Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, 2009
As we begin 2009, The Editorial Board and Staff of the ATVB Journal would like to wish our readers a Happy New Year and take this opportunity to review the state of the journal in 2008 and describe our plans for the coming year.
2008 was indeed an extraordinary year, highlighted by a global economic crisis and an unprecedented political campaign in the United States. It is likely that these events will have important positive and negative impacts on cardiovascular medicine and research in the years to come. 2008 also saw changes in the ATVB journal, albeit less monumental. These include a redesign of the cover and table of contents. The cover, in its boldness, allows us easy recognition. The table of contents allows us to group articles within a discipline, while still maintaining their identity as Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis, or Vascular Biology. Soon this change will also be implemented within our eTOC—please visit atvb.ahajournals.org to sign up if you have not already.
The impact factor of the Journal increased this year to more than 7 (Figure 1), continuing a trend that was a hallmark of the previous Editorship of Donald Heistad and his colleagues. We are working hard to continue this trend. Our acceptance rate has remained steady at approximately 17%. Submissions may have plateaued, a trend that has been seen by many journals and is likely multifactorial, including a reduction in grant funding in the United States. Manuscripts continue to be submitted from a diverse set of countries—with a commendable increase from countries such as China, Taiwan, and Korea. The Editors continue to encourage authors from all nations to submit articles of original content to ATVB as the premier journal in our areas of focus for both basic and clinical research. As always, we are particularly interested in studies that have a mechanistic component.
We are also pleased to report that review times—time from submission to first decision (average less than 3 weeks), as well as time from acceptance to publication (approximately 10 to 14 days to online publication and 5 weeks for print publication), continue to decline. This is in no small part attributable to the outstanding work of our reviewers in providing timely responses; we thank them for their continued service to the ATVB Journal. We suspect that our review times are reaching an asymptote—it does take time for reviewers to provide a quality review—but we are committed to keeping this as short as possible.
We have recently embarked on an experiment to alter our approach to ATVB in Focus, our series of thematic brief reviews. Rather than distributing these reviews over several years, we plan to publish each thematic series in a single issue, approximately every other month. We believe that this will enable us better to highlight each theme and provide articles that are most up-to-date. We hope that these themes will stimulate submission of original research in the areas of focus. The first of these, a series on Chemokines edited by Christian Weber, was recently published. Over the next 2 years, we plan series on HDL, Monocytes, Tissue Factor Imaging, Hypoxic Signaling and Vascular Developmental Biology, Estroten Receptro Signaling in the Cardiovascular System, Genetics of CV Disease, Stem Cells, and others. We would love to hear from our readers with other suggestions for topics.
We will also soon publish our first article in our “History of Discovery” series. These will be articles written by individuals with a first-hand knowledge of important innovations and discoveries in the fields of atherosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology research. We anticipate this to be a very popular feature and will serve as an inspiration for junior investigators.
We are in the midst of a most exciting time in cardiovascular research, with the emergence of many new technologies that will energize discovery, diagnosis, and treatment. The ATVB Journal is committed to providing a forum for these new technologies. Many of these will be highlighted by our In Focus series. Given the number of manuscripts being submitted in many of these areas, we are endeavoring to establish a set of informal guidelines that will be helpful to authors and reviewers. The first of these focuses on endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). Recognizing the diversity in EPC studies, we recently commissioned an authoritative review1 of the subject from 2 noted EPC biologists whose general guidelines have been adapted for inclusion in our “Instructions for Authors.” Authors of EPC manuscripts are encouraged to consult these guidelines and the review article itself before submitting to ATVB.
The accelerated rise in submitted manuscripts dealing with clinical association studies at the genome and single nucleotide polymorphism level has prompted a set of guidelines that have recently been added to the “Instructions for Authors.” Many of these guidelines were published previously as an Editorial in ATVB.2 We strongly urge authors to examine these guidelines carefully, particularly the independent replication of a significant genetic association, before submitting such manuscripts. Acknowledging our desire to publish high-impact articles in this area, as well as in the development of novel biomarkers, we are delighted to announce the appointment of Ruth McPherson, MD, PhD from the University of Ottawa as Associate Editor. Dr McPherson is an internationally recognized expert in clinical cardiovascular investigation. With her expertise, we hope to increase the submissions and publication of articles in genetics and genomics and clinical investigations in cardiovascular disease. We have also added additional editorial board members with special expertise in areas of expanding interest to the Journal and its readership.
Lastly, we are announcing a Call For Papers for National Cholesterol Month atvb.ahajournals.org/Ntl_Cholesterol_Month.dtl. To be considered, papers must be submitted by May 10, 2009. These original contributions will address a broad spectrum of topics addressing cholesterol metabolism and atherosclerosis from bench, clinical, or population investigations. Examples of interest areas include:
(1) Lipid-Lowering Drugs
(2) Statins–Pleitropic Effects
(3) Side Effects of Lipid Lowering Drugs
(4) Development of New Drugs That Modulate Cholesterol Metabolism
(5) Development of Nondrug Approaches to Lipid-Lowering Therapy
(6) The Use of Pharmacogenomics to Detect Hyporesponders to Drug Therapy of Lipid Disorders and the Potential for Personalized Medicine
(7) Novel Animal Models of Atherosclerosis, Hyperlipidemia, and Cholesterol Metabolism
(8) Cellular Studies on Cholesterol Efflux
These manuscripts will undergo normal peer review and, if accepted, will be published with other studies and highlighted during National Cholesterol Month.
We would also like to remind you that authors for all original research papers accepted and published during 2009 are able to apply for the New Investigator Award—3 awards for each of the disciplines of ATVB—Atherosclerosis and Lipoproteins, Vascular Biology, or Thrombosis. These winners are presented a plaque and a check for $2500 at the ATVB Annual Conference. For more information, please refer to atvb.ahajournals.org/mics.NIA_Announcement.dtl.
With the plans outlined above, we look forward to another exciting year and thank our readers, authors, and reviewers for their continued support.