With the explosion of biomedical information as well as new avenues of communication comes the opportunity to develop a novel approach to reach our community of American Society of Hematology (ASH) members, clinicians, scientists, and other interested individuals. With this spirit in mind, ASH has launched its first new peer-reviewed journal in 70 years. This new journal, called Blood Advances, will be open access and published exclusively online. We hope that Blood Advances will provide an exciting new opportunity for us to communicate more effectively, publish novel studies, disseminate information, and discuss new developments in our field. This inaugural issue of Blood Advances is the only issue to appear in printed format. I hope you will be inspired to read it, listen to some of the content, and participate in discussing important topics.
New content will come to Blood Advances in a number of ways. We welcome original submissions to the journal that will go under rigorous peer review. Original papers can also cascade from Blood on the basis of recommendations from the Blood editorial team. Further, during their initial submission to Blood, authors can “opt in” for their papers to cascade if they are found not acceptable for Blood. In the event that a manuscript does not reach the lofty bar of being novel and definitive as is expected of an acceptable Blood manuscript, then that paper can be evaluated at Blood Advances without delay, reformatting, or a new submission fee. For those papers that have undergone peer review, we will use the reviewer’s critiques as a starting point in our evaluation. Our expectations are that acceptable papers to Blood Advances will be viewed as being either novel or definitive and provide important information to our readers. We hope that the visual abstracts will quickly summarize the key aspects of the study and inform readers visually of the content. They will be followed by an attractive, highly interactive, easily readable presentation of the study with figures that feature a common color palette and that can be downloaded to presentations with appropriate attribution simply and quickly. We will use a continuous publication model: as soon as a paper is accepted and formatted, it will be published to make the time from submission to publication the shortest period possible.
We also hope that Blood Advances will be able to do much more. New features at Blood Advances will include audio presentations termed Blood Advances Talks that will feature important topics in a digestible 10- to 15-minute audio format. We hope these will be interesting and informative to our readers and listeners. We will also host a Point-Counterpoint feature that will bring forward topics of rapid development and potential controversy. For these features, we welcome real-time commentary provided by our readers to develop a discussion about these topics to enhance the depth and scope of the material. We also recognize that we learn a tremendous amount from individual cases and will publish Exceptional Case Reports that will highlight new biology or treatment options learned from a clinical case. To complement the clinical case reports, we also recognize that there can be more basic scientific insights that also can provide novel information or mechanisms in a short format that we have termed Stimulus Reports. We hope you enjoy reading these new sections, offering suggestions for contributions, and posting commentary.
We also hope to reach an international audience consistent with the broad impact of blood disorders, reach of hematologists, and breadth of the American Society of Hematology. When I travel in a professional capacity, especially to underdeveloped areas, I am struck that medical journals are largely out of reach. But almost always, there is an Internet connection and I see colleagues and students with their smart phones and other devices. At Blood Advances, we hope to reach this international audience to provide content and offer a sounding board for discussion of cases, medical advances, or professional experiences.
All of us at Blood Advances, including our expert team at ASH, our outstanding team of Associate Editors, and myself, look forward to providing the best possible journal and welcome your ideas for improvements and new features. We believe that the online, open-access format is the future of scientific publishing, and we look forward to finding new and exciting ways to publish the best original content possible with the level of excellence expected of a peer-reviewed ASH journal.