Year : 2021  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 135--138

Annals of pediatric cardiology: A glorious journey and a vision for the future


Sivasubramanian Ramakrishnan 
 Department of Cardiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sivasubramanian Ramakrishnan
Department of Cardiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
India




How to cite this article:
Ramakrishnan S. Annals of pediatric cardiology: A glorious journey and a vision for the future.Ann Pediatr Card 2021;14:135-138


How to cite this URL:
Ramakrishnan S. Annals of pediatric cardiology: A glorious journey and a vision for the future. Ann Pediatr Card [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Oct 16 ];14:135-138
Available from: https://www.annalspc.com/text.asp?2021/14/2/135/315284


Full Text



 The Journey So Far



The first issue of Annals of Pediatric Cardiology (APC) was published in the year 2008. It was a long-cherished dream of the Pediatric Cardiac Society of India (PCSI) to have its own journal. The dream was made possible by the tireless and dedicated efforts of the founding editors Dr. Bharat Dalvi and Dr. Krishna Kumar. PCSI made a humble beginning with a newsletter that was edited by Dr. Shyam Sunder Kothari in the initial few years. The launch of APC was well timed as it coincided with the rapid growth of pediatric cardiac services in India. The journal had a modest beginning with two issues per year and 2–3 original articles per issue.

Dr. Bharat Dalvi navigated the difficult years when the journal was in its nascent stages and not indexed. The problems were compounded by a lack of finances and absence of support staff. Like any new journal, submissions were few to start with, especially the original articles. The manuscripts were sourced by individually contacting the authors, and the issues were completed with innovative sections such as opinion poll, viewpoint, how I do it, and point/counterpoint. Getting the journal indexed in various databases including PubMed changed the face of the journal, and by the time his tenure ended, the journal was truly well established. Dr. Shyam Sunder Kothari maintained the highest academic and ethical standards. His vision of “think global and act Indian” increased the international visibility of the journal. Under his leadership, the journal reached high standards with a widespread national and global acceptance. Under Dr. Krishna Kumar, the diversity of publications widened. The journal attracted articles from across the world. The journal achieved the unique status of being the leading forum for discussion on practical cardiological issues faced by children in low- and middle- income countries. It was during his tenure the journal started publishing three issues per year. The editorship under the internationally acclaimed congenital heart surgeon, Dr. Krishna S Iyer brought the needed expansion. He made the best use of his academic credentials and vast surgical experience to bring in global audience for the journal. The submissions increased significantly under his tenure and the frequency increased to four issues per year.

The journal has fulfilled its primary purpose envisaged at the launch, which was to provide a common platform for members of all the subspecialties to come together to express their views and solve issues that are specific to low resource environments. A vast majority (90%) of children are born in low-resource environments and have unique problems in the form of late presentation and comorbidities and need to be managed with constrained human and material resources. The journal has provided an academic platform for pediatric cardiac professionals in India and many other low- and middle- income countries and helped bridge a major gap between real world challenges and mainstream academia. Through the years of rapid growth, the journal has sought to maintain a balance between being a completely academic journal and a journal addressing real-world challenges faced by pediatric cardiology communities working in resource-limited settings.

 Journal Statistics at a Glance



The journal's readership has improved over time as can be seen from the various article-based statistics. The number of articles submitted to the journal per year has increased steadily to nearly four-fold over the past decade [Figure 1]a. The acceptance rates have gradually declined over the years, from as high as 75% to a reasonable level of 45%, reflecting an improvement of the quality of articles being published. Nearly, a third of the original articles submitted to the journal got accepted with the acceptance rates having remained nearly the same over the years, except for a small drop in the middle [Figure 1]b.{Figure 1}

 Where Do We Stand?



For a journal that has been running successfully for more than a decade, comparison with its peers would be critical to understand where the journal stands and would help in planning the way forward. A comparison of the different metrics of the various pediatric cardiology journals currently being published globally is summarized in [Table 1]. Apart from these, there are a few recently launched journals such as the Journal of Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac surgery (2017), Journal of Congenital Cardiology (2017), and International Journal of Cardiology – Congenital Heart Disease (2020), none of which are indexed as of now. In a field with limited options, the comparative data show that APC has perhaps done reasonably well as compared to the more established journals. With a focused approach and concerted efforts, it will be our goal to bridge the gap between APC and some of the celebrated journals in the field.{Table 1}

Comparing APC with other Indian journals in the cardiovascular stream would also be more pertinent. [Table 2] summarizes the various Indian journals in the field of cardiovascular specialties that are currently in circulation. As can be seen, APC is comparable and in fact better than most of the Indian cardiovascular journals. However, there is certainly a scope for significant improvement.{Table 2}

 Vision For the Future



We aspire for APC to become one among the top three journals in the field of pediatric cardiology and cardiac surgery globally. We already have the advantage of being an open access journal, which is indexed with all the major databases. Now, we need to make concerted efforts to enhance its visibility, especially among the top scientists in the field. The first step toward this would be to further improve the quality of original articles and publish the state of the art review articles from the key opinion leaders. APC should become the journal of first choice for publishing pediatric cardiology-related research work carried out in India and other low- and middle-income countries. APC attracts a lot of quality submissions from the Middle East and from pediatric cardiologists and allied specialists based on the United States of America. We should now focus on increasing submissions from other countries of the Indian subcontinent, Asia Pacific region, Europe, and Africa.

While trying to increase the global footprint, we should continue our focus within. We need to increase the number of high-quality original research publications originating from India. A critical look at the original articles published in APC shows that <40 articles are published by Indian researchers in the past 6 years. This is well below the potential for a country like India with its huge patient loads, unique management challenges, and a host of academic institutions with world renowned academicians. Original research submissions in the areas of pediatric cardiac surgery, intensive care, and anesthesia are much lesser than what is desired. Over the next 5 years, it will be our mission to be more inclusive and take the lead in capacity building for clinical research in India by organizing workshops on research methodology, statistics, and scientific paper writing.

The timeline followed by an article that gets submitted to APC is summarized in [Table 3]. For any aspiring journal, the current timelines are not acceptable. We aim to hasten the review process despite ever increasing submissions, which has reached nearly 300 per year in the recent past. This will be accomplished by increasing the number of reviewers, both national and international, without compromising the quality of the review process.{Table 3}

Change in the editor-in-chief presents an opportunity to reorient the journal without losing the core value. The new editorial board is a mix of established national and international leaders along with emerging brilliant academicians from India. For these young and middle career experts, the journal should present a medium for expressing themselves. In the current era, we envisage the journal to have a strong social media presence including Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook handles. The journal's website will be made more interactive. We wish to introduce or reintroduce newer sections including fellows' corner, point-counterpoint, state-of-the art reviews, and systematic reviews. With the improving quality and quantity of submissions, we plan to increase the frequency of the issues to 6 per year. We also hope to come up with supplementary issues, which are focused on specific themes. Once we succeed in achieving these goals, we will be set to apply for the coveted impact factor.

As I write my first editorial, I realize the enormity of the task in front of me. Following the fab four (past editors of APC), top opinion leaders in the country make the task even more daunting. I sincerely hope that the experience of having worked with all of them in various capacities in the progress of the journal should help me in managing this task. I assure you all that I will give my best efforts and time to enhance the heights reached by “our” journal. In this process, I would request the wholehearted support from all the readers, authors, and reviewers.

Collectively we can make it happen.