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INNOVATIONS—A New Editorial Team and a Renewed Commitment to Excellence

Damiano, Ralph J. Jr MD

Innovations:Technology and Techniques in Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery: January 2009 - Volume 4 - Issue 1 - p 1-2
doi: 10.1097/IMI.0b013e3181974fdf

From the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, MO.

Accepted for publication: November 21, 2008.

Address correspondence and reprints requests to Ralph J. Damiano, Jr, MD, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 South Euclid, Campus Box 8234, Saint Louis, MO 63110; E-mail:

In September, I assumed the role of Editor of Innovations. I would like to share with you the exciting changes we are planning for the journal and our renewed commitment to establish it as one of the premiere journals in the field of cardiothoracic and vascular surgery. As the official journal of the International Society of Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery (ISMICS), Innovations is committed to reflecting the ingenuity, technical skill, courage, and diversity of our membership. I would like to discuss with you our new editorial team and define our vision and future plans for the journal.

Everyone recognizes that the journal has had some problems in the past: difficulty in attracting good articles and meeting publication deadlines. I want to assure you of the commitment of our Society and this editorial board to turning around the journal. All of us realize how important a good journal is to ISMICS. The journal provides an academic outlet for our society and its annual meetings. For a Society like our own, which prides itself on presenting the latest technological and procedural innovations in our specialty, the journal provides an important place to publish our members' contributions. It also provides a forum for our members, many of whom are pioneers in minimally invasive cardiothoracic and vascular surgery, to issue position statements and guidelines on emerging fields. Finally, Innovations provides a vehicle for widespread dissemination of information about ISMICS to the wider specialty to both members and nonmembers alike. This is particularly important to relatively young societies like our own. For these reasons, the present leadership of ISMICS is committed to improving the journal and ensuring its survival. We have instituted a number of changes to reinvigorate the journal. I would like to introduce you to our new editorial team that will attempt to achieve these goals.

As the new Editor, I bring a strong commitment and experience. I have performed both basic and clinical research my whole career and have had extensive editorial experience. I have served on the editorial board of nine journals, and I was Associate Editor for The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery for 10 years. I have seen what it takes to run a first-class journal and promise you that I will commit myself wholly to making Innovations worthy of our Society. My first step as editor was to name a new managing editor. We were very fortunate to have Carol Blasberg join us in September. Carol is known to most of us in the field. She brings a vast experience to this position, and we all know of her energy and integrity. She was the managing editor of The Annals of Thoracic Surgery under Dr. Thomas B. Ferguson for 16 years. Following this in 2000, she became managing editor of CTSNet. She is a wonderful and talented individual, and I hope all of you get a chance to know her in your interactions with Innovations. As a second step, I have reorganized the editorial board. I have named five new associate editors, and I have revamped the editorial board. Our goal is to have superb editorial leadership that will truly reflect the values of our Society and our vision for the journal.

As the new Editor, I would like to share with you my vision for the journal. First and foremost, I would like Innovations to be a truly international journal. This will entail creating a diverse editorial board, representative of the current world of cardiothoracic and vascular surgery without the North American bias of most of our major journals. To do this, I have appointed associate editors representing the various regions of the world, including South America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the Middle East, and Asia. I have also reorganized the editorial board so that two thirds of our members now come from outside North America. This will not only allow Innovations to reflect the diversity of our Society, but also to encourage contributions from the growing cardiothoracic and vascular surgery specialties in the developing world. The journal will be committed to offering rapid and fair reviews, regardless of your country of origin.

My second goal is for Innovations to become the premiere journal in the world for cutting edge, groundbreaking basic and clinical research. We would like the journal to be where you first think of submitting your provocative new ideas, and where you know it will receive a fair review and widespread dissemination. To achieve this goal, we will have innovative surgeons from around the globe on our editorial board who will be constantly on the look out for new technology, procedures, and discoveries.

We also have proposed the following new features for the journal that are aimed at enhancing its value to you, the readers. We will have editorials in every issue discussing articles and controversial areas. We plan to have frequent state-of-the-art reviews by leading ISMICS experts to provide you with summaries of both established and new therapies. Although committed to publishing early and preliminary work, each article will now be accompanied by a short clinical perspective to help the reader put the manuscript into context. These perspectives will be provided by experts on our editorial board. We also hope to have more “how to do it” articles and web-based videos to improve content and help our readers better understand recent developments. Finally, all of us who have been involved in innovation in our field know the important role that industry plays in providing and developing new technology and technique. To acknowledge this, we will have an industry corner, in which leading scientists from different companies provide insight for our readers on their specific technologies.

To achieve these goals, the new editorial board makes the following commitments:

  • We are dedicated to publishing early and preliminary work and will be open to contributions from anyone, anywhere, whether you are in academic or private practice, a large city or a small town, or work in industry.
  • The editorial board is committed to a rapid turnover of reviews and a short time to publication. Our goal is to have articles in press within 6 months of submission.
  • We are committed to enhancing the content of the journal so that it reflects the exciting changes and innovation in our field.
  • We will resume our bimonthly publication schedule and hope that within a couple of years, we will become a monthly journal.

I would like to close by thanking the readers of the journal and the members of ISMICS for their patience during this editorial transition. The new editorial board is committed to delivering a journal that is worthy of our Society and one that is committed to excellence. To help Innovations become one of the premiere journals in our specialty, we will need your help. The most important aspect of any journal is its content. As members of the Society, we ask you to consider Innovations for your basic and clinical research. We are also open to any suggestions you may have to help improve our journal. Please feel free to contact us with your ideas. I hope many of you will agree to review articles for us. I have faith that we will achieve our goals based on my great respect and admiration for the members of our Society. You have shown a commitment to new ideas and technology by joining ISMICS, and I ask you to share your expertise and innovations with our readers. I look forward to serving you as Editor of Innovations over the next 5 years.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.