Author + information
- Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD∗ ()
- Zena and Michael A. Wiener Cardiovascular Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York
- ↵∗Address correspondence to:
Dr. Valentin Fuster, Zena and Michael A. Wiener Cardiovascular Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, One Gustave L. Levy Place, New York, New York 10029.
One year ago, I outlined my vision for the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) when I assumed the editorship (1), which was born out of multiple and ongoing discussions with young cardiologists. As I wrote, “On a daily basis, when I speak with the young members of the medical community, I learn how they consume medical literature—which has drastically changed from my days as a fellow. These conversations have shaped many of the changes that you will see unfold in the pages of the new JACC. While the science has to maintain the highest quality to help the medical community, the educational manner by which we deliver that material has changed. The two educational principles that I have learned from the youth are simplicity and insightfulness” (1). While the mission of JACC remains the publication of the highest quality cardiovascular translational and clinical manuscripts, the desire to communicate the medical data through simplicity and insightfulness has continued to guide our decision-making for the Journal. Now that year has passed, it seems an opportune time to methodically evaluate the changes that I set into motion last July.
1. The inclusion of a central illustration with every original research and review paper; this illustration is intended to summarize the entire paper or, at least, a major finding of the paper. To maintain our vision of simplicity, the purpose of the central illustration is for the readers to understand the crux of the paper’s message in a single image. With this window into the paper, it will be up to the reader to decide whether this visual first encounter will persuade him or her to thoroughly read the paper for a more complete understanding. Through an early readership survey, 51% of respondents found its inclusion useful, very useful, or extremely useful. As important, a separate author survey found that 77% thought the inclusion of a central illustration had a total positive effect on being an author in the Journal. We continue to work on the process to make it as seamless as possible for the authors and to provide the most value for the readers.
2. The original research paper now concludes with a perspective summary outlining the core clinical competencies and translational outlook that were produced as a result of the research. The core clinical competencies highlight the challenges of the study for current practice. The translational outlook places the work in a prospective context, emphasizing directions for additional research. As I noted in an earlier editor’s page, having read hundreds of papers, some authors are much more cautious or perhaps less committed than others when writing the translational outlook (2). This comes as no surprise, because academic medicine and research fosters a competitive nature—even within single institutions. As a result, some authors are hesitant to reveal the specifics of where research is heading for fear that someone will publish first in the same area of investigation. It is exactly these fears that I am trying to eradicate through these clinical perspectives, wherein we are trying to convey a sense of transparency to advance the cardiovascular field. With the hope that our clinical and research communities will embrace this philosophy, I challenge my fellow researchers—and I will hold myself to the same standard—to be as transparent as possible with the translational outlook for their work. Through our readership survey, we found that an impressive 71% of the cardiologists who responded found the inclusion of the clinical perspectives extremely/very useful, and the author survey showed that they had an 88% total positive effect. As 1 respondent said, “They help to organize the article into a more digestible format and allow easier application to practice.”
3. Every issue of the Journal has a “Present and Future” section, which contains a state-of-the-art review and a review topic of the week. State-of-the-art reviews approach a disease entity from basic mechanisms to clinical manifestations, interventional approaches, and global and public health implications. These papers focus on a contemporary, controversial, or translational topic with 4 to 5 major sections written by 4 to 5 authors. Review topics of the week present an overview of a contemporary topic of basic, translational, or clinical science. The survey indicated that state-of-the-art reviews (80%) and guidelines & clinical statements (78%) are considered by cardiologists to be the 2 most important article types in the Journal.
4. When I committed myself to recording audio summaries for every original research and review paper, I really did not realize the time commitment that would be involved. Every week, I spend approximately 3 to 4 hours reviewing the papers and 2 to 3 hours preparing and recording the summaries. I communicate this fact only to indicate how important I believe it is to have the editor’s perspective to contextualize the findings. They can be streamed or downloaded from the JACC website, or they are available on iTunes. Between July 2014 and March 2015, approximately 250,000 people have downloaded 1 of these summaries—even though I have not listened to a single one, because I find it uncomfortable to listen to my own voice.
5. Finally, every issue contains a Fellows-in-Training/Early Career Page, wherein these fellows-in-training and younger cardiologists focus on topics unique to them and their peers. Starting in December 2014 issues, we began inviting senior-level cardiologists to provide responses and create dialogue with these young professionals.
Our family of JACC journals has grown this year, with the successful launch of JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology and the forthcoming launch of JACC: Basic Translational Research. The sister journals have started to adopt the features of clinical perspectives and central illustrations to show our alignment in improving the collective quality of the journal program.
Looking ahead, we will be starting 2 new review paper series. In one, the “Technology Corner” series, we will invite authors to focus on how technology intersects with contemporary global cardiovascular care on a quarterly basis. The second series, “A Test in Context,” will outline the importance of interpreting a given diagnostic test in the total context of the patient, including the clinical and laboratory data available.
Most importantly, through these efforts, the Journal is attempting to provide the best resource for the cardiovascular investigator, the cardiovascular clinician and specialist, as well as the fellow-in-training. The most relevant and influential question that continues to be asked at each of our editorial board meetings is: “How will this influence your practice?”
- American College of Cardiology Foundation