This is my farewell editorial to you as the Editor of Innovations. It has been a wonderful experience serving as your third Editor and an absolute pleasure to work with so many members of our society over the last 10 years. I would like to begin by thanking my Associate Editors, Editorial Board members, and the many reviewers who have helped establish Innovations as the premier journal dedicated to promoting technology and techniques in minimally invasive cardiothoracic and vascular surgery. We have made remarkable progress in the last decade with all of your help to the great benefit of our society and specialty. I would like to look back on Innovations' journey since I became Editor.
The last 10 years has seen an exponential growth of the journal. In 2008, we had only 44 manuscripts submitted for review. Last year, 179 manuscripts were submitted, a more than four-fold increase. This is perhaps the strongest indication that the perception of our journal among authors around the world has improved considerably. This increase in available content has allowed us to both be more selective and publish higher-quality manuscripts. Our rejection rate has gone from 15% in 2008 to 35% in 2017. Importantly, we have been able to expand the number of published pages and issues in a dramatic fashion. We had only three issues and 178 published pages in 2008. This mushroomed to 10 print and online issues and 784 total pages in 2017. This was more than a four-fold increase in published pages. The improved quality and quantity of our published manuscripts led to some of our biggest accomplishments. In March 2012, Innovations was accepted for indexing in PubMed by Medline. More recently, we were accepted for inclusion in the Emerging Sources Citation Index, a crucial first step to obtaining an impact factor. We also have been able to expand our print subscriptions to 843, an increase in 21% over the last year alone. This is all the more impressive since most journals have seen a slow decline in their subscriptions over recent years. Our membership should feel proud of how far Innovations has come and look optimistically ahead to its future.
Although many people have played a role in these accomplishments, I would like to single out one person for special praise. When I accepted the role as Editor, I was fortunate to have Carol Blasberg agree to be the Managing Editor. After serving as the Managing Editor for 16 years for The Annals of Thoracic Surgery under Dr. Thomas Ferguson and for CTSNet for another 10 years, I was lucky enough to recruit her for Innovations. In my opinion, she is the most talented and dedicated Managing Editor in the field of cardiothoracic surgery. We all owe her a tremendous debt of gratitude for all she has done for the journal and for her tireless efforts in maintaining the highest standards for Innovations. She is simply the best in the business.
Although we have come a long way, it is critical to remember that we still have much more to accomplish. I cannot think of anyone more qualified to take on the role of Editor than Dr. Niv Ad. He was the unanimous choice of the selection committee. His academic accomplishments, his dedication to the International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery, and his many contributions to Innovations as an Associate Editor and a member of our Editorial Board make him the perfect choice. We all should support Dr. Ad as he takes Innovations to an even higher level. The best way to do this is to submit your work for publication and to offer to review articles in your areas of expertise.
In closing, I would like to thank all of you for your support and contributions to our journal during my tenure. It has been an honor to serve as your Editor for the last decade. I will look forward to seeing you at our annual meeting and working with Dr. Ad and all of you to ensure the continuing success of Innovations.
Ralph J. Damiano, Jr, MD
Innovations: Technology and Techniques in Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery