The first edition of the European Heart Journal appeared in January 1980, as a monthly scientific magazine with Desmond Julian as its first editor, followed by Henri Kulbertus from Liege, Belgium, Kim Fox, from London, UK and Frans Van De Werf from Leuven University, Belgium. In 2009, Thomas F. Lüscher, then from Zurich, now London, took over as the fifth editor of the European Heart Journal with the vision “The European Heart Journal Goes Global” . With this strategy, numerous editors from around the world were invited to participate in the editorial process, in particular, from the US Bernard Gersch from the Mayo Clinic, and Marc Pfeffer, Scott Solomon and Christopher Cannon from Harvard University, Boston, as well as Hiroaki Shimokawa from Sendai, Japan, David Celermajer from Sydney, Australia and Runlin Gao from Beijing, China, to mention just a few. With this team, the editor-in-chief set new standards of scientific publishing and improved the quality of the published manuscripts .
Also, the content of the European Heart Journal was expanded with a news section, CardioPulse run by Dr Andros Tofield, and soon the journal was published weekly with reviews, original research, editorials, CardioVascular Flashlights and more recently a Discussion Forum for its readers.
Furthermore, the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) journal family (fig. 1) was established, with transfer of manuscripts from the European Heart Journal to specialty journals. This allowed authors of papers considered by the editor-in-chief to be better suited to a specialty journal to transfer their manuscripts, with the existing reviews and without new formatting, to either Europace, the European Journal of Heart Failure or any other member of the ESC journal family. Over the years, the number of titles increased substantially, with new journals on acute cardiac care, pharmacotherapy, quality of care and, most recently, digital health. In addition, the appearance of the ESC journals underwent a significant change, with a new design reflecting corporate identity.
The journal and its specialty sisters became available on iPhone and iPad, and views and downloads increased from 1 million to an estimated 12 million per year. The impact factor of the European Heart Journal and all the other members of the ESC journal family increased substantially (table 1). For the younger readers, a Twitter editor was hired and the editor-in-chief also regularly tweets about the content of each issue of the journal (the weekly Issue@aGlance), more recently with video summaries. Indeed, the Twitter editor, Ricardo Ladeiras Lopes, performed a randomised trial showing that tweeting on articles increases citations .
|Eur Heart J||3’200 (4000)||7’680’091||28.848 (24.122)|
|Cardiovascular Res||1’250 (1’500)|
|Eur J Heart Fail||1’419 (1’920)||1’200’000||12.129 (11.4)|
|EHJ CV Imaging||1’100||1’120’200||5.260|
|Eur J Prev Cardiol||1’658 (2’688)||566’035|
|EHJ CV Pharmac||520 (600)||129’000||6.723|
|EHJ QCCA||172 (300)||84’000||‒||Estimated IF 3.7|
|EHJ ACVC||347 (700)||95’000|
|EHJ CV Nursing||506||244’999||2.479|
|EHJ Supplements||13 issues||‒||1.321|
|EHJ Case Reports||570 (1’100)||153’160|
|ESC Heart Failure||300 (580)||200’000||3.407|
|eJournal Cardiology||50||n.a.||n.a.||Weekly one article|
Thus, in summary, in the last decade the European Heart Journal was completely transformed into one of the leading journals in cardiovascular medicine world-wide and is now ready to be run by a new editor-in-chief. After a difficult selection process, the Search Committee decided to nominate Filippo Crea from Rome, Italy to become the new editor-in-chief from 1 September 2020. Filippo Crea has worked closely with Thomas F. Lüscher since January to assure a smooth transition from one editor to the next. Also, the editorial managers of the European Heart Journal, Amelia Meier, Susannah Dedecke and Johanna Huggler from the Zurich Heart House will continue to work with the new editor to assure sustainability of the current quality of the journal.
Science is built on trust, but nor all authors deserve it. Very rarely overall, but nonetheless importantly, the editors have had to deal with accusations, questions, whistleblowers and other individuals who rightly or wrongly felt that scientific fraud might be involved in submitted or even in published work  As a consequence, the editor-in-chief created the ESC Journals Ethics Committee chaired by Maarten Simoons from Rotterdam, Kim Fox from London and Christian Hamm from Bad Nauheim. Later, to expand the expertise to basic science, Ursula Ravens, David Garcia-Dorado, who sadly passed away in 2019, and Mat Daemen joined the team. Unfortunately, this committee became increasingly busy over time, but it did an exceptional job in solving delicate issues with good judgement as well as high ethical standards .
With this short feature, the current editor-in-chief, Thomas F. Lüscher, would like to thank in particular the editors in Switzerland who were involved from the very start of his editorship and were crucial, as were Swiss reviewers, for the tremendous success of the European Heart Journal, which allowed it to grow to its current stature (table 2).
|Name||Site||Area of expertise|
|Lukas Altwegg||St Clara Basel||Interventional cardiology|
|Corinna Brunckhorst||USZ Zurich||Arrhythmias|
|Giovanni G. Camici||UZH Zurich||Basic science, stroke|
|Francesco Cosentino||Karolinksa, Stockhom||Diabetes|
|Sarah Costantino||UZH Zurich||Basic science|
|Firat Duru||USZ Zurich||Arrhythmias|
|Oliver Gämperli||Hirslanden Zurich||Imaging, interventional cardiology|
|Urs Eriksson||GZO Wetzikon||Myocarditis|
|Andreas Flammer||USZ Zurich||Heart failure|
|Peter Jüni||University of Toronto||Statistics, metanalysis|
|Philipp A. Kaufmann||USZ Zurich||Imaging|
|Ulf Landmesser||Charité Berlin||Interventional cardiology|
|Luca Liberale||UZH Zurich||Basic science, stroke|
|Willibald Maier||USZ Zurich||Interventional cardiology|
|Robert Manka||USZ Zurich||Imaging|
|Martin Meyer||USZ Zurich||Production|
|Christian M. Matter||USZ Zurich||Basic science|
|Christian Mueller||University Basel||Biomarkers, ACS|
|Fabian Nietlispach||Hirslanden Zurich||Interventional cardiology|
|Francesco Paneni||UZH Zurich||Basic science|
|Aju Pazhenkottil||USZ Zurich||Imaging|
|Lorenz Räber||Inselspital Bern||Interventional cardiology|
|Frank Ruschitzka||USZ Zurich||Heart failure|
|Christian Schmied||USZ Zurich||Sport medicine|
|Simon F. Stämpfli||KS Luzern||Echocardiography|
|Jan Steffel||USZ Zurich||Arrhythmias|
|Felix Tanner||USZ Zurich||Echocardiography|
|Christian Templin||USZ Zurich||Interventional cardiology|
|Ludwig von Segesser||CHUV Lausanne||Cardiovascular surgery|
Not least, the success of the European Heart Journal is in large parts thanks to an amazing editorial team with the lead editorial manager Amelia Meier and her team (fig. 2)
As such the European Heart Journal, transformed into a leading journal in cardiovascular medicine over more than a decade, is ready to be handed over as of 1 September 2020 to the new editor-in-chief Filippo Crea from Rome, a distinguished scientist and clinician with experience, as he has been one of the best associate editors of the journal (fig. 3).
Correspondence:, Professor Thomas F. Lüscher, Zurich Heart House, Hottingerstrasse 14, CH-8008 Zurich, cardio[at]tomluescher.ch
1 Lüscher TF, Gersh B, Brugada J, Landmesser U, Ruschitzka FT, Serruys PW. The European Heart Journal goes global: the road ahead of the editorial team 2009-2011. Eur Heart J. 2009;30(1):1–5. doi:. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehn549 PubMed
3 Ladeiras-Lopes R, Clarke S, Vidal-Perez R, Alexander M, Lüscher TF; ESC (European Society of Cardiology) Media Committee and European Heart Journal. Twitter promotion predicts citation rates of cardiovascular articles: a preliminary analysis from the ESC Journals Randomized Study. Eur Heart J. 2020;ehaa211. doi:. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehaa211 PubMed
5 Simoons ML; all Committee Members. The ESC Publications Ethics Committee: Report from the first 5 years’ experience of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) journals family ethics committee. Eur Heart J. 2018;39(27):2518–21. doi:. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehy323 PubMed
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