Warning: snark and cynicism ahead.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: what the world needs now is another cardiology journal. And so, as if they were reading my mind and the collective mind of the cardiology community, the AMA announced today the launch of a new journal, JAMA Cardiology. The editor-in-chief will be Robert Bonow (Northwestern University).
Here are just a few questions and thoughts:
Does the world really need another cardiology journal? Is the launch of this journal a response to a major unmet need in the field or is it the product of the internal institutional drive of the AMA and the JAMA network? (To be fair: I could ask the exact same question of the AHA and the ACC and other organizations which have added new journals in the last few years. How many of these have been actually necessary?)
Are there really not enough outlets for high quality papers in the cardiology field? Are medical societies similar to sharks and relationships, which Woody Allen famously said will die if they don’t move forward?
Am I alone in sometime thinking that a large number of papers that now get published, even in the top-tier of existing journals, are largely useless, irrelevant, or disguised commercials for existing or future drugs and devices?
Finally, it has seemed to me that in recent years the JAMA network already published a cardiology journal: JAMA Internal Medicine. Rita Redberg, the journal’s cardiologist editor, has consistently published some of the most provocative and challenging cardiology-related content in recent years. Along the way she’s earned herself a fair number of enemies and an equal number of friends. Her great achievement, I think, is that the papers in her journal provoke discussion and debate. (My own private name for JAMA Internal Medicine is Interesting JAMA.)
Far too often in the standard cardiology journals the papers confirm what is already known or provide weak evidence to support commercial products. That is almost never the case with Interesting JAMA. Let’s hope that JAMA Cardiology continues this tradition.