An Editor's Perspective

Reflections on My Tenure as a Scientific Journal Editor-in-Chief

For 12 years, I had the privilege of serving as editor-in-chief of the American Heart Association’s flagship journal, Circulation. The experience was highly valuable, both because of what it taught me about cardiovascular biomedicine and because of how it shaped my approach to the many challenges that routinely cross an editor’s desk. Here, I would like to share with Science Editor readers my thoughts about the benefits and challenges of the editor’s role, emphasizing the key requirements for effective editorial leadership from the perspective of my personal experience. Scope of Operations Upon reflection, a dominant, lasting impression of the job is that the workload was enormous: ~5,000 manuscripts were submitted to Circulation annually, and ~10,000 manuscripts were submitted to the Circulation family of journals (Circulation and its six daughter journals) annually. By virtue of those numbers, we were privileged to read the very best cardiovascular manuscripts available worldwide. Equally important given those numbers, we also read many weak manuscripts with a variety of shortcomings that commonly distinguish the majority of submitted manuscripts from excellent papers suitable for publication. Clearly, faced with this scope of work, for the enterprise to succeed the editorial team must be well organized and highly efficient. To that end, an effective editorial office staff is absolutely essential for optimal manuscript processing and maintaining smooth general journal operations, and we were fortunate to have had a truly outstanding managing editor and her staff. In addition, the associate editorial team must have a sufficiently broad range of expertise […]

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