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Open Heart: BMJ Announces a New Online Open-Access Cardiology Journal
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Open Heart

September 22, 2013 -- This October, Open Heart, a new online only peer-reviewed cardiology journal will launch its initial website, with publication of its first round of articles targeted for early 2014. Announced at the recent European Society of Cardiology meeting in Amsterdam, Open Heart is a sister publication to Heart and the newest addition to the BMJ family, which is publishing it in partnership with the British Cardiovascular Society.

Pascal Meier, MD
Pascal Meier, MD
Editor-in-Chief, Open Heart
Yet Another Cardiology Journal?
Angioplasty.Org recently spoke with Editor-in-Chief Pascal Meier, MD, consultant interventional cardiologist at The Heart Hospital, UCLH, London, and Assistant Adjunct Professor in Cardiovascular Medicine at Yale Medical School, about this new endeavor and whether there is a need for another cardiology journal. Dr. Meier explained that Open Heart will be fundamentally different from the current print-based journals: it will be online only, which means there will be no limitation as to the number of articles that can be published. As an Associate Editor of BMJ's Heart, Meier saw a number of good quality articles turned down for publication, primarily because there just wasn't enough space in the print journal. With the amount of original research growing exponentially, he sees Open Heart as a way to get new findings directly to a wide audience with minimum turn-around time. The concept is somewhat similar to the online PLOS Medicine, but devoted entirely to the field of cardiology.

"Open" in Many Ways
The new journal promises to be "open" in many ways: open access (free access for all readers), open peer review (unblinded peer review) and open data (data sharing). Meier emphasized that he wants the journal to be as transparent as possible to ensure maximum impact on research progress and patient care.

A description of the journal on the preview web site states:

"The journal is dedicated to publishing high quality, peer-reviewed, medical research in all disciplines and therapeutic areas of cardiovascular medicine. Research is published across all study phases and designs, from study protocols to phase I trials to meta-analyses, including small or specialist studies. Opinionated discussions on controversial topics are welcomed.

"Open Heart aims to operate a fast submission and review process with continuous publication online, to ensure timely, up-to-date research is available worldwide. The journal adheres to a rigorous and transparent peer review process, and all articles will go through a statistical assessment to ensure robustness of the analyses. Papers will be considered on methodological soundness rather than priority or novelty."

Dr. Meier and his team have published a comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions, including how to submit a manuscript, how much it will cost, what the turn-around time is (first decisions in about 4 weeks), who owns the copyright and more.

Sometime next month, the website of Open Heart will go live, allowing submission of manuscripts directly. Until then, interested authors can contact the Editorial Office at info.openheart@bmj.com with questions and ideas.

Reported by Burt Cohen, September 22, 2013; revised October 11, 2013