Author + information
- Spencer B. King III, MD, Editor-in-Chief, JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions∗ ()
- ↵∗Address correspondence to:
Spencer B. King, III, MD, MACC, Saint Joseph's Heart and Vascular Institute, 5665 Peachtree Dunwoody Road NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30342
We are always interested in getting feedback on how the journal is doing and how it can be improved, and apart from the occasional irate musings from a disgruntled rejected author, people seem almost too complimentary. Therefore, it is a bit refreshing when we can have open conversations with those I will call “stakeholders” in the journal. These, of course, are not just editors but board members, authors, and frequent reviewers. As many of you know, we have board meetings of the JACCfamily of journals at the major international scientific sessions, i.e., ACC, AHA, ESC meetings, and now, for JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions,we have just concluded a meeting to listen to some of the stakeholders in this journal. We are obviously also interested in the reaction to interventional cardiovascular content of the parent JACCas well. The opportunity for this discussion was the EuroPCR meeting in Paris, where about 50 of our colleagues who could break away from other commitments engaged in a lively discussion with Tony DeMaria and myself. Mirroring the EuroPCR, which is heavily attended by cardiologists from around the world, the United States being an unfortunate exception, we heard opinions from our colleagues from Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and South America, as well as the United States. This was a welcomed mix as over 70% of submissions to JACC: Cardiovascular Interventionscontinue to come from outside the United States. This truly is an international journal. A number of issues were discussed, and I will mention the ones that some of you may want to reflect on, as will we.
All those in attendance were pleased to have their papers published in a journal with a high impact factor, such as JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions; however, some are disappointed with rejection of their high-quality studies. We agreed, but with an acceptance rate of just over 10%, our page limitation requires prioritizing and excluding many papers that we would like to publish. Suggestions to address this issue include online-only publication of certain articles. The group was polled to see how many would accept the idea of publishing their paper online only. I was surprised with how many would be willing for this to happen. However, since our most recent survey shows that a significant majority of our readers still read the print version, they may not see the online material. Nonetheless, this is food for thought.
Another approach to increase the number of articles per issue and to shorten the papers. It is interesting to see how many submissions are close to the 4,500-word limit given in the Instructions for Authors. It sometimes seems that authors feel that if they must use the entire word limit amount. We have not been diligent enough as editors in urging a shorter version after acceptance. When papers are shortened as recommended they are almost always improved. Perhaps we should take advice from Benjamin Franklin who said on submitting a paper on electricity to the Royal Society in London, “I have already made this paper too long for which I must crave pardon, not having now time to make it shorter.”
Another concern that was expressed was the competition for journal space between long-term follow-up articles on clinical trials with intermediate results already reported versus innovative but largely hypothesis-generating studies. One solution that we have begun to suggest for incremental follow-up of previously published trials is a very short research communication with trial design and methods referenced with the paper only focusing on the things that changed with the longer-term follow-up. Often a concise paper is more impactful than a verbose one. For original research, some methods and tables can be put in online appendices but most felt that the key methods must remain in the print version so the paper can be completely understood without referring to another source. I queried the group for opinions about pro/con opinion pieces. The response was almost unanimous that they did not feel the journal was the place for these debates, but should depend on well-crafted editorials for selected articles when such comments seemed called for. Some issues may still call for expression of differing interpretations of the available data.
Finally, the recurring question of whether this is a clinical journal only or one open to early-phase technology arose. Certainly we intend to do both, although our major responsibility is to provide the readership, mostly clinical, with papers that have a chance to influence therapy. That said, we do want to make sure that the innovative ideas of our scientists are communicated to the broad cardiovascular community. With the very large readership of JACC: Cardiovascular Interventionswe have the opportunity to do this, and we will be diligent not to let high-quality, innovative research slip by.
It was a very worthwhile interaction, and we will continue to hold these types of sessions at venues attended by large numbers of our board members, authors, and frequent reviewers. We also appreciate suggestions from the readers for improvements that can make the journal even better. We learn much more by listening than by talking
- American College of Cardiology Foundation