Dear Friends and Colleagues,
I hope this finds you all well – I have several exciting updates for you. Let’s dive in.
Journal Publications and Membership Fees:
As most of you know, for many years Wiley has served as the publisher for the flagship journals of the ISMRM: Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (MRM) and Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (JMRI). With many thanks to Roberta Kravitz, our Executive Director, I am pleased to announce that, the Society has negotiated a 5-year renewal of the Wiley contract to continue to publish JMRI and MRM.
Under the current contract, members are charged $50 per digital journal, and Full Members are required to subscribe to at least one journal as part of their membership dues. The new Wiley contract, however, now brings significant benefits to you as members including free digital access to both MRM and JMRI. For this reason, it is with great pleasure that I announce that the Society will pass along the entire $50 savings to our members, reducing Full Membership from $270 USD to $220 USD and providing free digital subscriptions to both journals for all members of both the ISMRM and ISMRT. This represents a $100 USD value to all of our members. Exciting!
In addition to reduced membership fees, members who publish articles in MRM and JMRI will now enjoy a 50% reduction in open access fees, previously a 25% reduction.
Given the challenging economic environment with rampant inflation and tightening budgets, I think we’d all agree this is welcome news that bucks against the rapidly increasing prices we all feel in every other facet of life.
ISMRM + One:
Despite the economic hardships that many face, many of us are blessed with fortunate economic circumstances. For this reason, the Society will be launching a new membership drive this fall to support the recruitment and retention of trainee members.
Did you know that current membership dues for trainees is $50 – serendipitously, the same as the savings from the new Wiley contract?
Will you consider investing in the future of our Society by supporting the membership of one trainee by passing on your $50 membership savings to someone in greater need?
Please look for the formal announcement and details of this membership drive coming soon with the annual membership renewal! Invoices to be sent by the first week of December.
Standardized Measures and Benchmarks:
Have you ever bought a new automobile or refrigerator? Did you do a head-to-head comparison of technical specifications such as gas mileage, electricity consumption, horsepower or cooling power? We take it for granted that such comparisons are possible using standardized metrics and benchmarks provided by industry standards organization such as ISO. Behind these measures are also standardized procedures that manufacturers agree to follow.
Unfortunately, given the continued rapid evolution of MR technology, standardized measures and benchmarks are often lacking in our field. It becomes difficult for to compare the technical performance of MR systems, such as gradient performance and magnet homogeneity. When scientific papers report spatial resolution of a new imaging method, do we know what spatial resolution really means?
This lack of a common understanding of performance metrics is detrimental to scientific progress and reproducible research, because a lack of common measures, standards and benchmarks leads to poor communication and an inability to compare “apples to apples”. This also has enormous implications for the effective translation of innovation into clinical care.
As we move into an era of machine learning based image reconstruction and increasingly non-linear systems, how will we objectively assess fundamentals such as image quality and diagnostic confidence? How do we incorporate what a radiologist might see in an image into a standardized metric that facilitates comparison of new technologies or provide robust quality assurance of clinical MR systems?
These are difficult questions to answer, but our Society, with its remarkable depth of talent, expertise and decades of experience, is better suited than any other organization in the world to address these challenges. What we need now are governance mechanisms and processes that harness the creativity, energy and innovation of our members to develop and codify technical performance standards, metrics, and procedures. Only in this way will we be able to speak the same language, and work together to further the advancement of science and clinical dissemination of magnetic resonance.
As I had previously announced, a new ad hoc committee on Standardized Measures and Benchmarks, led by Jim Pipe, PhD, has been formed. Dr. Pipe has since put together a blue-ribbon panel of experts to define the scope, purview and governance structure of a new permanent ISMRM committee that will enable members and Study Groups to develop technical performance metrics and standardized procedures that will serve as the basis for improved communication to enhance scientific progress and translation.
Directly related to this effort, I am also pleased that the ISMRM Workshop on Data Sampling & Image Reconstruction which will be held on 8-11 January 2023 in Sedona, Arizona, will host a dedicated session on “Standards & Benchmarks” to kickstart ideas and innovation towards this larger initiative. Check out the workshop webpage for details on how you can participate. I would encourage you to submit your ideas and attend the workshop which promises to have stimulating discussion with experts from around the world.
Abstracts and Toronto:
Finally, the call for abstracts for the ISMRM has already been announced. Be sure to mark 9 November 2022 on your calendars and start putting together your exciting scientific work now. As Dr. Agarwal noted in her blog post, please also note the exciting addition of educational abstracts this year. We would invite all members of the society including physicists, engineers, and in particular our clinical colleagues to prepare educational poster material to pass on all of your expertise in the technical, scientific, and clinical aspects of magnetic resonance to increase the depth of educational content of our annual meeting.
That is all for now. Be well, take care, and good luck with your abstract submissions for the Annual Meeting in Toronto 2023.
Scott B. Reeder, MD, PhD, FISMRM
2022-2023 ISMRM President