Ambulatory Surgery


The ‘Ambulatory Surgery’ Bibliography
Mark Skues, Editor in Chief, Ambulatory Surgery.




The Journal Ambulatory Surgery has been disseminated for twenty two years by a variety of publishers, before being adopted by the International Association for Ambulatory Surgery in (year) and disseminated online at php/current-and-past-content. The available downloads provide a valuable resource of the progress and development of the sub-speciality on an international basis, yet, to date, there has been no easily accessible dataset that allows simple interrogation by author(s) or keyword(s) and subsequent filtering of output. This paper describes the development of such a bibliography and its subsequent publication on the website.

Materials and Methods

The bibliography was constructed by firstly considering the software program most suitable for upload from the IAAS website, and then identify the fields that would best encapsulate the search process. Given that the author utilises an Apple MacBook Pro as a laptop computer for editorial management of ‘Ambulatory Surgery’, and that to date, there is no true database available on the Mac platform, a decision was made to use Microsoft Excel as a searchable spreadsheet. Excel has a presence on Mac computers as part of the “Office for Mac” Programme suite for which programming could be developed. The data fields for searching needed to include authors’ names, title of the paper, reference within ‘Ambulatory Surgery’ as a minimum, to which could also be added, keyword(s), country of origin, and direct download address for individual papers. Keyword identification proved to be something of an issue, as while published papers have keywords within their rubric, abstracts published from IAAS international congresses do not. It was therefore decided that words by which the database might be searched should be a part of the title of the paper. Information was then downloaded from the IAAS website, with harmonisation of Authors’ names to initials and given surname, country of origin (where cited), title of paper, reference for the paper, and direct access download from the spreadsheet. Abstract publications were also included in the dataset where they were either published in the Journal, or available elsewhere on the website, that are shown in Table 1. They were separated from full papers in the bibliography by the use of a red font in the reference column. Search criteria on the main page were programmed using  ‘macros’ to filter for name or keyword.

How to use the spreadsheet
a) Download from the IAAS website
The programme can be found at the foot of this webpage. Clicking on the link provided will download a zipped file of the spreadsheet.
b) Opening the Program
Double clicking on the icon will automatically open the spreadsheet, with a warning about macros prior to initialisation (Figure 1).
The spreadsheet has been screened and validated as being virus free, so click on the left hand icon,” Enable Macros”. The program will then display the opening page, within which are two writable boxes seeking input on either ‘Author’ or ‘Keyword’. In this example, the name “Skues” is entered in the Author box. (Figure 2).
Pressing the icon, “Search for Author” will result in a new page being displayed, showing the search results that are filtered to contain the name of the entered author (Figure 3). 
Scrolling to the right across the tab of the spreadsheet will reveal the title of the publication, the reference that is in a red font if the publication is an abstract, and a direct link to the original paper on the IAAS website, which when clicked, will download the original publication and display it in the native web browser. To access papers using the keyword function, enter a desired word or phrase into the “Keyword” box on the main page, and the programme will automatically filter publications with those words within the title of the paper or abstract. 
The journal Ambulatory Surgery has been in existence since 1993 with the first publishers being Butterworth Heinemann, who in 1995 co-published with Elsevier, before becoming an imprint of Elsevier in 2006. The journal was transferred to the auspices of the International Association for Ambulatory Surgery in 2007, with subsequent dissemination facilitated from the IAAS website ( Development of the spreadsheet took approximately 300 hours to complete, with a total of one thousand, nine hundred and ninety seven publications collated. The top twenty countries of origin are shown in Table 2, with England contributing 297 publications since inception of the Journal, 164 of which were full papers. Comparison of the percentage of full papers with the total number written reveals that Canada, the United States and England had the highest proportion of papers published with 80%, 60% and 55% respectively. This may be a reflection of the fact that a Journal published using the English language is more likely to attract full papers from countries where English is the native tongue. Alternative explanations may be the existence of other national journals for Ambulatory Surgery to which manuscripts are submitted, or the relative profusion of Editors for this journal who are English language speakers.
Journals with an ‘on-line’ presence invariably have a search feature that facilitates identification and download of relevant manuscripts, though most of these are a subscription based service. The development of this bibliography provides a resource where it is hoped both established and aspirant authors can search the existing literature database of this journal to evaluate the viability of proposed submissions and to establish cross references for existing papers. Similarly, the profusion of abstracts provides a fertile environment for exploring the potential for further work for those involved with care of the ambulatory surgery patient.

Click here to download the bibliography of Ambulatory Surgery prepared by Dr Mark Skues.