction
NAMS was founded in 1989 as a nonprofit organization with three objectives: to promote the study of all aspects of the climacteric, to organize meetings and congresses, and to advance the interchange of research plans and experience among individual members of the society. Its first meeting, held in partnership with the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS), was held in 1989 in New York City.
The proceedings of that first meeting were published as a complete issue of the Annals of the NYAS.2 It soon became apparent that NAMS, as a scientific society, needed its own public voice, a journal that would provide an academic outlet for research from its members and all investigators with research worthy of publication.
As documented in a 2013 editorial during the journal's 20th anniversary,3 the establishment of Menopause occurred in 1994. The first scientific medical journal devoted entirely to the subject of menopause was Maturitas, the official journal of the International Menopause Society, which started publication in 1978. From the launch of NAMS, Dr. Wulf Utian was determined that NAMS should have its own scientific publication. The debate within the NAMS board of trustees in 1992 and 1993 was fast and furious. One side agreed that an independent scientific organization should have its own scientific journal. The opposing side felt that Maturitas was not even filling its pages with top-class scientific papers, and there was simply no space in the medical literature for yet another publication. Moreover, as coeditor of Maturitas, along with Dr. Pieter van Keep, Dr. Utian had a conflict of interest. This was resolved by Dr. Utian’ s resignation from that publication in 1993, coinciding with the approval of the NAMS board of trustees to go ahead with its own journal.
The NAMS board of trustees made a firm commitment to the development of a journal that would be valuable to its members, to healthcare professionals, and to society in general. The goal was to have Menopause become the academic journal that every professional would go to for the latest information on research in the field. From the outset, Menopause was planned to be multidisciplinary, including fields as diverse as medicine, nursing, anthropology, basic science, aging, psychiatry, nutrition, and more. As the official NAMS journal, Menopause was to include articles from the entire world, but with English as the primary language.
As also documented in the 2013 editorial, the simple task was to find a publisher. Despite rejections from some of the big-name publishers, Raven Press agreed to take us on and was extremely helpful in guiding us through the pregnancy and birth of Menopause. Even simpler was the consideration of cover design and format. There was already a well-known “green journal” and “gray journal,” so why not launch a “red journal”? The more difficult task, however, was to find an editor-in-chief. Dr. Utian agreed to serve as editor but could not assume major responsibility for the journal and administer NAMS as well. Dr. Rogerio Lobo from Columbia University was given the unenviable task of approaching Dr. Isaac Schiff at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School to persuade him to accept the enormous task of serving as the editor-in-chief of Menopause.3
Whatever negotiating skills Dr. Lobo used remain unknown, but Dr. Schiff accepted the position and has held it for 25 years.
Menopause has achieved exceptional success and growth. The first issue had eight scientific papers in its 64 pages.