Author + information
- Spencer B. King III, MD, MACC, Editor-in-Chief, JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions∗ ()
- ↵∗Address correspondence to:
Dr. Spencer B. King III, Saint Joseph’s Heart and Vascular Institute, 5665 Peachtree Dunwoody Road NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30342.
I’m often asked whether a paper is one that JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions is looking for. My response is usually, “If you think so, send it in and we will try to make a reasonably timely decision.” It is not possible to know that a paper will be of high enough priority to be published before the editors see it, and even then, not until we get some expert reviews. Nonetheless, there are papers that are appropriate for this journal as there are for other journals. With the current acceptance rate for research papers running at 9%, we have to be selective. Because the Impact Factor of the journal is so high (7.63), some think that it is a major driver of the decision to take papers. For us it is not, except that papers that fulfil our criteria for publication are often of interest and are cited by others. We have no strategy for Impact Factor enhancement and, in fact, the recent change to biweekly publication may blunt the Impact Factor. This occurs because the more papers that are published, the larger the denominator that goes into the computation of the Impact Factor. Also, the extraordinary impact papers that are in the cardiology literature are almost always guidelines or society statements or heart disease statistics, and they are not available to subspecialty journals such as this one. For example, the heart disease and stroke statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are cited thousands of times. An argument can be made that these are not really research studies and should not count, but an argument can also be made that the 3-point shot should not count for 3 points, but these are the rules by which we play.
If we are not driven by the Impact Factor, what determines whether a paper is of high enough priority to be the 1 in 10 that is published in this journal? Over the past decade, I have given talks on how to get papers published in highly ranked journals. The characteristics of new, true, and relevant have long been recognized and are very important. Another tightly related question that is very important, especially for that first impression, is, “Is it interesting?” Interest comes in many forms. A paper that has some chance of influencing practice is surely interesting. Some things can change practice guidelines and others can provide information that improves the ability to successfully or more efficiently or more safely perform a procedure. Some things of interest may seem remote from clinical application, such as experimental techniques that are still in the pre-clinical stage. If these seem to have a pathway to clinical application, they may also be interesting. As more data are collected on the practice experience, and as registries become more reliable, the opportunity to examine what we are doing and how the quality of our work can be improved often leads to interesting papers. Some topics are very interesting but only to a small segment of our leadership. It requires a truly compelling paper on neonatal conditions to achieve priority. Even then, some are so interesting we try to occasionally publish them.
You will notice that the subtopics of coronary, structural and peripheral vascular, and sometimes translational research are featured in most issues. The ratio of 4 to 5 coronary papers to 2 to 3 structural papers to 1 to 2 peripheral papers per issue is a reflection of the current availability of high priority papers in those categories. In some issues, we provide a thematic table of contents with a focused section on certain subjects. The current issue is such an example with several papers addressing the use of antithrombotic therapies in percutaneous coronary intervention and the balance between ischemic events and bleeding risks. These focused sections result from grouping papers when they are available. We could do more of this, but we do not want to hold back papers for more than an issue or so to achieve this goal. When papers are submitted with the idea of having them published in conjunction with a “late-breaking presentation” at a major symposium, that request should be made with adequate time for the review process and editorial decision. Three papers were published simultaneously with a presentation at the recent EuroPCR symposium of the European Association of Percutaneous Cardiovascular Interventions. Similar opportunities exist for the upcoming TCT (Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics), AHA (American Heart Association), CRT (Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy), and ACC (American College of Cardiology) meetings. Of course, acceptance as a late-breaking presentation at a meeting does not ensure that the paper will achieve priority for publication, but if the request is made in a timely fashion, an expedited decision can be reached. We are especially appreciative of the many colleagues who have written expert editorial comments about the papers we publish. Opinions vary as to whether all papers should have editorials. Some may not, and therefore, we will become somewhat more selective.
We enjoyed discussing some of these issues at the JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions board meeting at EuroPCR and will be interested in input from the board, authors, and reviewers at similar meetings at the ESC (European Society of Cardiology) meeting in Rome, the TCT meeting in Washington, and the AHA meeting in New Orleans. We welcome input as to what the journal should be looking for.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation