The publication of the first issue of the Romanian Journal of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care in May 1994 represented an important step for promoting scientific research among Romanian anaesthesiologists. In Romania, the medical specialty of anaesthesia was recognized as an independent specialty in 1957. A scientific society (Societatea Română de Anestezie şi Terapie Intensivă – SRATI) was founded in 1972. However, during the period of Communist rule prior to 1989, when a strict control of publishing activity was installed and dictated by the political authorities, publication of the specialty’s own journal was disapproved, in spite of many efforts.
In the free-speech publishing environment that started after 1989, many medical journals were founded; among them, the Romanian Journal of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care (Jurnalul Societăţii Române de Anestezie şi Terapie Intensivă ISSN 1582-652X) was born as the official journal of the SRATI. However, the lounch of a scientific journal proved to be a difficult task. Aside from the lack of formal research and publication experience of the Romanian authors and the low number of quality manuscripts submitted by the Romanian anaesthesiologists, the limited financial resources of the Society delayed the publication of the journal by one year. The Journal’s inaugural publication was made possible by the generous support offered by colleague anaesthesiologists from many European countries. The first issue was warmly welcomed by Wolfgang Dick, President of the European Academy of Anaesthesiology and Jean-Louis Vincent, President of the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine, and a message of encouragement was sent by Sywan Lim, President of the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists (WFSA). The articles were written in Romanian, with abstracts in both Romanian and English. Well-known anaesthesiologists sent manuscripts to support the journal; some were translated in Romanian but most of them were published in English. We translated and then published guidelines and other educational materials acquired with the permission of the European Society of Anaesthesiology (ESA). Important documents released by ESA and the Union of European Medical Specialties (UEMS) Board of Anaesthesiology, such as the 2010 Helsinki Declaration, were also translated into Romanian and published in the Journal.
In 2002, the Journal changed its name to “Jurnalul Român de Anestezie Terapie Intensivă” (ISSN 2344-2336) to better reflect its primary purpose. It continued to be published in Romanian, with abstracts in both Romanian and English, while 1-2 articles/issue were published in English only. We encouraged all Romanian authors to submit manuscripts written in English, and gradually the number of articles in English increased. The homepage has been written in English (www.jurnalul-anestezie.ro), and is accessible freely on-line; it was established in 2007 with the aim of widening its readership and promoting the Journal abroad. It contained: the Journal title, the title and abstracts of all published articles and the full text of articles in English. In 2008, the Journal benefited from the addition of an international editorial board of 8 members, which was subsequently enlarged to the current 22 members. The number of articles published in English increased, facilitating the inclusion of international experts tasked with reviewing the submitted manuscripts. The peer review enhanced the quality of the publications, stimulated additional original research, and eventually led to the indexing of the Journal in the Elsevier Bibliographic Database (EMBASE and SCOPUS) in 2009, and in the Romanian Ministry of Education CNCSIS B+ database.
In 2014, in order to both increase the Journal’s readership internationally, and to attract a broader base of submissions, the Board decided to publish the Journal entirely in English, under the new name, “The Romanian Journal of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care” (ISSN 2392-7518). A native English-speaker editor has been recruited to assist non-native English-speaking authors with style and grammar, and a statistical editor was also added to the editorial process.
When the Journal was first launched, many other medical journals followed; unfortunately, not all of them survived. Thanks to its international assistance, the Romanian Journal of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care is one of the survivors.