Author + information
- Patrick T. O'Gara, MD, FACC, President, American College of Cardiology∗ ()
- ↵∗Address correspondence to:
Dr. Patrick T. O'Gara, American College of Cardiology, 2400 N Street NW, Washington, DC 20037.
The American College of Cardiology (ACC) is the professional home for the entire cardiovascular care team. It exists to meet the needs of its members at every stage of their careers—from residency to retirement—and ensure that they are providing patients with the best, most appropriate, and up-to-date care.
Over the last 65 years, the College has established a proven legacy of addressing the needs of its members, while also looking ahead and anticipating the needs of the future. The results, to date, have been practice-changing to say the least. A look back at the evolution of cardiovascular care over the last 6 decades has the College and/or its members playing critical roles, whether in the development of new treatment options, practice guidelines, and educational activities; the dissemination of the latest science to professionals around the globe; and advocacy efforts in support of optimal cardiovascular care.
One of the ACC's greatest legacies is the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC). During the early years of its formation, ACC leaders made it a goal to provide the latest cardiovascular information directly to their members. Print journals, which had been around since the late 17th century, were the primary method of dissemination. The College made some inroads into the publishing world as early as 1951, but it was in 1958 when its first regularly distributed journal, the American Journal of Cardiology (AJC), made its debut under the leadership of the founding editor, Dr. Simon Dack. This precursor to JACC was intended to be a teaching journal dedicated to practicing clinicians and cardiologists. It was so well received that it had approximately 6,000 subscribers within the first 2 years.
In 1983, AJC was replaced by JACC and published by Elsevier Science Publishing Co. Dr. Dack continued as editor-in-chief for a time—molding the Journal into what the majority of ACC members continue to highlight as the number 1 member benefit. Since then, other cardiovascular greats like Drs. William Parmley and Anthony DeMaria have followed in Dr. Dack's footsteps, building on each other's ideas and leveraging changing technologies to make the publication even more successful and useful to members.
Dr. Parmley is credited for guiding the Journal through an era of emerging subspecialization as well as ensuring that it remained relevant to the cardiovascular community in light of a growing number of medical journals. As ACC membership continued to grow, so did the Journal readership. Also, under his leadership, the Journal's status outside of the United States grew by leaps and bounds. At the time of Dr. Parmley's retirement, more than 50% of Journal submissions originated from outside of the United States.
The state of the Journal was sound when Dr. DeMaria took over. However, widespread use of the Internet that started in the mid-1990s was opening the door to one of the biggest changes the publishing world had seen in more than 30 years. Dr. DeMaria was able to use this transition to electronic media to expedite and streamline the review processes. In 2002, he launched a web-based manuscript submission and tracking system that resulted in faster and more efficient submission processes and ultimately placed the latest science in the hands of readers more quickly. He also expanded the JACC editorial board to include more international reviewers and allow for inclusion of even more international submissions.
Also, under Dr. DeMaria's tenure, state-of-the-art papers reviewing specific healthcare issues were introduced, as were more papers featuring original and/or experimental research. The launch of the JACC sister journals addressing cardiovascular imaging and cardiovascular interventions in the late 2000s, which were quickly followed by a third journal specializing in heart failure, has provided greater opportunities for important research in each of these growing specialty areas to reach the hands of practicing professionals. The increasing prevalence of social media forums like Twitter and Facebook gave JACC research an even wider circle of readers.
The JACC story is a great example of just how the College has built, and continues to build, on its legacy as a global knowledge organization that continues to innovate and engage with its members in a mutually beneficial way. As Dr. Valentin Fuster takes the helm of the Journal, you can glimpse his futuristic vision and see in this first issue the many ways he is building on the work of Drs. Dack, Parmley, and DeMaria, taking advantage of opportunities to reach cardiovascular professionals around the world even faster and more effectively than before.
Given the current state of online medical information and the widespread availability of smart phones, tablets, and computers, there are innumerable opportunities to promote greater access to emerging science in formats that meet the needs of every individual. The “new” Journal allows busy professionals to optimize their own unique approaches to stay abreast of the latest science and research. In addition to reading the entire paper, readers can now skim for the abridged “clinical perspectives” that explore the core clinical competencies and translational implications, additional editorial commentaries from other leaders in the field, which will appear with each original research paper, and/or view the “central illustrations” that seek to capture the main findings from each paper.
In addition, Dr. Fuster has made it a goal to include even more global research, as well as feature commentary from ACC leaders on hot topics and trends. New clinical research perspectives will also allow for the ACC's growing number of member sections and leadership councils to offer insights on topics ranging from sports and exercise cardiology to geriatric cardiovascular care. As the next generation of cardiovascular professionals, fellows in training, and cardiologists in their early career will also have new opportunities to be heard each week in their unique page. Last, but certainly not least, there will remain a focus on finding new ways to link the latest science with continuing education and quality improvement opportunities. These links are only expected to strengthen in the coming years as the College continues to roll out its digital strategy—a strategy that is focused on personalized communications, education, and the use of data to drive quality.
Meeting the information needs of cardiovascular professionals where they are is a laudable goal that has moved beyond a “great idea” to something within our grasp. The new Journal takes into account where we want to be today, as well as in the future, and uses technology in a meaningful way to accomplish this goal. These developments build on the work of our previous editors while positioning the Journal to continue to play a leading role in shaping cardiovascular medicine both now and in the future. We welcome Dr. Fuster as our new editor-in-chief and look forward to working with him to achieve his vision.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation