Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, 2005
The purpose of this editorial is to provide for our readers the annual update of the status of the journal. Goals of our editorship, which began in 1999, were to publish high-quality papers, provide authors with timely review and publication of their manuscripts, and to publish papers of interest to our readers. We will summarize data related to each of these goals, some changes and plans for the journal, and thank several people for their help.
Publication of High-Quality Papers
There is no perfect approach to evaluate journals and the quality of papers published in journals. Impact factor is one measure of quality of papers. In some Universities, decisions about promotion and tenure are based in part on impact factor of journals in which papers are published. Thus, impact factor may be important, in relation to selection of journals in which authors wish to publish their work.
The impact factor for ATVB again increased this past year, to 6.8 (Figure 1). The impact factor of the journal has increased more than 70% during the past few years. The large increase in 1999 was determined by decisions during the editorship of Dr Alan Fogelman. Impact factors of other journals in this area of research have not changed consistently during the last few years (Figure 1). We believe that Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology is recognized as an appropriate forum for publication of excellent papers related to atherosclerosis, lipoproteins, vascular biology, and thrombosis.
Immediacy index provides information about the frequency of references to articles during the first year of their publication. The immediacy index for ATVB has increased substantially in the past few years (Figure 2).
Rapid Review and Publication
Our goal is to provide expert and rapid review of manuscripts that are submitted to ATVB. The average time from receipt of new manuscripts to notification of authors about the first decision has decreased substantially (Figure 3). Time from acceptance of manuscripts to publication has decreased from 22 weeks in 1999 to 5 to 10 days in 2004, because accepted manuscripts are published electronically (ATVBeFirst) before the print version.
The number of manuscripts submitted to the Journal is increasing rapidly (Figure 4). Because this number is now so large, we attempt to protect our Reviewers from reviewing excessive numbers of manuscripts by relying more on triage by the Editors. If review by at least two Editors indicates that a manuscript will not be competitive for publication, the manuscript is rejected without further review.
As the number of manuscripts submitted to ATVB has increased, it became necessary to reduce both the acceptance rate and the length of manuscripts. The Scientific Publishing Committee of the American Heart Association has supported the Journal very well, however, by increasing the page budget (number of pages published) three times in the past four years. Thus, despite the continuing increase in number of manuscripts submitted, the acceptance rate has remained relatively constant during the past few years.
Expeditious expert reviews are a great service to authors, as well as the journal. We wish to thank our “Stars of ATVB,” who have reviewed ten or more manuscripts within 11 days or less during the past year (Table). We especially thank our “Super Stars of ATVB,” who amazingly have reviewed more than 25 manuscripts within 5 days during the past year (Table).
About half of manuscripts submitted to ATVB describe studies of atherosclerosis and/or lipoproteins. This is an extremely important area of research, and we believe that ATVB is the leading forum for papers in this area.
Vascular Biology is a rapidly growing discipline, and we believe that we now provide a home for manuscripts in this area of research. The name of the journal is awkward and long, but the name provides for authors and readers a clear definition of topics that are appropriate for the journal. The work of several Editors of ATVB, including Professors Takeshita, Hansson, Faraci, and Heistad, focuses on vascular biology.
Studies of thrombosis, and especially the interaction between blood and blood vessels, are an important part of the journal. A relatively small number of papers that relate to thrombosis are submitted to the Journal, and thus the number of papers published in the Thrombosis section is low. The acceptance rate for thrombosis papers is 18%, which is comparable to the overall acceptance rate of the Journal (Figure 5). We believe that authors of manuscripts related to thrombosis may wish to submit their work to ATVB, based on recent changes in impact factor (Figure 1).
ATVB is the official journal of the ATVB Council of the American Heart Association, the European Vascular Biology Organization, and the Japanese Medical Vascular Biology Association. The link with these organizations provides a strong base of support for the journal.
Professor Goran Hansson is European Editor of the Journal. Professor Hansson also serves as Chair of the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine.
Professor Akira Takeshita is Asian Editor of ATVB. Professor Takeshita has appointed Professor Ryozo Nagai as Associate Editor in the Asian office of ATVB. Professor Takeshita worked with AstraZeneca to obtain support for translation of ATVB into Japanese. The Japanese edition of ATVB, which is published quarterly, is now available to 15 000 readers.
During the past few years, Letters to the Editor have evolved into two types of letters. First, there have been lively exchanges about papers that were published recently in the Journal. Second, we have published letters that describe original research findings. These letters are in essence short papers that describe findings that are either preliminary or narrower in scope than full-length original papers. These letters, like original papers, undergo review.
Series of Brief Reviews, with Guest Editors, are published in the journal. The goal of these series, entitled ATVB in Focus, is to provide timely reviews of topics of special importance. Each paper in an ATVB in Focus Series has an electronic link with earlier papers in the Series. Several ATVB in Focus Series have been completed:
ABC Transporters and Cholesterol Efflux
Alan Tall, Guest Editor
James Scott, Guest Editor
Smooth Muscle Cell: Developmental Emphasis
Guilio Gabbiani, Guest Editor
Ongoing ATVB in Focus Series include:
Extracellular Mediators in Atherosclerosis and Thrombosis
Marschall Runge, Guest Editor
Non-Invasive Assessment of Atherosclerosis: from Structure to Function
William Haynes, Guest Editor
Platelet Signal Transduction and Interactions With Vascular Cells
Skip Brass, Guest Editor
Frank Faraci, Guest Editor
Redox Mechanisms in Blood Vessels
Kathy Griendling, Guest Editor
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms
Robert Thompson, Guest Editor
Vascular Effects of Diabetes
Richard Cohen, Guest Editor
An electronic tracking system is now used for submission of manuscripts, requests and submission of manuscript reviews, tracking of the status of manuscripts, and forwarding of accepted manuscripts for copy-editing and printing. The Publishing Committee of the American Heart Association chose ATVB to implement the new electronic system. Melissa Shrader and Connie Smith, working primarily with Steve Lentz, William Haynes, and the HighWire staff, brought the system online remarkably painlessly. The system is now used by all AHA journals.
Survey of Readers and Authors
The AHA, with our Publisher, Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins, surveyed subscribers and authors of ATVB in July, 2004. Overall, 89% of readers indicated that they are satisfied or completely satisfied with ATVB. There was useful, generally very positive, feedback about features, including the Annotated Table of Contents, ATVBeFirst, Editorials, and Brief Reviews. The Editors have used the feedback to guide their planning.
Among authors, in comparison with other journals, 86% and 88% indicated that the quality and speed (respectively) of reviews by ATVB is the same or better, and 92% and 97% indicated that communication with editors and office staff (respectively) is the same or better. Copyediting was rated as the same or better than other journals by 99% of authors!
We are pleased that our readers and authors have indicated that the Journal is doing well.
New Investigator Awards
Beginning in 2005, three new investigators will be honored each year for their outstanding papers in ATVB. The first or last authors of one original paper each year in each section of the journal (Vascular Biology, Atherosclerosis and Lipoproteins, and Thrombosis) will be honored. Goals of the awards are to recognize outstanding work by new investigators and to encourage investigators to send their best work to ATVB. Each recipient of the award will receive a plaque and a check for $2500, funded by Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins.
The first or last author must be an Assistant Professor (or equivalent) or a more junior rank at the time of submission of the manuscript. Awards will be based primarily on the quality of the paper that is published. To be considered, a paper must be published in 2005. Awards are also planned for subsequent years.
As we begin the sixth year of editorship of the journal, ATVB seems to continue to do well. The impact factor and immediacy index, as reflections of quality of papers, increased again this year, and are very strong in comparison with other journals that focus on atherosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology. The number of manuscripts submitted continues to increase. The time to first decision is short, and papers are published rapidly after acceptance. A survey of our readers and authors indicates strong support for the Journal.
The Editors wish to express sincere thanks to the Consulting Editors, members of the Editorial Board, reviewers (please see Acknowledgement to Reviewers at www.atvb.org), authors, and readers of the Journal; we also thank the Publishing Committee of the American Heart Association and Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins for their support. We encourage your feedback and advice to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.