When the 2019 journal impact factors were published earlier this summer, the European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery (EJVES) scored 5.328, an increase of 46% on the previous year. Here, for Vascular News, editor-in-chief Florian Dick (Kantonsspital St Gallen and University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland) and senior editor Martin Björck (Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden) explain the reasons behind this success and how it might affect the future of the journal.
Vascular surgery is a speciality with fast development. New technologies are developing in different fields, and a lot of research is going on. When the journal impact factor is calculated every single article counts; on average, each EJVES paper published in 2017 or 2018 was cited more than five times during 2019. We are very grateful to the authors who decided to submit their best research papers to us, and for the >400 reviewers who helped us to further improve the quality of those. Every published full length article was reviewed by a mean of 3.7 external reviewers (often more than once) and is managed by at least one editor.
Still, some well-cited papers deserve to be mentioned. Among the ten papers that contributed with most citations to the 2019 journal impact factor, five were European Society for Vascular Surgery (ESVS) clinical practice guidelines. The ESVS management guidelines for carotid disease contributed with the highest number of citations. The joint European Society of Cardiology (ESC)/ESVS management guidelines for peripheral arterial disease (PAD), and the ESVS guidelines on descending thoracic aortic diseases, diseases of the mesenteric arteries and veins, and vascular access were also among the top ten. A common feature for all these documents is that they attract scientific and clinical interest not only among vascular surgeons, but also among professionals of many other medical specialities. We tend to publish few retrospective single-centre series, and more multicentre studies, including registry work developed by the Vascunet collaboration.
We invested a lot of effort in improving the layout of the journal, making the dry scientific content more easily digestible, as well as in promoting social media communication. Scientific publishing is a moving target undergoing rapid change. We also embrace globalisation. A growing proportion of the readers, authors, reviewers, and staff members are non-European.
Since we are now number eight of all surgical journals (just behind the British Journal of Surgery) and number eight of all journals in peripheral vascular disease (just behind Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology [ATVB]). We foresee that authors of hot scientific papers, including randomised controlled trials, will consider publishing their papers in the EJVES. The number of of submissions already increased from 847 in 2016 to 1,206 in 2019, and we may reach 1,600 this year, since there were >900 submissions during the first half of 2020. This of course creates extra work for the editorial team, and results in a higher rejection rate. We have created other mechanisms, however, in order to be able to publish not only the top papers, and to stay “inclusive”. One such is the development of the EJVES-Short Reports into the EJVES-Vascular Forum.
We also publish educational articles, editorials, and letters in the main journal, although they have no influence on the journal impact factor. We do encourage debates and invite our readers to write letters on controversial hot topics. Becoming the premier scientific journal in our field does not exclude other important functions.