Anthony N. DeMaria, MD, vice chairman of medicine at the University of California-San Diego and a cardiologist recognized for his clinical, academic, and leadership experience in the field, has been named editor in chief of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC). He assumed his responsibilities on July 1, 2002.
"Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States. JACC is committed to bringing physicians the most current clinical information to help them best care for patients with cardiovascular disease, and to promote prevention of cardiovascular disease," said DeMaria.
DeMaria's medical journal experience covers the spectrum, from investigator to reviewer to editor, having served on the editorial boards of nearly all cardiovascular journals, including JACC.
"I believe that the position of editor in chief is a sacred responsibility to authors and writers, so that we ensure that the best scientific information is made available as rapidly as possible," emphasized Dr. DeMaria. "This position should and will occupy the top level of priority in my professional activities."
DeMaria has been active in the three basic areas of academic medicine -- investigator, teacher, and clinician. He also has considerable administrative experience, serving as chief of the cardiology division at two institutions over a 19-year period. At the University of California-San Diego, where he has been the division chief for nine years, he has also been the vice chairman of medicine until resigning to become editor of JACC. In addition, he has served as the president of both the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Society of Echocardiography.
The bulk of his research has been in cardiac imaging, particularly ultrasound, although he has been actively involved in the study of acute coronary syndromes, heart failure, arrhythmia, and health care policy and delivery.
"Clinical trials will warrant high priority for publication because of the continuing need to justify clinical decisions," added DeMaria. "Outcomes studies are the ultimate foundation of evidence-based medicine, and JACC is the utmost source of clinical cardiovascular data -- making the two a perfect combination." In addition, because of the importance that health care policy and delivery issues have in today's practice of medicine, these articles merit inclusion in DeMaria's plan for JACC.
A Web-based manuscripts submission and tracking system, operational in early 2002, will speed the submission process and make it more efficient, in turn bringing research to the reader more quickly. This system will benefit peer reviewers, too, as they will receive, review, and send feedback entirely through electronic means.
In addition to faster turnaround for submissions, DeMaria is exploring how to use electronic capabilities to enhance print publication of scientific papers. "One such example might be electronic publication of moving images," projected DeMaria. "Electronic media will play an increasing role in JACC."
DeMaria will expedite the review process in other ways as well, such as expanding the Editorial Board and including more international reviewers, reflecting the growing number of international manuscripts submitted to JACC. In addition, DeMaria will provide telling statistics to reviewers based on the manuscripts they review, average turnaround time, and individual acceptance rates. These data will provide reviewers and the Editorial Board with benchmarks that, ultimately, will shorten manuscript-to-publication times.
"To be successful as an editor, I believe that you must approach the position from the standpoint of the author," said DeMaria. "The most important function is to ensure that manuscripts are treated with appropriate thoughtfulness and care. You also must act as a calibration to equalize the variable characteristics of individual reviewers.
As a result of the change, the JACC Editorial Office has relocated to San Diego, where DeMaria will receive manuscript submissions. Submissions should be addressed accordingly: Dr. Anthony N. DeMaria, JACC Editorial Office, 3655 Nobel Drive, Suite 400 San Diego, CA 92122-5763.
The American College of Cardiology, a 28,000-member nonprofit organization, is a professional medical society and teaching institution for the nation's cardiovascular health care specialists.