The Golden Circle in Scandinavian Anaesthesiology

The Acta Foundation, the journal Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica, and the society SSAI


The Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica Foundation (Acta Foundation) was established 1995 with the main goal of creating the financial basis for publication of Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica (Acta). Acta is the official journal of the Scandinavian Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine (SSAI) but the Acta Foundation has been entrusted to run the business on behalf of the SSAI and the Acta Foundation is financially totally separated from the SSAI. The Acta Foundation should therefore be considered as a company that runs its own budget and it must operate according to Danish business legislation, including taxation as well as annual audit by a public accountant.

The practical aspects of journal production are carried out by Wiley-Blackwell which is a part of the large company John Wiley & Sons. Wiley publishes nearly 1,500 peer-reviewed journals and the cooperation is necessary to comply with current requirements as well as technical aspects. Acta generates an income that is shared with Wiley-Blackwell and another income results from investments of the Acta Foundation capital. The necessary costs of the editorial work are covered by these sources but there is a surplus. This allows the Acta Foundation to support the secondary aims, including scientific development of anaesthesiology in the Scandinavian countries with promotion of cooperation between anaesthesiologists in Scandinavia.

During the years, the Acta Foundation has supported numerous activities by allocating grants. First of all, this has enabled the establishment of educational activities with a growing number of postgraduate training programs for the members of the SSAI. This alone has been funded by several mio DKR. In addition, it has been possible to support guideline development, the SSAI congress publications, and specific research activities.

The SSAI is a society based on the national societies of anaesthesiology and intensive care medicine in Scandinavia. The objectives of SSAI are to promote and encourage the academic and clinical development of that medical speciality and to achieve and maintain a high level of quality in the Scandinavian countries. The aims are therefore quite broad and include safeguarding the professional interests of the speciality anaesthesiology, being a forum in Scandinavia for scientific discussions and co-operation, and to encourage exchange of ideas in the fields of anaesthesia, intensive care medicine, pain therapy, emergency medicine and pre-hospital care. Medical education and training have been prioritised with organisation of postgraduate courses and clinical training programmes. Finally, the SSAI aims to prepare proposals for joint Scandinavian quality standards and evidence based recommen¬dations and guidelines for good clinical practice.

The SSAI congress is arranged as an international scientific congress every second year in rotation among the member countries. The SSAI has an income on its own since the members pay a membership fee and the SSAI congress also generates a surplus. The expenses are primarily related to meetings held by the different committees and the SSAI board.

We hope this description has illustrated the differences between the Acta Foundation, which is a business responsible for the journal, and the SSAI, being a society with much broader focus.

Lars S Rasmussen, Editor-in-Chief, Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica
Ivar Gøthgen, manager, Acta Foundation