Behind the Scenes at IEEE Pulse

Since taking the helm of IEEE Pulse in January 2014, I am very proud of how we have built on the solid journalistic foundation constructed by former Editor-in-Chief Mike Neuman to broaden the scope, increase the visibility, and heighten the global impact of the magazine. This has been accomplished, in part, through an expanded editorial calendar and monthly publishing with our new Web magazine format, in addition to our bimonthly print edition. The Web magazine gives us greater editorial flexibility in how we communicate with our global readership, including the ability for readers to provide feedback to the editorial staff and comments to the authors through blog commentary for each article. Another benefit we intend to expand upon is the inclusion of articles with enhanced audiovisual features that provide additional ways to communicate the latest news in biomedical engineering.

My goal since taking the helm is to make IEEE Pulse the leading and most trusted global source of information on all aspects of biomedical engineering. The high quality of our articles derives directly from the experience and expertise of our editorial staff, contributing authors, guest editors, and staff writers. You may have noticed we have doubled and strengthened our editorial staff through the addition of Associate Editor Pam Reynolds, a seasoned editor and award-winning magazine writer. Her background and skills nicely complement the in-depth experience of Associate Editor Cynthia Weber. Deputy Editor-in-Chief Ahmed Morsy and an expanded Regional Editorial Board bring to the magazine the global perspective, feedback, and input to provide a broader view that we hope further enhances the value of the magazine to our readers.

Our selection criteria for the individuals we invite to contribute articles or be a guest editor is rigorous. We only ask those individuals who are recognized experts in their fields and are capable of accessing the input of other experts to ensure every article and issue meets the high standards of our editorial staff and the IEEE. Finally, we strive to make every article published in IEEE Pulse accessible to our broad and eclectic readership, and to do so, we have greatly expanded and geographically diversified our staff writing pool. Who are these individuals? They are seasoned writers, like Shannon Fischer, who have honed their writing skills to be able to communicate complex ideas in science and technology to a technically savvy nonexpert audience. Not only do they write for IEEE Pulse, but they also contribute articles to other prestigious magazines like Scientific American, New Scientist, and National Geographic News.

All these changes and improvements have begun to bear fruit. IEEE Pulse won a 2014 APEX Award for Publication Excellence and will strive to continue this excellence throughout 2015. Since the launch of the Web magazine, we have had 37,122 visitors to the Website, with a consistent 60/40 split between new and returning users and a cumulative 105,274 page views. The feedback we’ve received from readers has lauded the high quality and accessibility of the writing.

We have an exceptionally vibrant editorial calendar for 2015 based on an eclectic and fascinating lineup of topics ranging from reproductive health (the focus of our January/February 2015 issue) to the latest trends in medical simulation (coming in July) to how biomedical engineering is impacting our ability to engineer beauty via cosmetic surgery (on the Web in June). Later in the year, we have planned a few issues around the impact advances in biomedical engineering has made in augmenting our five senses: sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste. Clearly, IEEE Pulse has something for everyone!

I’d like to conclude my editorial with an observation and a request. IEEE Pulse exists to serve the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society membership and the greater global biomedical engineering community by providing unbiased, informative, and accurate information as well as informed opinions on all aspects of biomedical engineering. Our goal is to become the trusted and “go-to” source to learn about the latest biomedical engineering trends and to be a springboard for further learning on any given biomedical engineering topic. Our articles speak to established biomedical engineers, undergraduate and graduate students, and the larger, technically knowledgeable but nonexpert lay audience. My request is for you, the reader, to become more involved. We welcome your ideas on new topics and articles and encourage you to comment and interact with the articles we publish through the commentary blog available with each article. For the more adventurous, we welcome new bloggers to voice their opinions on topics aligned with the editorial focus of the magazine.

IEEE Pulse is your magazine—we welcome your input and involvement!

  • Monica Mahre

    I am writing on behalf of our collaborative research team from the University of Minnesota (Paul Iaizzo, PhD, Tinen Iles, MS), Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (Dave Garshelis, PhD, Mark Ditmer, PhD), and Medtronic PLC (Tim Laske, PhD). For nearly 20 years, this team has focused on characterizing the physiology underlying the remarkable ability of bear hibernation. In northern latitudes, wild black bears hibernate for 4-6 months with no food, water, or significant activity, yet they maintain muscle strength and “fight or flight” capability. Research efforts focus on the heart: Does it shrink during hibernation? Does it function differently? How is energy conserved? The three researchers have pooled their thoughts related to the challenges of field research, the evolution of technology used over two decades to assess cardiac function (i.e., EKG, echo, implantable cardiac devices, wireless devices), and their most notable findings about bear physiology. Further, they envision the next generation technology required to regularly transmit detailed physiological data from the bears and the collection of “big data,” issues similar to those faced in telemedicine in humans.

    Dr. Iaizzo expressed interest in publishing in IEEE Pulse. Is this topic one that would be relevant to your audience? The authors drafted a manuscript that I could share, if interested. Please let me know.