Near the end of 2019, as the 61st ASH Annual Meeting in Orlando was upon us, Blood’s incoming Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Nancy Berliner, and Deputy Editor, Dr. Andrew Roberts, discussed in ASH News Daily their shared number-one editorial goal: “to make the journal more interesting, more authoritative, and more compelling for our readers in various ways.” At the time, they could not have known what challenges they might face in the year to come. But throughout 2020, the editors, along with the Blood editorial board, have remained steadfast, pivoting where necessary amidst the impact of COVID-19, while launching a new podcast, sustaining high editorial standards, and overseeing the journal’s highest ever impact factor — 17.7.
“It has been a stressful time for all of us,” remarked Drs. Berliner and Roberts. “We have been awed by the dedication and meticulous attention of all the associate editors, who managed to keep Blood on their ‘to do’ list despite surging patient numbers and a totally different way of working. We are also incredibly indebted to the Blood staff, who have risen to the occasion beautifully despite the challenge of working remotely.” As always, the editors tout the critical work of providing the highest-quality science and clinical reporting across the breadth of hematology. In 2020, this included the journal’s interface with the new viral threat, where several impactful articles related to COVID-19–induced coagulopathy were published. “COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the landscape of scientific publishing, both good and bad,” the editors said, adding that searching for “COVID-19” in PubMed yields more than 65,000 references. “In general, there has been a tension between maintaining standards of quality science while promptly disseminating new knowledge with this outpouring of manuscripts. We hope we have been successful in that endeavor.”
Outside of the pandemic, Blood’s past year was marked by some considerable accomplishments, as its first podcast series was launched, garnering a great deal of positive early feedback. Meanwhile the journal’s impact factor climbed to more than 17.7, which the editors again credit to the hard work of the editorial board for selecting manuscripts of the very highest quality and novelty. “Since the impact factor is a look backward over the past two years, we also recognize the ongoing impact of Bob Löwenberg and his tenure on the journal,” said Drs. Berliner and Roberts.
Looking to the 2020 ASH Annual Meeting, the editors of Blood are excited to present this year’s “Blood and Beyond” special-interest session, an event that always merges science with the humanities in a unique, memorable, and compelling way. Author and activist Dr. Bob Massie will give this year’s presentation titled “Medical Mistakes and Miracles: Surviving Hemophilia, HIV, and Hepatitis C.” “His talk relates some of the most glaring failings of the medical system,” said Drs. Berliner and Roberts, “but in the end, it is an inspiring and positive story that highlights the successes that have transformed the life of patients with hemophilia, HIV, and hepatitis C.”
As we progress toward 2021, a milestone year for the publication, the editors are poised to continue the strides of the past 12 months and to build upon them. “We want to continue to develop our podcast series to make it even better,” they said. “We want to increase our invited content, including the incredibly popular Review Series.” In closing, Drs. Berliner and Roberts also reminded us that Blood is turning 75 next year; readers can anticipate special features and commemorative branding in the coming months.