Frits Rosendaal and Pieter Reitsma, editors in chief of the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, (JTH) describe the changes and achievement of JTH in their Letter from the Editors below:

We are now in office more than two years. Actually, we took over from Mike Greaves and David Lane in the same year as we organized the previous ISTH meeting in Amsterdam. In the 2.5 years in office we have made some notable changes. First of all, we have become both more strict and less strict.

JTH Editors frits and pieter2

Pieter Reitsma and Frits Rosendaal

Less strict is the restriction on the maximum number of authors on an article, while the articles may also have a higher word count than before our term.

More strict is the initial editorial handling of manuscripts after submission. Those manuscripts that we deem methodologically flawed are rejected without outside review. The same holds for many of the manuscripts that are merely descriptive or that do not advance the field more than by a very small step. Here we aim to use the valuable time of our associate editors and reviewers as efficiently as possible by not sending them manuscripts that have little or no chance to be accepted. This seems to work, as we reject out of hand in our Friday “hanging committee meeting” more than twice as many manuscripts as our predecessors, while the final overall acceptance rate has remained fairly constant.

More strict is the reviewing process for clinical manuscripts. Each paper is now invariably assigned to a methodological reviewer and screened for methodological rigidity and the correct use of statistical procedures. Moreover, we make sure that the reporting of data in the clinical articles, depending on the type of study, adheres to the PRISM, STROBE and CONSORT guidelines. We are contemplating introducing similar methods to ensure methodological rigor for basic science papers.

There are also new article categories. Every issue we write a one-page editorial in an attempt to make the journal livelier. With the same purpose in mind we have recently started a one-page “What the Neighbors Say” category with very short summaries of what we think are important articles in sister journals.

The journal has a tradition of putting what are judged important articles in the spotlight with an “In Focus” commentary. These commentaries are now expanded with a category called “Forum.” Contributions in this category also put the spotlight on a particular topic, much like the commentaries, but the reason for doing so lies outside of the content of the journal, per se.

Many case reports continue to be submitted to the journal. Almost without exception these are rejected immediately. Some, however, have an important message and these can be published as a “Case of the Month,” but this remains a rare occasion.

Another important change has been that we have created a category called “Brief Reports.” Previously, relatively short contributions containing original data were published as a “Letter to the Editor.” We now reserve the latter category for true correspondence related to recent publications in the journal. All original material that can be written down in a short format is now published as a brief report. Some authors appear to think that an isolated observation that is still on the shelf can be published as a brief report. We think otherwise and put the bar for brief reports even higher than for original articles. The message has to be truly innovative and definite.

Are there more changes on the way? Of course, but it is still a bit too early to tell.

JTH now has a new mobile app for iPad and iPhone. Download the JTH app from the Apple App Store and launch it from “Newstand” on your device. ISTH members can log in using the same credentials as they do on the ISTH website. Not a member? Join now!

 

 

By |June 23, 2015