Welcome to MedInfo2017
On behalf of the Editorial Committee (EC) for MedInfo2017, please accept our warm welcome to Hangzhou to celebrate the art and science of informatics in a truly breath-taking venue and with colleagues from around the world.
Learning from the experience of prior chairs
Learning from prior work and the experience of those who walked the path before is invaluable when embarking on a new venture. The first emails and calls after receiving word of my nomination to be EC chair were to prior chairs Christoph U. Lehmann (MedInfo2013) and Indra Neil Sarkar (MedInfo2015). While assuring me that this was a task that could be done (as they had so wonderfully demonstrated!), they did tell me that it was a huge effort that would take time, resources, and patience. It would be worth all the effort, they added. I am grateful to them for their guidance and gracious sharing of their experiences and lessons learned.
Starting with assisting the Scientific Program Committee (SPC) to bring out the call for papers, to witnessing the submissions start to come in as a trickle and end with an avalanche, to planning and executing the copy editing and formatting of the accepted papers and posters, the journey has been an interesting one to say the least.
First, let me start by saying what a great opportunity it has been to serve the international informatics community through MedInfo2017. It is an extraordinary honor to be able to chair the EC and I am grateful to the leadership of MedInfo2017 and the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA) for their trust in me.
Second, I must acknowledge that it has truly been a great experience, as my predecessors had indicated it would be. Conceptualizing and executing the process of copy editing and formatting of nearly 400 five-page papers and one-page posters is a daunting task. I was ably assisted by two senior associate editors who are two amazing informatics students and rising stars in the field: Shauna Overgaard (University of Minnesota) and Kate Fultz Hollis (Oregon Health & Science University). Brainstorming, planning, and finally executing the work of the EC became a pleasure and I looked forward to our weekly conference calls to assess progress and resolve issues.
Third, working with Shauna and Kate, we recruited 41 outstanding associate editors (AEs) who then set out to copy edit and check the formatting of the accepted submissions. We set-up a multi-phase, cross-over plan wherein one AE would perform the editing and formatting and later another AE would review the work and revise as needed. The third phase involved the senior AEs reviewing the submissions and finally, I personally reviewed each and every submission and then finalized the documents for the proceedings.
The editorial task is not trivial; the authors represent all continents (except Antarctica), and hail from varied backgrounds and professions, stages of training and career, and thereby epitomize a wide-range of experience in our field. Imagine a multifaceted channel in which technical research findings are communicated, by diverse researchers, often through a language barrier, to a diverse audience, who have been instructed to write academically in the official language of MedInfo (English). Now, add to that the requirement to adhere to a strict template (that is of paramount importance for uniformity and layout for the publishers). Indeed, this sets the stage for our work. But, be certain that it is undeniably humbling to experience the breadth, depth, and quality of the work presented by authors at MedInfo2017 and the proficiency with which their findings are communicated to an international audience.
The credit for preparing the submissions for the official conference proceedings goes to the the AE team, the senior AEs, and the Editorial Committee. Even through a process where at least four individuals have reviewed a submission, it is possible that we may have missed a word here or formatting there. We offer our apologies for any inadvertent errors in the final proceedings.
The final stretch
It truly takes a village to complete such a large task. We acknowledge and thank the publishers, IOS Press, for their work on the proceedings. Paul Weij has been a great ally in this venture: offering advice and guidance on the technical aspects and being patient with us while we asked many questions and ultimately delivered the final files. Our thanks to the entire IOS Press team for their professional work and service with a smile. The VP of MedInfo2017, Kaija Saranto, has been an ardent supporter from the beginning. The SPC co-chairs, Elizabeth Borycki and Niels Peek, have been invaluable in their support and gracious with their advice in helping the EC complete its work. A special thanks and shout-out to Elaine Huesing, CEO, IMIA for her help in counseling and patiently guiding me through the work of the EC. Our thanks to Yongqin Huang (Chair), Emmett Huang (Vice-Chair), and the entire local organizing committee for their guidance in finalizing the proceedings. Our thanks to the two EC members, Dongsheng Zhao (China) and Marie-Christine Jaulent (France) for their involvement and culturally appropriate advice. And finally, listed in Table 1 are the AEs that spent countless hours reviewing, formatting, and copy-editing the nearly 400 papers and posters that make up the official MedInfo2017 conference proceedings.
Table 1 – Our dynamic and enthusiastic Assistant Editors for MedInfo2017
Assistant Editor (AE) / Institution
Abu Saleh Mohammad Mosa / University of Missouri School of Medicine, USA
Bryan Steitz / Vanderbilt University, USA
Celena B. Peters / VA Salt Lake City Health Care System and University of Utah School of Medicine, USA
Chen Liang / Louisiana Tech University, USA
Danny T. Y. Wu / University of Cincinnati, USA
David Chartash / Indiana University School of Medicine, USA
Doug Redd / George Washington University, USA
Andreas Triantafyllidis / Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH), Greece
Florence Femi Odekunle / Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, USA
Elizabeth A. Lindemann / University of Minnesota, USA
Feichen Shen / Mayo Clinic, USA
Grace Gao / University of Minnesota and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholar Program, USA
Gregory W Hruby / Mount Sinai Medical Center, USA
Hyunggu Jung / University of Washington, USA
Jacob P. VanHouten / Vanderbilt University Medical Center, USA
Jenna Levenson Brager / Johns Hopkins University, USA
Jennifer Staley / Kent State University, USA
Kate Fultz Hollis (Senior AE) / Oregon Health & Science University, USA
Lacey Lewis / Veterans Health Administration, USA
Lisiane Pruinelli / University of Minnesota, USA
Lucy Lu Wang / University of Washington, USA
Marjorie E. Carter / University of Utah School of Medicine, USA
Mattias Georgsson / Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden
Maurine Tong / University Medical Center, USA
Preethi Srinivas / Regenstrief Institute Inc., USA
Rafeek Adeyemi Yusuf / University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, USA
Ranyah Aldekhyyel / University of Minnesota, USA and King Saud University, Saudi Arabia
Rashmi Mishra / National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, USA
Ryan A. McInerney / Queens University, Canada
Satish M. Mahajan / Veterans Health Administration, USA
Scott McGrath / University of Nebraska at Omaha, USA
Shauna M. Overgaard (Senior AE) / University of Minnesota, USA
Sripriya Rajamani / University of Minnesota, USA
Stacey Slager / VA Salt Lake City Health Care System and University of Utah School of Medicine, USA
Taya Irizarry / University of Pittsburgh, USA
Tiffany I. Leung / Maastricht University, The Netherlands
Tiffany J. Callahan / University of Colorado Denver, USA
Todd Lingren / University of Cincinnati, USA
Vignesh Subbian / University of Arizona, USA
Warren B P Pettey / VA Salt Lake City Health Care System and University of Utah School of Medicine, USA
Yanshan Wang / Mayo Clinic, USA
Yiye Zhang / Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University, USA
Zhe He / Florida State University, USA
As this editing experience carries prestige, is an enjoyable challenge, and is highly valuable for the CV, several members of the team have served as AEs for two and even three years. They have our gratitude and the satisfaction of having contributed to a worthy academic venture that will be read and cited for years to come. We have learned a few more lessons to add to the playbook created many years ago by our predecessors.
To the next MedInfo team, we wish you good luck and you know where to find us.
With warm regards and best wishes for a productive and successful MedInfo2017,
Adi V. Gundlapalli, MD, PhD, MS
Chair, Editorial Committee