Announcing “New Methods in Cardiovascular Biology”
The editors are pleased to announce the launch of a new article category, “New Methods in Cardiovascular Biology,” which debuts in this issue of Circulation Research.1 The purpose is to publish articles that describe enabling technologies—new tools and techniques that have the potential to facilitate advances in cardiovascular research and be useful to a broad spectrum of investigators.
We realize that this initiative represents a departure from the praxis of the journal, which has traditionally shunned purely methodological articles. Although we recognize that articles describing methods are (obviously) not mechanistic and not hypothesis driven, we believe that they can have a significant impact on cardiovascular science. As pointed out in the manifesto of the new Circulation Research,2 history teaches us that advances in science are driven by new techniques at least as much as they are driven by new ideas. The microscope was certainly not a mechanistic advance, but it had an incalculable impact on medicine. Over and over again, we see that new concepts emerge as a result of new techniques, probably more often than the other way around. And countless studies are done because a new tool or method becomes available to answer a question that could not be answered with the old technology. In view of the impact that enabling technologies can have on scientific progress, we believe that they should not be ipso facto excluded from scientific journals.
The content that we envision to be appropriate for New Methods in Cardiovascular Biology is the description of new technologies that could potentially transform research practice, generate important new ideas, and/or find wide application in cardiovascular research; in short, new methods that may have a broad impact. Authors should provide a detailed description of the methodology, document its validation, and discuss its conceptual underpinning, strengths, limitations, and potential applications in cardiovascular biology. In general, at least one example of its application to a specific question relevant to the cardiovascular system should be provided. Minor variations of existing techniques, new methods that are of interest only to a narrow segment of the readership, and technologies that do not have clear applicability to cardiovascular biology will not be generally published. New Methods in Cardiovascular Biology will have the same limits as Regular Articles (6000 words and 8 display items).
We hope the readers will find these articles useful. As always, we welcome your comments and feedback.