WHILE GRATIFIED by a strong 2015 impact factor of 5.940 (from 5.808 in 2014), the Editor-in-Chief of Cardiovascular Research, Karin Sipido, maintains that impact factors are not the only judge of journals.
‘In the cardiovascular field of basic research journals we are now number two behind Circulation Research,’ she says, ‘and ranked 11th in a total of 123 journals in the cardiac and cardiovascular systems category.’ But it’s a category ‘crowded with clinical journals’, she adds, ‘and high impact factors are hard to achieve for any basic science journal.
Cardiovascular Research is the ESC’s flagship journal for basic and translational research - and thus for this congress - and performs well with full-text downloads, which rose from 155,038 in 2013 to 226,712 in 2014. There is also an increasing number of subscribing institutions and manuscript submissions.
Since taking the helm as Editor-in-Chief in 2013, Sipido has developed Cardiovascular Research as ‘an overarching journal’ in the cardiovascular field, with comprehensive coverage of different sub-disciplines. While continuing to maintain its basic science core, she promotes interaction with translational and clinical research.
She is also strengthening the reproducibility of basic science studies published in the journal. ‘For no good reasons,’ she says, ‘experimental practice in basic research lags behind that for clinical investigations.’ To address such issues the journal has provided updated instructions to authors including a checklist and the editorial team gives detailed advice on statistical analysis and data presentation. Another goal is to ensure papers clearly describe the details of animal research to avoid others needlessly repeating the same experiments.
The editorial team continues to aim for speedy publication, says Sipido, with editorial decisions made on average within 21 days of receipt of manuscript - average online publication speed for corrected articles in 2014 was 4.2 weeks. ‘By the time a decision is made at least three editors and three external reviewers will have considered the manuscript,’ she says, adding that the final decision is made by deputy editors.
In addition to the monthly issue, Cardiovascular Research also publishes at least two Spotlight issues each year, where a series of invited expert reviews are featured alongside original research papers on specific topics - recently, for example, on sarcomeric cardiomyopathies and leucocyte trafficking across the vessel wall. The journal has also introduced support to authors for making schematic representations to illustrate their manuscripts, and offers an image gallery containing illustrations that can be downloaded free for use in presentations.
Plans for the future include commissioning news and opinion articles. ‘We would like to provide a central source of information for the field of cardiovascular research which gives an overview of both scientific advances and policy changes,’ says Sipido.
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