Journal of Human Lactation and the Future of Inside Track – May 2012 Edition

Written by Anne Merewood, PhD, MPH, IBCLC, Editor of JHL

The May Journal of Human Lactation (JHL) will soon hit the web and the postal service – and contains some very cool new papers, to put it scientifically. But first….wait….there is no Inside Track! What is going on? Fear not! Inside Track will be back!

As new Editor in Chief at JHL, in full cooperation and agreement with the ILCA Board and the Publications Committee, I decided to make Inside Track peer reviewed. This means from now on, Inside Tracks must be submitted directly to JHL via the regular submission site, and as with any other paper, will be sent out for review to expert reviewers who will not know who wrote it. It has taken us a while to set this up, which is why there is no Inside Track in May. The next Inside Track has already been reviewed and will appear in JHL in August.

Why did JHL do this? Frankly, JHL’s editorial staff are not experts on everything. Some Inside Tracks are about specialized subjects beyond our experience, and as with all other papers, there is a need for true experts with in-depth knowledge in their field to review them. These may be patient handouts, but especially because they are in JHL, they have the weight of an evidence-based, academic journal behind them and they need to be watertight.

Does this mean Inside Track will change? No – from the reader’s perspective, there will be little, if any, noticeable change to Inside Track. However, because we hope to draw from a wider pool of writers, we hope to have a broader cultural perspective than has been previously available.

Will there be fewer Inside Tracks? Hopefully not – we are aiming for 1 per issue, but we depend on you, our ILCA membership, to write them.

Who can write an Inside Track? YOU! At least 1 author must be an IBCLC, and the lead author must be an ILCA member (if the lead author is not an ILCA member on submission, they must join ILCA prior to its publication). Inside Track seeks to promote the IBCLC and to foster new writers among ILCA members.

How do I get started? We have created some guidelines for writing an Inside Track. Email the office at for the guidelines.

How long will it take between submission and appearing in print? This depends on how many changes the reviewers want, but an average would be 4-6 months.

I would love to have a go at this but what if I get rejected? Please – have a go. We will work with writers. Just be sure you are using current evidence and follow the guidelines.

Where can I learn more about this? The JHL Special Interest Group at the ILCA conference will devote some time to writing Inside Tracks.

JHL’s New look

And as for the cool papers in the May issue of the JHL

Have you ever wondered what rates of exclusive breastfeeding in the hospital might look like if you really counted every single feed? Have you pondered whether the WIC data about breastfeeding, based on what food package women receive, accurately reflects breastfeeding status of WIC clients? How much weight do infants born by cesarean section lose, and are unsupplemented babies under 6 months at risk of severe vitamin D deficiency? The May issue of JHL has original research papers addressing all these questions, offering some answers, and raising plenty more questions!

In addition, May sees the introduction of a new section: Insights in Policy, so this issue has publications under Insights in Practice, and Insights in Policy, both on the theme of donor milk in the NICU.

RoundTable returns with a discussion on alternative feeding methods in many different nations, and we feature selected abstracts from the Nordic conference and workshop held last September in Uppsala. Check it out!

Please watch this space, the info will be in ILCA’s Lactation Matters!

Anne Merewood PhD, MPH, IBCLC, Editor of JHL
Director, The Breastfeeding Center, Boston Medical Center
Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine
Division of General Pediatrics
Boston, MA 02118


Journal of Human Lactation

Journal of Human Lactation (JHL) is a quarterly, peer-reviewed journal publishing original research, commentaries relating to human lactation and breastfeeding behavior, case reports relevant to the practicing lactation consultant and other health professionals who assist lactating mothers or their breastfeeding infants, debate on research methods for breastfeeding and lactation studies, and discussions of the business aspects of lactation consulting

Impact Factor: 1.329
Ranked: 54 out of 109 in Pediatrics, 50 out of 77 in Obstetrics & Gynecology and 21 out of 89 in Nursing

Source: 2010 Journal Citation Reports® (Thomson Reuters, 2011)

One Response to Journal of Human Lactation and the Future of Inside Track – May 2012 Edition

  1. ECBrooks 25 April 2012 at 15:03 #

    The Inside Track columns are consistently, hugely popular with members, and the mothers they serve. They are so easy to understand, and freely accessible! These changes will only enhance their usefulness. Thank you Anne and JHL!

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