In my inaugural editorial, I said that “The next few years will prove momentous for stroke, as the problem, our knowledge and the challenges grow. As readers, authors and contributors to Stroke, we cannot only anticipate the future but help shape it.”1
Stroke Submissions (All Papers)
“Stroke attracts an increasingly larger number of manuscripts, heading toward 1500 a year.”1
2010: 19% increase in the fist two months over 2009
We are now heading toward 3000 manuscripts a year.
“Impact factors are only meaningful by comparison with journals in the same field, since the likelihood of being cited varies directly with the number of authors in the relevant disciplines.”1
In 2002 Stroke’s impact factor was 5.176 and by 2009 we had risen to 6.499, more than twice that of the nearest competitor.
“We plan to make the content of Stroke available to a large and broader readership.”1
2002: The introduction of Stroke in Spanish.
2004: Stroke in Russian.
2005: Stroke in Italian.
2006: Stroke in Japanese and Stroke in Chinese.
2007: Stroke in Portuguese (Brazil) and Stroke in India.
2008: Stroke in Korean.
2009: Stroke in Turkish.
“Stroke has earned an enviable reputation for reliability, objectivity and equanimity. Stroke has become a major field and Stroke its leading publication. We propose to build on what has been achieved.”1
The Controversies in Stroke and Emerging Therapies sections were introduced, which put into perspective the results of major clinical trials published elsewhere. We aim to be the journal to which all interested parties turn if they wish to have a well informed, balanced perspective on a new therapy.
As of 2010, both of these sections continue to be our top-ranked features in the journal.
Stroke’s publish-ahead-of-print initiative, Stroke As Soon As Possible (ASAP) was launched in October.
We introduced Advances in Stroke, having the Associate, Assistant and Section Editors contribute each a brief article in the field of stroke for a ‘year in review’ type feature that appeared in the February 2003 issue of Stroke.
Under Marc Fisher’s direction, and the Section Editors, this feature continues to be popular, having the Advances in Stroke 2009 appear online this past February.
In 2004, Stroke was pleased to introduce the first of a new series of supplements, beginning with the peer-reviewed selection of manuscripts based on the 24th Princeton Conference on Cerebrovascular Diseases. The Princeton Conference is the premier research meeting in our field. It began in 1954 and since 1966 has taken place every other year. The Princeton Conference proceedings continue, with plans for the 2010 installment being printed online only this fall.
We introduced The REWRITE program (mentoring authors from developing countries to make their manuscripts competitive). In 2008 the REWRITE Program was renamed AMP (Author Mentorship Program) and a radio button on our homepage highlighting AMP was added. We continue to receive manuscripts for this program, which may be unique among all journals.
A single-blind process was adopted after having over a 5-month period (June to October 2004) invited all authors to comment on whether they favored double-blind or single-blind review of their manuscripts. At the end of the 5-month period, we received 182 responses of which over 80% were in favor of single-blind review. However, we continue to offer the authors the option of double-blind reviews should they prefer.
Stroke successfully launched the addition of the CME quiz in October 2006 under the editorship of Drs Richard Chan and Vadim Beletsky.
The Stroke Innovation Award was introduced.
“Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what no one else has thought”…….
— Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
The first Innovation Award honored 2 winners:
1st Prize went to Dr Laurent Pierot for “Immediate clinical outcome of patients harboring unruptured intracranial aneurysms treated by endovascular approach: results of the ATENA trial.”
2nd Prize awarded to Dr Charlie Thompson for “Living beyond our physiological means: small vessel disease of the brain is an expression of a systematic failure in arteriolar function. A unifying hypothesis.”
2009 recognized 3 awardees, just recently presented at the 2010 International Stroke Conference.
1st Prize awarded to Dr Gretchen Tietjen for “Migraine and biomarkers for endothelial activation in young women.”
2nd Prize went to Dr Jorge Kattah for “HINTS to diagnose stroke in the acute vestibular syndrome-three-step bedside oculomotor examination more sensitive than early MRI DWI.”
3rd Prize to Dr Nancy Mayo for “A longitudinal view of apathy and its impact poststroke.”
The Stroke/American Stroke Association booth at the World Stroke Congress in Vienna in November 2008 was a resounding success. Stroke posters, handouts of recent “hot” topic articles, copies of the journal, and membership information were available. We were astounded to see that our handouts were scooped up a day before the conference was finished.
The Special Call for Papers for “Stroke in Women” drew an unexpectedly higher number of submissions, resulting in a final count of 21 Original Contributions and 1 Editorial. I have found in my travels that this has been a very positive feature. The manuscripts were published-ahead-of-print in February to coincide with the annual American Heart Association “Go Red” campaign, and followed with print publication in the April issue of Stroke.
In January 2009, the collaboration between The China Medical Tribune and the journal made its debut with the publication of 4 translated papers from Stroke. Dr Raymond T.F. Cheung has been named the Assistant Editor for this collaboration. In 2010 this collaboration continues.
Stroke Turns 40
To celebrate this anniversary, we organized a Synergium (a forum for working synergistically together) on “Stroke: Spurring Progress In Challenging Times—A Glance Back, a New Fresh Look Forward.”
The Synergium’s goal: “To devise and rank new ways of accelerating progress in stroke research, treatment, rehabilitation, and prevention through innovations, alliances and synergies and committing major stroke organizations to a global, prioritized and unbiased action plan.”
This event was unique in a number of ways:
This is the first ever initiative to establish an international agenda and comprehensive action plan intended to synergize, coordinate and advance efforts worldwide to reduce the global burden of stroke.
Seven central themes were selected, and a coordinator and working group were appointed to each topic and each developed a working paper addressing core issues.
Assembled were more than 150 leading authorities from academic research centers, industry, stroke-dedicated organizations, and government entities around the world, committed to a collaborative approach to improve and expand on the most significant and shared aspects of work worldwide to combat stroke.
During the Synergium, participants were invited to engage in open, candid discussion and the crafting of consensus statements addressing the challenging issues we confront.
The Synergium recommendations will be consolidated and published in the journal Stroke allowing a broader medical and scientific stroke community access to the recommendations.
The Synergium was held on February 22 and 23, just before the International Stroke Conference in San Antonio, Texas.
We have built on the work of all the previous Editor’s-in-Chief and their teams. I am particularly grateful to my predecessor, the solomonic Mark Dyken, who with relentless pleasantness first persuaded me to apply for the job of Editor-in-Chief, and when I could not begin immediately, he kindly stayed for an additional year with his Associate Editors, Marie-Germaine Bousser and Hermes Kontos in order to allow me to become Editor.
I am also grateful to David Faxon, Chair of the Stroke Selection Committee, and the American Heart Association (AHA) for their patience and understanding in dealing with a reluctant candidate who did not want to take on a challenging new job until he finished his commitment as Chair of a large multidisciplinary department. A decision that turned out for the best, because while we were learning the job, it was decided to make the jump to making all submissions electronic, which consumed all the time and resourcefulness that we were able to muster.
Whatever we have achieved has been through the commitment and work of many people. Markku Kaste as Associate Editor for Europe, Graeme Hankey as Associate Editor for the Pacific Rim, Michael Moskowitz as Editor for Basic Science and John W. Norris, Associate Editor at Large, gave us a vigorous and credible start.
At the staff level, Lindy Mechefske helped us in the first few months in launching the new office and David Scott in the first four years. Stroke’s two Managing Editors, Rebecca Clarke and Nola McGregor, have provided the backbone for the journal from the beginning. Eric George, another talented, committed and resourceful team player, joined our staff in 2006. I consult the Stroke staff on every major decision about the journal. They serve not only as a candid sounding board, but often as the source of good ideas.
The current Associate Editors; Frank Faraci, Maria Grazia De Simoni, Costantino Iadecola and Eng Lo for Basic Science; Werner Hacke, Hugh Markus, Bo Norrving and Joanna Wardlaw for Europe; Graeme Hankey for the Pacific Rim, Marc Fisher for the Sections and Advances and Geoffrey Donnan and Stephen Davis for Controversies, have proved to be a dynamic, innovative and fun group who have contributed to the journal and the field.
The masthead of Stroke in the past decade reflects how many individuals have contributed to the journal and the field. We are indebted to our reviewers for their essential contributions.
We have been fortunate to have had close and productive relationships with the AHA staff, in particular, Stephen Prudhomme initially, and more recently with Heather Goodell, Jody Hundley and Gayle Whitman, the team from Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Cordelia Slaughter and Kim (“Why not?”) Jansen, and the production staff at Cadmus Communications.
We will hand over to my successor Dr Marc Fisher on July 1, 2010 with full confidence that he will lead the journal to new heights. Seldom has an Editor-in-Chief elect been so well qualified and prepared.2
Everyone is so engrossed in the daily work of the journal that one always looks forward, not back. To paraphrase Sophocles, one has to wait till dusk to see how splendid the journal’s days have been. It has been an immense opportunity and privilege to have been the Editor-in-Chief of Stroke for the last decade.
Thank you very much!
- Accepted March 17, 2010.