Why Read, Contribute to, and Promote Stroke?
We suffer from a surfeit of information, often sliced, spiced and spun. However, reliable information remains scarce and in increasing demand.
Stroke is the leading journal in the field that welcomes manuscripts about “the cerebral circulation and its diseases from many disciplines, including neurology, internal medicine, radiology, nuclear medicine, neuropathology, neurosurgery, epidemiology, vascular surgery, rehabilitation, anesthesiology, critical care medicine, vascular physiology, neuropsychology, speech pathology and neuro-ophthalmology.”
The main criterion for publication is not subject matter, but relevance and scientific excellence.
We offer monthly CME credits on key articles. Reviews, Editorials and Letters to the Editor complement Original articles.
Our growing field fosters both consensus and dissension. A lively Controversies section debates different approaches to important questions, accompanied by a summarizing commentary that puts it in perspective.
Although we cannot publish all the Letters to the Editor that we receive, we publish as many as possible with an eye to diversity of viewpoints.
Knowledge is acquired in pieces but it is understood in patterns. Stroke strives to integrate and contextualize knowledge. Not only do we try to report current advances, we make an effort to identify promising developments. In addition to Reviews, Editorials and Commentaries, the annual Advances series highlights the most important developments, ranging from genetics to outcomes research. These articles are written jointly by a basic scientist and a clinician or by Section Editors of differing backgrounds and countries. This issue features the conclusions of the STAIR IV Conference, the latest in a series of influential gatherings among academics, industry representatives and regulators, who set standards for clinical trials in stroke.
The Research Reports, the Emerging Therapies Section and the Princeton Conference glimpse at what is yet to come.
Our Research Reports section allows for a 1500-word venue that focuses on the reporting of important and promising early observations that have not yet been substantiated.
The Emerging Therapies section highlights new approaches to treatment, with in-depth commentaries and perspectives. Stroke does not shy away from sensitive but crucial issues. When a clot removing device was approved by the FDA, against the advice of an expert panel, we invited the chair of the expert panel and the official responsible for the approval to explain their respective positions.1,2 This was accompanied by a commentary on the apparent difference in standards for the approval of devices compared with that of drugs.3
The Princeton Conference is the longest running (half a century) and most respected scientific gathering on cerebrovascular disease. The papers of the recent 2006 conference appear as a peer-reviewed supplement in this issue of Stroke.
The most compelling reason for reading Stroke is that you cannot be knowledgeable in stroke without knowing its contents. Reports of the most important advances will be either published or summarized and commented on in Stroke. Moreover, we strive to make our journal one stop reading for all those concerned with stroke.
Why Contribute to Stroke?
As a potential author of Stroke, you will get a fair, prompt and knowledgeable review. If you think that your manuscript merits an expedited review, you can request it. If the Editorial Board agrees, the manuscript will be reviewed promptly and if accepted, an editorial written and a possible news release prepared. Although speed matters, we will not allow it to overtake quality. We invite you to suggest reviewers’ names. We may choose someone from your list, but also call on one or two of our over 100 Editorial Board members to provide a timely review. Additionally, our reviewers’ database contains several thousand names with a brief description of their area of expertise. This usually means that we can get a prompt and credible evaluation. We probably have the largest, broadest and best informed reviewers in stroke of any journal.
Manuscripts from the Americas are handled by the Editor, and other manuscripts by the Associate Editors by geographic area, except for the basic science manuscripts. If authors have a strong preference regarding a particular Editor, we will try to accommodate them within the limits of timelines and appropriateness. For authors from certain developing countries, we offer REWRITE, a mentorship program4 where a member of the Editorial Board will work with the author to make the manuscript as competitive as possible. We only require that Stroke has first consideration of the manuscript. Once submitted, it undergoes the same rigorous peer review process subject to the same high standards. If the paper is not accepted, at least it will be in good shape to be submitted to other journals (Table 1).
Authors have many choices of journals. A great temptation is to send their manuscript to a high impact general journal. Typically and by necessity, these journals have a limited number of reviewers in a particular field, invited by editors with varying degrees of knowledge about stroke. Consequently, the peer review process has a greater degree of chance misassignments and editorials a higher probability of misfocused emphases.
Submitting a manuscript to Stroke assures not only a good evaluation by knowledgeable reviewers, but if published that it will be read by the people who need to know about it the most.
Given our space limitations and policy to publish only manuscripts that are valid, novel and important, we can only publish about one-fifth of submitted manuscripts. One of the sources of misunderstanding for disappointed authors is that manuscripts go through a two-step process. Peer review provides a first judgment. Reviewers can only provide an opinion as to where the manuscript may rank within a given area. The Editorial Board then has to judge how manuscripts compare to each other given that we can only publish a fraction. This sometimes creates an impression of incongruity between favorable comments by the reviewers’ and the final decision. Usually this means that the manuscript merits publication, but perhaps not in a highly competitive journal such as Stroke.
However, if you do get published in Stroke, your paper will be read, quoted and promoted (Table 2).
Institutional subscriptions, particularly online, are accessed by many more users than the numbers quoted.
We are the highest impact journal in our field and our impact factor keeps rising (Figure).
Along with Annals of Neurology and Brain, we are the leading publisher of original research in neurology as reflected in the impact factor. If you publish in Stroke, your article will have a good chance of being quoted or referenced.
The American Heart Association Media Relations department prepares news releases on the most important articles, reaching millions of readers, viewers, and internet users worldwide.
Although the print version of Stroke appears monthly, the online publish ahead of print program (Stroke ASAP) assures that final proof articles are published weekly online.
If you became a reviewer for Stroke, not only will you contribute to the field by rendering timely evaluations, but you will become acquainted with the newest developments in your field. You will be able to compare your evaluation with that of the other reviewers and benefit from the process. The road to becoming a member of the Editorial Board is to become a thoughtful and prompt reviewer. If you are interested in becoming a Reviewer for Stroke, please send me a note along with a short curriculum vitae and areas in which you would like to review and your qualifications for doing so. We will consider individuals from any discipline within the broad field of stroke regardless of rank, location or career stage.
You can also contribute as an editorialist. Usually we invite editorials from among the reviewers of a manuscript. However, we will consider unsolicited commentaries on important topics, particularly if they point to a better understanding or approach. These submissions become subject to the peer review process.
Why Promote Stroke?
By promoting Stroke, you promote the field, and if you are an author, you also promote yourself. Stroke is the most widely read and quoted journal in our field by a large margin.
By subscribing you increase our ability to continue to improve the journal. If you cannot subscribe, perhaps you can persuade your institution to do so. You can also bring to the attention of your colleagues, and at times patients or policy makers, the monthly free article of general interest and clinical importance that can be accessed and downloaded.
You can encourage potential authors to submit their manuscripts to Stroke. We try to publish not only new knowledge, but to integrate it through editorials, reviews and the Advances.
You should READ Stroke to know about all the important developments of our field. You should CONTRIBUTE to Stroke to reach those most likely to apply and build on your work. You should PROMOTE Stroke to help advance the field.
- Accepted January 3, 2007.
Becker KJ, Brott TG. Approval of the MERCI Clot Retriever: a critical review. Stroke. 2005; 36: 400–403.
Felten RP, Ogden DRP, Pena C, Provost M, Schlosser MJ, Witten CM. The Food and Drug Administration medical device review process: clearance of a clot retriever for use in ischemic stroke. Stroke. 2005; 36: 404–406.
Furlan AJ, Fisher M. Devices, drugs and the Food and Drug Administration: increasing implications for ischemic stroke. Stroke. 2005; 36: 398–399.
Hachinski V. ReWrite: Stroke’s Editorial Aid Program. Stroke. 2004; 35: 807.