Shaping dermatology one word at a time ... one word at a time

September 1, 2007

Little did June K. Robinson, M.D., know - when she was in charge of layout for her high school yearbook - that she would one day oversee the content of the oldest and, arguably, most powerful peer-reviewed journal in dermatology.

Little did June K. Robinson, M.D., know - when she was in charge of layout for her high school yearbook - that she would one day oversee the content of the oldest and, arguably, most powerful peer-reviewed journal in dermatology.

Today, after more than 30 years in academic dermatologic practice, Dr. Robinson is editor of the Archives of Dermatology.

She says the editorial post that she accepted in 2003 with the American Medical Association journal has been life-changing.

Her stamps

Dr. Robinson has put her footprint on the iconic journal.

She and associate editor Jeffrey Callen, M.D., introduced to dermatology journals mandatory clinical trial registration for pharmaceuticals and devices (Clinical Trial Registration: A step forward in providing transparency for the positive and negative results of clinical trials. Arch Dermatol. 2005:141:175).

"This means that the results of clinical trials are available on the Web to all at http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/. It aids the public in assessing whether to consider a therapeutic agent, and researchers can use it to develop their next concepts. This puts adverse events on the Web," Dr. Robinson tells Dermatology Times.

The professor of clinical dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, has done her part to modernize the journal process, taking the Archives to a Web-based manuscript submission, review and publication process.

Source of pride

Dr. Robinson says she takes pride in two aspects of editing: publishing the best, most clinically relevant studies - and publishing them first.

"My aim is to be at the leading edge of the breaking sciences," she says.

Learning curve

Her four years at the Archives has been a learning process.

Dr. Robinson says that early on, as editor, she published some studies that she now calls, "me, too."

"They confirmed other people's work. They are nice and well-done, but they do not make a big contribution to the literature," she says.

Every manuscript sent to the Archives of Dermatology first passes by Dr. Robinson's computer screen. She says she looks for clinical relevance. She looks at the study's originality, reliability and design. She is strict about complete disclosure.