Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, 2002
We write to provide a progress report for Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biololgy, to provide data about some important trends and to thank several groups of people for their continued help. The goals of the Journal remain unchanged: to publish high-quality papers, provide timely review and publication, and publish papers that are of special interest to our readers.
Publication of High-Quality Papers
One key criterion for publication is the scientific validity of the conclusions, as evaluated by expert reviewers, the Editorial Board, and the Editors. A second criterion, which is more subjective, is the evaluation of the novelty and likely importance of papers. In decisions about scientific validity and importance (or priority), the Editors rely heavily on the advice of expert reviewers.
Nevertheless, assessment of the importance and quality of papers that are published is challenging. One benchmark is the impact factor. The latest available data (for 2000) indicate that the impact factor of ATVB and other journals that focus on atherosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology has fluctuated during the past five years but, in general, has remained relatively constant (Figure 1). These data do not reflect the long-term, gradual increase in impact factor of ATVB during the past two decades. Compared with other journals in this area of research, it is clear that ATVB is an appropriate forum to publish excellent papers in the area.
During the past year, the Editors and the American Heart Association have provided to the lay press papers that we thought would have wide interest. As a result, several papers that have been published in ATVB have received extensive coverage and attention. We believe that this approach provides an important service in relation to public education.
Timely Review and Publication
One of our goals is to provide rapid, expert review of manuscripts that are submitted to the Journal. The average time from receipt of new manuscripts to first decision, and notification of authors, has decreased substantially in the past several years (Figure 2). For Rapid Publications, our review time is even shorter. We again thank our All Stars: Drs Philip Barter, Paul DiCorleto, Godfrey Getz, Ron Law, Theodore Mazzone, Charlie Sing, and Neal Weintraub. These eight members of the Editorial Board have rapidly and expertly reviewed the largest number of manuscripts during the past year.
A second goal of the Editors is to publish papers as quickly as possible after they are accepted. To conform with our page budget, and thus to prevent a backlog of manuscripts that would delay publication, the Journal is accepting only about 20% to 25% of manuscripts submitted. This acceptance rate is very similar for the US, the European, and Asian offices of the Journal.
The time from acceptance of manuscripts to publication has decreased greatly during the past few years (Figure 3). Rapid publication has been accomplished both by avoiding a backlog of manuscripts and by shortening of the production time by Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins. When a manuscript is accepted immediately before the deadline for an issue, the interval to publication is only six weeks, which is the time for copyediting, proofing, and printing of the paper. When a manuscript is accepted immediately after the deadline, the interval now is ten weeks. Some expedited manuscripts can be published in four weeks. Electronic publication, within a few days after acceptance of a manuscript, will be instituted this month (ATVBeFirst).
The number of papers submitted to the Journal has increased steadily for many years (Figure 4). This trend is in contrast to several other major journals, in which submissions appear to have plateaued. The Journal is truly international. During the past year, the number of papers submitted from European laboratories was greater than the number submitted from the United States (Figure 5).
Targeting our Constituencies
Almost half of the papers submitted to the Journal focus on atherosclerosis and/or lipoproteins. We believe that ATVB provides a home for the leading papers in this area of research. We will continue to highlight this exceedingly important area of research.
Vascular biology continues to grow and differentiate as a discipline. Several of the most cited articles in the Journal focus on vascular biology. We will continue to work to make ATVB the leading Journal for studies of vascular biology.
The link of the Journal with the ATVB Council of the American Heart Association and with the European Vascular Biology Organization provides a strong base of support for the Journal. It is our hope that the emphasis on thrombosis in the 2002 ATVB Spring meeting will further strengthen the thrombosis section of the Journal. Studies of the interaction between blood products and blood vessels are of great importance, and this is an area of great interest for ATVB.
Electronic Review and Publication
Electronic submission of manuscripts, editorial review, and publication are standard features of ATVB and of many other journals. For details, please see our Web site (http//:www.atvb.ahajournals.org). Approximately 98% of reviews now are electronic, which has contributed substantially to shortening of the review time of manuscripts. All of our papers are published electronically, in addition to print publication of most papers.
ATVB Spring Meeting
The spring meeting of the ATVB Council last year was again an outstanding scientific meeting. The program and abstracts that were accepted for presentation at the meeting were published for the first time in ATVB. The abstracts from the meeting will again be published in the Journal this year.
Please provide feedback about the usefulness of publication of the program and abstracts. Your feedback will be of great value to the leadership of the Council and to the Editors in deciding whether to continue to publish the program and abstracts.
Overall, in this third year of our editorship of the Journal, ATVB seems to be doing well. The quality of papers, as reflected by the impact factor, remains strong, especially in comparison with other journals that focus on atherosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology. The number of submitted manuscripts continues to increase steadily, and the Journal is clearly international. The time to first decision continues to decline, and the papers are published rapidly after acceptance. The Editors sincerely thank the members of the Editorial Board, reviewers, authors, and readers of the Journal. We strongly encourage your advice and feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.