The opening of the new Editorial Office on January 5, 2004 marked the beginning of a new era for the ASAIO Journal. Editor Joseph B. Zwischenberger and Managing Editor Betty L. Littleton officially assumed their responsibility for Journal operations at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX. Dr. Zwischenberger obtained office space for Journal operations in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, where he practices as a cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon.
A major accomplishment of the first six months was conversion of the manuscript submission and peer review processes to electronic medium. All communications with authors and reviewers are now sent via e-mail, which has streamlined manuscript processing and reduced turnaround time. Plans are under way to install a professional peer review editorial management program, which is available through the publisher, Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins. The system will greatly facilitate handling of manuscripts from initial submission to inspecting final proofs from the publisher. The Managing Editor will receive training on the program and begin integrating data within a couple of months.
A new peer review process was instituted which has involved the Section Editors and Editorial Board members at a high level of participation. Upon receipt, each manuscript is sent to the appropriate Section Editor who selects two reviewers, one from the Editorial Board and one at large. When their comments are received, they are forwarded to the Section Editor for completion of the peer review. The Editor makes the final decision regarding appropriateness and acceptability.
The very well attended breakfast meeting with Section Editors and Editorial Board members during the Annual Conference in June was evidence of renewed commitment to the success of the ASAIO Journal. Participation by meeting attendees was spirited with numerous ideas being introduced for continued improvement and growth of the Journal.
One topic of discussion at the meeting was the “impact factor” which is the criteria used to judge the scholarly impact of a journal. It is calculated by considering the total number of citations of articles from our Journal over the previous two years and the total number of articles published during that same time frame. Using these two pieces of information, the impact factor is calculated as the ratio of the total number of citations divided by the total number of articles published during the same time period. A suggestion, accepted by attendees and put into practice, was to have the reviewers encourage authors, who submit manuscripts to the ASAIO Journal, to cite articles from the Journal.
We have experienced excellent cooperation from our reviewers this past year, and we have added new names to the list. However, with growth, comes the need for more reviewers in all areas covered by the Journal. Ideally, the majority of reviewers should be from our membership–we need you to share your wealth of knowledge and expertise by participating in the manuscript review process. Prompt and thorough reviews are integral to the success of the Journal.
In the past, various historical pieces have occasionally been published in the Journal in a section aptly entitled, “Moments in History.” The Board of Trustees recently decided that moments in ASAIO history should be more regularly reported. To this end, Mark Kurusz, a long-standing ASAIO member, has been asked to assume the task of researching and reporting items of interest to the readership as well as soliciting papers from others on historical topics. This endeavor is launched in this issue with a scholarly review of all ASAIO Presidential addresses published in the last 50 years. The senior author of this treatise is Dr. Shelley McKellar, who is the ASAIO Smithsonian Scholar for Project Bionics. Kurusz’s involvement with “Moments in History” coincides nicely with his recent appointment as Coordinator for Project Bionics.
With the support of our members, authors, and investigators, the ASAIO Journal will continue in this new era to provide a venue for reporting accomplishments of those at the forefront of research and development in the myriad and complex areas of artificial organs.