In January last year, Nature Cardiovascular Research published its first issue. Our inaugural Editorial introduced the journal’s scope and aspiration to become a platform that brings together researchers of different backgrounds but with a mutual interest in heart, vessel and blood biology, and stimulates and promotes their intellectual exchange, collaboration and synergism. Set from the early stages, a guiding principle of our journal was to unite, advance, champion and also shape the different communities that we serve: cardiac, vascular and blood scientists involved in basic, translational, clinical and epidemiological research. We have worked relentlessly and diligently and will continue to do so to keep our promise, but it will take years before we can see the true effect of our hard work. We hope that by taking stock of what we have achieved in the past year, we will provide a fair impression of who we are now. With the help of our authors, referees and readers, we further hope to improve so that we can increase our contribution to and effect on the cardiovascular and blood community in the times to come.

From left to right, top: January (image: Sarah Vaci); February (image: Chih-Wei Hsu, Baylor College of Medicine); March (image: Andrew Koenig, Washington University); April (image: Kimberly Koury Popescu); middle: May (image: Jeremiah Bernier-Latmani, University of Lausanne); June (image: Adriana Duduleanu / EyeEm / Getty); July (image: Jana Grune, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School); August (image: Suhaas Anbazhakan and Pamela E. Rios Coronado); bottom: September (image: Jingyuan Fu, University Medical Center Groningen); October (image: Eric Sung, Johns Hopkins University); November (image: Brian J. Soda, Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons; alexat25 / Alamy Stock Photo; Jorgenmac / iStock / Getty Images plus; Debbie Maizels); December (image: scale and vaccine: tommy / DigitalVision Vectors / Getty; COVID virus: KTSDESIGN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY / Getty).

Let’s see what we have achieved in the past year. Our first volume included 61 primary research articles covering most topics within our scope and ranging from basic cardiovascular and hematology research to preclinical, translational and clinical discoveries related to cardiovascular and blood diseases. We have published several resource articles and technical reports presenting new and large datasets and tools of broad utility, interest and importance to the community. Most of our publications in 2022 were focused on preclinical research of cardiovascular and blood diseases, indicating the keen interest of preclinical researchers in our journal and the high quality of their work. We have also published several exciting clinical articles, including prognostic tools, artificial intelligence, drug repurposing and case studies. Although we remain very interested and committed to publishing original and important advances in basic, preclinical and translational studies, we would like to attract more clinical and epidemiological studies in the future.

As a transformative journal, Nature Cardiovascular Research offers two publishing models that include the traditional (free-to-publish and pay-to-read) and open access (pay-to-publish and free-to-read) routes. In our first year, 41% of our primary research content was published as open access, reflecting the commitment of our community to open science. As with other Nature Research titles, we hope to increase the number of open access articles over time, with the goal of becoming a fully open access journal in due course.

Beyond our research content, we have published 125 articles of fascinating magazine content that was largely commissioned or written by our team. These pieces included Editorials, Review and Perspective articles, News & Views, Research Highlights and Comments. We have had the pleasure to work with 14 teams of authors that are authorities in their respective disciplines, and helped them to publish their insightful Review and Perspective articles. By publishing 44 News & Views pieces written by the experts in the field, we have promoted work published in our pages or in other Nature Research titles to a broader audience. Our Research Highlights, written by the editorial team, have drawn attention to works published outside the Nature Research journals, reflecting our efforts to keep pace with the field and signaling our interests to the community. A format that was particularly popular among the editorial team and our authors was the Comment articles, which addressed important issues or events in the field. These included celebrations of important achievements (see examples here and here), and discussions of the burning issues in the field or in life sciences in general (see examples here and here). Finally, we have adopted the Research Briefing format, used by our selected authors to succinctly present their work published in our pages, which proved to be an enjoyable and insightful accompaniment to the publication proper. These brief articles include an excerpt from a referee’s report, a note from the editor, and the authors’ story behind the paper — from the ‘Eureka’ moment to publication.

The years surrounding our journal’s launch were marked by the global health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which left a deep imprint not just on our journal’s content but also on the lives of our team and the community that we serve. Ever since the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 and, subsequently, the vaccine against the virus, it became obvious that both viral infection and vaccination are associated with cardiovascular and hematological complications. We have published several research papers (see here and here), Review and opinion articles (see here and here) on that subject, and we look forward to publishing more in the future, as our knowledge of the aftermath of the pandemic on the heart and the circulation expands.

The pandemic has had a deep effect on how we work and live. Owing to travel restrictions, our editorial team has not yet met face-to-face, and our team-building efforts, trainings, meetings and consultations had to be done online. We were also eager to do in-person outreach by visiting research institutions and laboratories, organizing and attending conferences, workshops and panel discussions. Although all this had to be done online in the year preceding the launch of the journal, in 2022 our editorial team has doubled the outreach efforts and attended more than 40 conferences, workshops, round tables and lab visits. These interactions were very rewarding, informative and formative for our team and the journal.

We hope that you have enjoyed the content of our first 12 issues and thank our authors for having the faith in our journal, our referees for their expertise, devotion and patience, and our readers for appreciation of this hard, collective work. We are humbled by the enthusiasm with which our new journal has been received, and we hope that the title of this Editorial, ‘We are one’, will gain a deeper meaning over the years and signify our successful integration into the community that we serve, in addition to celebrating our first birthday.