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A crucial step for a journal is the attainment of an acceptable impact factor. Impact factors of journals are calculated each year by Thomson Scientific (ISI) and reported in the Journal Citation Reports (JCR). In June 2010, the impact factors of the main journals were made public for the year 2009. These data can be found on http://isiknowledge.com/jcr (access limited to subscribers only). For the first time in its history, our Netherlands Heart Journal (NHJ) has received an impact factor, which amounted to 1.4! This is a major achievement for a national journal that has only been listed by PubMed since January 2007. Generally, the calculation of an impact factor is based on a two-year period. The impact factor in a specific year consists of the average number of citations of publications in the previous two years divided by the number of publications (citable items) in these two years. Consequently, the impact factor of NHJ 2009 is the number of citations to NHJ articles published in 2007 and 2008, divided by the number of NHJ articles published in 2007 and 2008. Usually, not all NHJ articles are included, but only the citable items such as original papers and review articles. The total number of citations over 2007 and 2008 was 174 (2007: 64 citations, 2008: 110 citations), whereas the total number of citable items in this period was 125 (2007: 64, 2008: 61). As a result, the 2009 NHJ impact factor can be calculated as 174/124 = 1.392 (almost 1.4). It is encouraging to observe that the number of cites almost doubled from 2007 to 2008 (61 versus 110 citations), whereas the number of citable items remained relatively constant over 2007 and 2008. It is also interesting to note that the NHJ is being cited by major journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Circulation, the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the Lancet, Nature, the European Heart Journal, and Cardiovascular Research. Our best cited original article until now is: Progenitor cells isolated from the human heart: a potential cell source for regenerative therapy by Van Vliet P, Roccio M, Smits AM, et al. Neth Heart J. 2008;16:163-9.
The Chief Editors thank all authors for their excellent contributions to our journal. Apparently, the quality of the papers was of such a level that they were read and -more importantly- cited by other authors. At this very moment (23 Augus 2010) we have 200 citations in 2009 and already over 200 (!) citations in 2010. To improve our 2010 impact factor we hope to receive many more fine articles that deserve to be cited. In summary, the NHJ is receiving increasing recognition over the years.1
E.E. van der Wall
Department of Cardiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands