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- Anthony N. DeMaria, MD, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of the American College of Cardiology⁎ ()
- ↵⁎Address correspondence to:
Dr. Anthony N. DeMaria, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 3655 Nobel Drive, Suite 630, San Diego, California 92112
Nearly 3 years ago we first conceived the notion of starting new journals under the JACCbanner. The number of submissions we were receiving was increasing rapidly, and there was a progressive subspecialization in cardiology. The new journals would address the educational and research missions of the College and be a tangible benefit for members. They would also provide an outlet for the many high-quality papers that could not be accommodated by or were too specialized for JACC. Evidence that our concept was correct can be seen in the number of new subspeciality journals that have subsequently followed from other entities.
Our first action toward starting the new journals was to survey members and conduct focus groups to identify topic areas in which there was both need and opportunity. We considered a wide variety of subject areas encompassing nearly every aspect of cardiovascular medicine and surgery. Based upon our findings, we elected to initiate our expansion in the fields of cardiac imaging and interventional cardiology. However, it was clear that the same factors that led us to choose these fields also existed in other specialties.
By all measures it seems clear that the new journals, JACC: Cardiovascular Imagingand JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions, have been resounding successes. These journals have secured expert and visionary editors and editorial boards, attracted a large number of high-quality submissions, and produced publications that are outstanding not only in content but also in presentation. Their excellence has been recognized by laudatory evaluation for and rapid acceptance in PubMed. The feedback we have received has been enthusiastic and positive from all corners and nearly all individual readers.
The success of Imagingand Interventionsmade it even clearer that there were needs and opportunities in other areas of cardiovascular medicine that we were not addressing. The number of high-quality submissions we were receiving in heart failure, heart rhythm disorders, and other disciplines continued to increase as did, unfortunately, the number we were forced to decline. Advances in the subspecialties led to ever more focused manuscripts of great interest to a smaller segment of our readers. And so we again began to consider how JACCcould respond to these issues.
We considered the possibility of starting one or more additional new journals. However, the needs and opportunities in these other areas did not seem to justify entirely new publications. So we sought alternative actions that might enable JACCto better address the emerging information in the other subspecialties. After due deliberation, we decided to have regular expanded focus issues that would emphasize these subjects. We chose heart failure, heart rhythm disorders, and prevention/outcomes as the initial topics for these focus issues, and decided that they would occur quarterly. Our first call for articles was issued at the end of last year, and thus far the response has been outstanding. However, the concept of these focus issues seems to have produced a bit of confusion and misunderstanding.
Our plan is to have one focus issue for each new subject in each quarter. Since there are 3 new topics, we decided to have the focus issue be the last issue of each of the 3 months of the quarter. Thus, there will be 4 focus issues per year in each topic. To accommodate the emerging information in these areas we decided to increase the pages of these special weekly issues. While the exact size of each of these expanded editions remains unsettled, to begin with we expect to increase the content by at least one-half. In this way we plan to continue to have a broad ranging content covering all phases of cardiovascular medicine (including heart failure, heart rhythm, and prevention/outcomes) in each of our regular weekly editions, and to provide additional material targeted to these new topics in expanded focus issues. In turn, these focus issues will continue to contain some papers on subjects other than those being emphasized.
Obviously there are disadvantages and advantages to the approach we are taking. It is unclear whether the quarterly focus issues will be adequate to cover all of the high-quality submissions that we are receiving. In addition, I am sure that the heart failure, heart rhythm, and prevention/outcome communities would prefer to have a complete journal, or at least a full expanded edition, devoted only to their area. However, we feel that we will be able to adequately cover all of the important new advances in these fields, and that an entire new journal is not warranted at this time. On the positive side, mixing subspecialty papers with general cardiovascular topics in both usual and focus issues should produce a broad readership for all articles. Moreover, since all papers will be published in JACC, they will enjoy the distribution, readership, and impact of the “parent” journal.
The wisdom of these decisions will, of course, be evidenced by the results. However, if early response is any indication (we have already received over 100 submissions for the first 2 focus issues involving heart failure and heart rhythm disorders), we are on the right track. The cardiovascular biomedical research community continues to produce a remarkable quantity of important discoveries, and it is the role of research journals, such as JACC, to transmit this information to the profession at large. In an Editor's Page upon initiation of Imagingand Interventionsentitled “JACCHas Offspring,” I indicated that, if existing trends continued and the new journals were successful, JACCmight well procreate again. While we are not giving birth to new journals with these focus issues, we may be considered to be giving adopted children a special place in our family.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation