May 13th, 2013

Blogging at HRS 2013: From The FIT Lounge, Insights From Douglas Zipes About Publishing

Several Cardiology Fellows who are attending the Heart Rhythm Society meeting in Denver this week are blogging for CardioExchange. The Fellows include Luis Garcia, Sandeep Goyal, and Amit Mehrotra. You can view the previous post here.

When I was planning my trip to Denver, it seemed like it was a lot of time to spend at a conference. Truthfully, it has been a great conference and time has flown by.

I finally managed to walk to the Fellows in Training lounge, hoping to connect with some co-fellows. I did find lot of fellows, but to my surprise Dr. Zipes was there and ready to answer burning questions about getting published.

I had a brief chat with him and gained some useful insights which I am excited to share with you.

Me: What motivated a busy and successful clinician-scientist like yourself to get into journal editing?

Dr. Zipes : One of my passions is to see good work materialize in print. Being an editor allows me to critically review new ideas and also helps me bring a world class EP journal to a receptive audience.

Me: What are certain things that authors shouldn’t do, when submitting a paper?

Dr. Zipes: One of things that I absolutely dislike is a “funny, cutesy title”, which doesn’t capture the essence of your paper. HeartRhythm is a scientific journal and readers would want and expect people to communicate in a scientific way.

Me: Your journal is known for a very quick turnaround time. How do you manage to do that?

Dr. Zipes: I personally review every paper and do it everyday, 365 days a year. It usually takes me somewhere from 5 seconds to 20 minutes to make my initial decision and I take pride in the fact that, if the paper is rejected, authors are notified of the rejection sooner than later. On the same note, we expect our reviewers to have quick turnaround time. Time from submission to my decision is less than 10 days and we publish papers in an online platform in 3-5 days after acceptance.

Me: I know you announced that this is your last year as editor-in-chief. Why did you decide to step down, and who is taking over?

Dr. Zipes: I made a personal decision to set a precedent not to keep this job longer than 10 years and it was time for someone new to take over. Dr Peng Sheng Chen is the right person for the job.

Me: How did your wife get involved with the Journal?

Dr. Zipes: I was in between managing editors many years ago when I started JCE and she helped me during that time. I realized that she was very good and asked her if she would consider it as a full time job. She refused initially but then I made her “an offer she couldn’t refuse”. She was tired of cooking, so I told her she could close the kitchen. She took the job, and I haven’t had a home-cooked meal in over 20 years!! But it’s a small price to pay for having a great managing editor.

Dr. Zipes then had to go and chair another session and I was ready to go and get some more education.

Comments are closed.