This issue marks the last one put together by the group of editors that started 5 years ago. That group was originally led by Mark Taubman. Mark’s philosophy was that because each associate editor (including himself) was expert in his or her area of research, he or she should have wide latitude from the beginning of the review process (eg, self-assignment of submissions) to the end (the final editorial decision). This approach worked so well that when Mark had to step down because of the demands imposed by his becoming dean of the medical school at the University of Rochester, I continued it when I became editor-in-chief.
In Asia, we had a sole editor, Ryozi Nagai, but in the United States and Europe, despite the relative autonomy of the associate editors, Alain Tedgui (European editor) and I hosted weekly meetings with them to ensure that we were applying common criteria to our decisions. We also discussed as a group those inevitable problem manuscripts, in which reviewers gave divergent opinions. As working scientists ourselves, our first priority was with the authors, and whenever possible, we tried to suggest a pathway to acceptance. We would also go through the accepted articles, choose the ones for editorials, and decide on topics for reviews. In addition to the separate weekly teleconferences in the United States and Europe, the entire group of editors and associate editors met at the Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology and American Heart Association meetings. After the working part of the meeting, we would enjoy dinner together. At the beginning of our term, all the editors and associate editors certainly knew of each other; by the end, the close working relationships, the extensive discussions we had on diverse topics, and the socializing served not only to strengthen our bonds as colleagues but also to build camaraderie and friendship. I thank them all with the deepest appreciation.
Our work would not have been possible without the input of our editorial board and many ad hoc reviewers, and I am extremely grateful for their time and effort. I would be remiss if I did not also thank the engine room of the journal, our editorial office in Iowa, directed by Melissa Arey, and consisting of her, Connie Melsha, and Trudie Meyer. Our incoming editor-in-chief, Alan Daugherty, is a lucky man indeed to inherit this team of truly dedicated professionals, who have the magic skill of being able to nudge us while remaining extremely pleasant.
Mark and I were the fourth and fifth editors-in-chief of the journal. We felt privileged to contribute to the continued excellence of what has become a standard publication in our field, with articles published on a regular basis from the finest laboratories in the areas that the journal features. Although the core of the journal has been, and will continue to be, the research articles, each editor-in-chief and his senior editorial team try to impart some individuality to their term. In our case, it was the particular themes of the review series (ATVB: in Focus), single reviews on hot topics, expanding coverage of certain areas (clinical and imaging studies), starting a discussion blog, and having a new series on the History of Discovery, in which the prime movers in key areas wrote about their discoveries from not only the scientific but also the personal perspective. I find that in this age of kits and prepackaged protocols, many of today’s trainees have little sense of the history of science. Without that, besides not giving them full context for their work, they would not have felt the same excitement I had when at a recent dinner I sat next to Oliver Smithies and across from Ed Southern.
We end our term during a time when maintaining the academic research enterprise in the United States continues to be challenging. This is a cruel twist of fate for many reasons, not the least of which is that the technologies of today offer unparalleled discovery opportunities. But I know many of you will continue to push back as much as possible against the undertow because of your talents, resolve, and desire to change the way people think about the problems you work on. I look forward to reading about your successes in future issues of the journal.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.