Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, 2003
When our editorship began in the spring of 1999, we summarized our goals: to publish high-quality papers, to provide timely review and publication, and to publish papers that would be of special interest to our readers. In this report, we will summarize progress toward these goals. In addition, we will summarize some new initiatives and thank several people for their help.
Publication of High-Quality Papers:
The Editors rely greatly on reviewers to advise us about the scientific validity of conclusions in manuscripts. Novelty and importance of papers is very difficult to judge, and the editors also rely heavily on the advice of expert reviewers and the Editorial Board.
One measure of importance in quality of papers is the impact factor. The latest available data (for 2001) indicate that the impact factor for Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology (ATVB) has increased substantially during the past year (from 5.1 to 5.8), and has increased from 3.9 to 5.8 during the three years of our editorship (Figure 1). In comparison with other journals in this area of research, ATVB continues to be extremely competitive.
Recently, we have begun to track the “immediacy index,” which refers to the frequency of references to articles within the first year. The immediacy index has increased during the past several years (Figure 2).
Rapid Review and Publication
One of our major goals is to provide expert, rapid reviews of manuscripts that are submitted to ATVB. The average time from receipt of new manuscripts to first decision, and notification of authors, has decreased substantially in the past few years (Figure 3). In addition, we believe that it is very important to publish papers as quickly as possible after they are accepted. To accomplish this goal, and to prevent a backlog of manuscripts that would delay publication, we are able to accept only 21% of manuscripts that are submitted. This number is identical to the acceptance rate last year. This acceptance rate is very similar for the US, European, and Asian offices of the Journal.
Time from acceptance of manuscripts to publication has also decreased substantially during the past few years (Figure 4). When a manuscript is accepted immediately before the deadline for an issue, the interval to publication is only 4 to 6 weeks, which is the time for copy editing, proofing, and printing of the article. When a manuscript is accepted immediately after the deadline, the interval is about 8 to 10 weeks. Accepted manuscripts are published electronically ahead of print (ATVBeFirst) within 7 to 14 days after acceptance.
The number of papers submitted to ATVB continues to increase steadily (Figure 5). We are especially pleased with this trend, because several other major journals have experienced a plateauing of submitted manuscripts. The Journal is truly international, as the number of papers from European laboratories is greater than the number submitted from the United States.
Almost half of the papers submitted to ATVB focus on lipoproteins and/or atherosclerosis. We believe that ATVB is recognized as an important journal for the leading articles in this area of research. We pledge to continue to emphasize this critical area of research.
Vascular biology has emerged as an important scientific discipline. In recognition of the importance of vascular biology, and the emergence of superb vascular biology in Japan, ATVB is now the official journal of the Japanese Medical Vascular Biology Association, as well as the ATVB Council of the American Heart Association and the European Vascular Biology Organization. The link of ATVB with the Japanese Medical Vascular Biology Association came about through the leadership of Professor Akira Takeshita, the Asian Editor of ATVB.
The Journal continues to emphasize studies of thrombosis. An important area of research is the interaction between blood products and blood vessels, and this is an area of great interest to the Journal.
During the past year, the Journal has published an annotated table of contents, in which the major findings of each study are summarized briefly. We provide this summary as a service to our readers, and we hope that it is useful. We would sincerely appreciate feedback about the value of the annotated table of contents.
Selected articles from ATVB will be published in Japanese beginning in the next couple of months. This service to Japanese scientists will be provided by Astra Zeneca. We greatly appreciate this support.
Under the leadership of Dr Steven Lentz, we have initiated a new series of focused brief reviews, titled “ATVB In Focus.” The authors of these series are invited by a Guest Editor, and the brief reviews, of course, undergo the usual peer review process.
We and other journals struggle with criteria for publication of genetic association studies. Last July, we invited an editorial by Dr Robert A Hegele to provide guidance for authors who consider submission of these studies to our Journal. Drs Hegele and Charles Sing continue to advise us about the validity of genetic association studies that are submitted to the Journal. Based on feedback that we have received, we wonder whether it would be of value to establish a Cardiovascular SNPbank or haplotype bank. The essence of this undertaking, when genetic association studies are published, is that data could be entered into a standardized database that would be available to all investigators. This activity would be far beyond the resources of a journal, and would require substantial support from National Institutes of Health or the American Heart Association.
We continue to electronically publish the abstracts from the spring meeting of the ATVB Council. The meeting last year was again an outstanding scientific meeting. We would appreciate feedback about the usefulness of publication of the abstracts from the spring meeting.
We wish to thank the many reviewers who have given unselfishly of their time and expertise (please see Acknowledgment to Reviewers at http://atvb.ahajournals.org). We also thank several reviewers and members of the Editorial Board who have rapidly and expertly reviewed the largest number of manuscripts for ATVB during the past year. These “Stars of 2002” are Drs Philip Barter, Sergio Fazio, Kathy Griendling, Gail Jarvik, Thomas Hintze, Toru Kita, Kathryn Lamping, Coleen McNamara, Virginia Miller, Dan Rader, Marschall Runge, Stephen Schwartz, and Jeffrey Weitz. The authors also owe special gratitude to Drs Lewis Kuller, Robert Hegele, and Charles Sing, who provide extremely helpful advice about population studies.
As we begin the fourth year of our editorship of the Journal, ATVB appears by all parameters to be doing quite well. The quality of articles, as judged by the impact factor and the immediacy index, continues to improve. The number of submitted manuscripts continues to increase steadily, and the Journal is definitely an international journal. The time to first decision is short, and because there is no backlog of papers, our papers are published soon after acceptance. We have developed a strong new tie with the Japanese Medical Vascular Biology Association, and we have begun other new initiatives.
The Publishing Committee of the American Heart Association recently reviewed the status of ATVB. As a result, the term of the current Editors has been extended to 2007. We are pleased with this vote of confidence.
The Editors sincerely thank members of the Editorial Board, reviewers, authors, and readers of the Journal. We very much appreciate advice and feedback to ATVB@uiowa.edu.