The occasion of the acceptance of the American Journal of Transplantation by the National Library of Medicine allows us to reflect on the remarkable success of this new journal. It has outstripped expectations of a new journal in terms of both submitted manuscripts and interest of advertisers, and is now one of the most successful new journal launches by Blackwell Munksgaard in recent years. It is fitting to reflect on what this has entailed.
The single characteristic that defines the remarkable success of the AJT project is trust. It is said about trust that it is a process that requires people to rely on complex, abstract systems of knowledge, expertise and social organization beyond their full understanding or control.
From a publisher's point of view, a dynamic parallel to the above consists of a variety of people and agents: AST and ASTS; Dr Halloran, his editorial team and their reviewers; the contributors, readers, and subscribers; the pharmaceutical industry, as well as the publisher. AJT represents a cluster of thousands of different people with separate agendas and backgrounds that communicate in the journal project because they trust it. A process wherein everybody involved is a stakeholder. Many people in many countries and continents gave their time to this unproven project because they believed in it.
Now, this trust has come to include the indexing services MEDLINE and Index Medicus of NLM. This inclusion is a paramount step towards developing the credibility, attraction and usefulness of AJT towards a much larger group of people.
AJT has gone farther within the first two years of publication than many had imagined when we first started, but we still have a long way to go. Sociologist, Diego Gambetta writes: ‘Asking too little of trust is just as ill advised as asking too much’. In a similar fashion, we want to use this opportunity to ask you all to continue trusting AJT, but ask that you avoid thinking of AJT's success as a self-sustainable organism. Indeed, the journal truly relies on your involvement. The trust in AJT is a social dynamic that must be continuously developed and nurtured. If we accomplish this, the success and leadership of the journal will be as certain as it was initially unpredictable. AJT is alive and well, and headed in the direction of premier leadership.