Insight into Endovascular Today
Question & Answer with the producers of Endovascular Today. This Q&A provides an inside look as to how this monthly print and online publication keeps up with the modern venous world.
How did Endovascular Today get started?
In 2001, our publisher, Craig McChesney, joined together with two friends, Dave Cox and Adam Krafczek, to form Bryn Mawr Communications, the medical publishing entity that is the parent company to Endovascular Today. Due to the projected growth in the interventional vascular space, we were looking to start a publication that would address the procedures, data, and technology in that field. After attending a variety of conferences across the various specialties (ISET, ISES, and ACC), Craig determined that interventional radiologists, vascular surgeons, and interventional cardiologists all shared a common goal in treating peripheral vascular disease, and that one publication that focused on the treatment of the disease—regardless of specialty—would appeal to all specialists engaged in endovascular therapies. We published the first issue of Endovascular Today in September of 2002 and have been honored to participate in this dynamic and growing field ever since.
Give our readers a typical timeline of an issue from inception to completion.
The overall topic is generally decided late in the summer before the year of publication. The work itself starts anywhere from 4-7 months before an issue, with the intention of giving authors enough time, while also being as current as possible. Work begins with discussions between staff editors and the Chief Medical Editor(s), then invitations are sent, and deadlines given. Turnaround once an article is received is relatively fast these days, with Advisory Board review taking place after the first or second round of internal edits, return to authors, and then production into layout.
How many issues are in progress at any given time?
From planning to production, there are usually four or five ongoing at one time, but most of the attention is on the one closest to production.
Your company has a variety of products aside from EVT, can you let us know the others and do they have the same timeframe as EVT?
Our parent company has a wide variety of medical publications in various print and digital formats. These vary in scheduling, usually between weekly, biweekly, monthly, and bimonthly. Our cardiovascular publications, EVT and Cardiac Interventions Today, are monthly and bimonthly, each with digital eNews editions every other week. We also have iOS apps for our Buyer’s Guides—one each for US peripheral products, European peripheral products, and US coronary and cardiac devices. These are mobile app-based representations of our annual print editions, available for free on iPhone and iPad.
How is the Editorial Advisory Board selected and what qualities do you look for?
We are fortunate to have a dynamic and diverse Board, some of whom have been with us since our first edition. Board members ideally contribute regularly, either in editorial review of content submitted for publication, in authoring their own articles, or suggesting topics we should target. Our goal is active membership, with each specialty sufficiently represented, but perhaps more importantly, specific practice/procedure focus areas represented. We seek to maintain a Board that is interested in helping us develop practical content, with a keen eye for selecting out content that does not tell the full story, helping us to improve that content or steer clear of it.
How many members of the Advisory Board contribute to each issue?
This varies from month to month, but typically, at least 5-10 will provide either an article as an author or reviewer.
Do you have predetermined themes for each issue and seek related content or does your content determine the theme?
We first determine the larger topic an issue will cover, then look at what kinds of articles we think should be included at that given point in time, and hone the topic into a theme. For instance, we might begin with scheduling an edition on venous thromboembolic therapies, then work with our Chief Medical Editor and staff editors to compile a list of possible authors and article topics, and then determine whether a common theme can be found, such as, in this example, “Ongoing Trials in VTE Intervention” or “VTE Intervention: Current Options and What’s in the Pipeline,” etc.
How do you ensure that your issues cover a wide enough range of topics for such a broad readership, yet still keep specialized practitioners interested?
This is one of the most difficult aspects of putting together an edition aimed at such a diverse readership in terms of practice interests. Our insightful Board members and Chief Medical Editors have helped us in this regard over the years, and it has helped that we have had very little turnover in our internal staff, allowing for education and understanding over time. Of course, at times, there are features that will be more interesting to those who perform the procedures discussed, and there isn’t always a way around that. But, we make every effort to include a variety of content on topics unrelated to the cover feature in every issue.
How do you fill space when an issue is short on content?
We are grateful for an enthusiastic audience that enjoys sharing its experiences, and it is more common that we have more content than we can fit. The more challenging aspect is if, for one reason or another, we are missing an article without which an issue’s coverage of its target topic would be incomplete. With an authorship primarily composed of outstanding physicians, we understand that schedules can change, and writing can fall in the priority list. In these cases, we try to have a backup plan or two in mind, but sometimes, we just have to go without.
Are considerations made for controversial, conflicting or competing companies and their work?
We make every effort to ensure that all relevant angles are present in an article or suite of articles on a given topic, which hopefully allows us to avoid giving more coverage to one company or product versus another. The goal is to provide a complete snapshot of that month’s focus area for the reader, without preferential treatment. Although most of our coverage would not be considered controversial, we do not avoid topics simply because they may not be positive for an advertiser. If a story is important and of interest to our readers, we aim to cover it fairly and responsibly. Even if it appears to be “bad for business” if a story focuses on a trial or development that was negative for a company, we are confident that the folks in this field understand it is necessary that we cover it. The field is data-driven and progressive, and our audience would see through sugarcoated coverage. In the end, our readers, advertisers, staff want the same thing—for the publication to be relevant and of use to its audience.
Who chooses the cover story and what criteria must it have?
Some overall topics are now covered annually, while others are new each year, and still others may be covered every few years as trends in the field demand. As far as the articles that make up these features, we work closely with our Chief Medical Editors and their Guest Chief Medical Editors in order to determine what the most important, timely topics are to cover under the given cover theme, and importantly, which author candidates are ideal. Our staff attends more than a meeting per month on average with the goal of making sure we stay up to date on what physicians and their programs are working on, their predilections and biases, etc., and we consult with the Chief each month to discuss these thoughts along with theirs. We also rely heavily on the guidance of our Board members, as we know that no matter how many conferences we attend, their clinical expertise and knowledge of the literature base and ongoing studies is a tremendous resource.
As far as the required criteria, it must be a major vascular bed or disease state that is multifaceted in nature, and dynamic over time, allowing for a periodical such as ours to cover it longitudinally.
How often are articles turned away, and why are they rejected?
The majority of our cover stories are invited, authors selected due to their expertise on the invited topic; for this reason, most of the invited articles—but not all of them—end up being accepted. We also accept unsolicited papers, but a much larger portion of these are not accepted. With very few exceptions, all papers, regardless of which avenue they come to us, undergo Editorial Advisory Board review for acceptability, clarity, and possible improvements prior to publication (or rejection). The primary reasons for rejection are: (1) The paper does not fit our scope of our publication. For example, at times we receive papers detailing the results of an institution’s study on a given therapy, and although these may be well done and of interest, they are better suited for the peer-review journal setting. Our goal is not to compete with, but rather to complement and bring attention to, the existing scientific journal work across our field. (2) Some papers are too promotional of one technology without focus on the class of technologies, or have an infomercial feel. (3) Others overlap too much with papers that we or other publications have already published.
Thank you to Stephen Hoerst and his team at Endovascular Today for taking the time to answer our questions.