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An update on the European Heart Journal on CardioVascular Imaging

by Prof. G. Maurer, Editor-in-Chief of the European Heart Journal, and Medical University of Vienna, Austria

The past few years have seen a number of changes to the EACVI’s journal, now known as the European Heart Journal on CardioVascular Imaging (EHJ-CVI), that have led to a growth in its stature and profile within the field.

For example, the number of submissions to the EHJ-CVI has risen dramatically over recent years. In 2010, when it was still the European Journal of Echocardiography, there were 673 submissions, while this year the journal is expected to receive over almost three times that number with an anticipated 1,700 submissions.

Looking at the origin of submissions reveals that the journal has become truly international, which has been one of our core objectives. Although, when looking regionally, the majority of submissions still come from within Europe, the country that submits the most papers is the USA, followed by Italy and then Japan.

Due to the huge increase in the number of submissions, the journal, which has a fixed number of pages, currently accepts only around 15% of the original papers that are received. In the future, it may have to become even more stringent about the papers that it will accept.

Having an impact

In 2012, the European Journal of Echocardiography was expanded to also incorporate imaging modalities such as cardiac magnetic resonance, nuclear imaging, computed tomography and intravascular imaging, including intravascular ultrasound and optical coherence tomography. This was a significant change and initially there was a large degree of apprehension about changing a journal felt to do reasonably well at the time. While some considered the move to be a risky endeavour, the EACVI board felt that there was a strong need for a European journal that covered the entire field of cardiovascular imaging.

Looking just at the journal’s impact factor, it can be seen that the decision was a success. In 2010, when the journal was still the European Journal of Echocardiography, the impact factor was from 2.1. However, it had risen to 4.3 by 2015, placing the EHJ-CVI slightly ahead of the Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography. The long-term aim is for the EHJ-CVI to reach the same level as JACC Imaging and Circulation Cardiovascular Imaging.

The decision to expand the journal to include other imaging modalities was also one of the catalysts for the European Association of Echocardiography to evolve into the EACVI, and the success the journal has enjoyed since its expansion has demonstrated the excellent and mutually beneficial cooperation between the various branches of cardiovascular imaging.

Explosion in downloads

However, a journal’s impact factor is only one metric that indicates its standing. For example, the number of full text downloads per month from the EHJ-CVI website has increased substantially over the past few years, growing from an average of around 20,000 per month in 2010 to almost 100,000 per month in 2016, indicating a five-fold growth in downloads in as many years.

Another important aspect of the EHJ-CVI is that it is the home of the EACVI’s recommendation papers. Some of these are developed by the EACVI alone and others in cooperation with other societies, such as the American Society of Echocardiography. In the last year, consensus and recommendations papers produced by the EACVI have featured among the most-cited papers published by the EHJ-CVI, including the Recommendations for the imaging assessment of prosthetic heart valves, chaired by EACVI Past-President Patrizio Lancellotti, Liège, Belgium, and the EACVI/EHRA Expert Consensus Document on the role of multi- modality imaging for the evaluation of patients with atrial fibrillation, chaired by Erwan Donal, Rennes, France.