Am Fam Physician. 1998;57(4):602
Perhaps a little-appreciated aspect of publishing a journal is the work involved in piecing together the jigsaw puzzle of articles and advertisements that make up each issue. What does it take to produce 20 issues a year of a journal like AFP? To start with, it takes the dedication and wizardry of a talented production manager. For us, that person is Kathy Mayfield.
With nearly 34 years of service, Kathy is AFP's longest-tenured staff member. She joined the staff in June 1964, starting out as an advertising production assistant, then serving as editorial production supervisor, assistant production manager and, finally, production manager, her title for the past 20 years. What exactly does a production manager do? Kathy works behind the scenes, making sure that each issue is put together right and put together on time. Along with her production staff of six, Kathy juggles a multitude of responsibilities, including advertising coordination, graphic design and countless other production aspects of AFP.
At any given time, Kathy may be found handling artwork, making suggestions to improve the design of an algorithm, figuring out how the parts of an article will fit together, dealing with a paper supplier, coordinating work with the pre-press film supplier, scheduling a job with the printer, or talking with an advertiser who wants to make a last-minute change in the size of an ad. In the very next moment, she may be figuring out how hundreds of pieces of article content and advertising will mesh together in the next issue, or compiling a report that provides thousands of details on how to print the issue now being readied for the printer. In other words, Kathy is real busy.
When Kathy first started working for AFP, then called GP, she helped produce 12 issues of the journal per year. Since then, we've woven into the yearly production schedule eight additional issues of AFP and 10 issues of Family Practice Management, along with monographs and dozens of other projects. Throughout all the challenges, Kathy's motto has remained unchanged—“Sure, we can do it!”
Kathy's boundless energy, eye for detail and remarkable common sense, in addition to her contagious enthusiasm and her never-ending patience and sense of humor in her dealings with editors and others, have been key factors in AFP's ability to bring readers the quality they expect.