This section provides a brief general overview of the editorial process at the AACR journals. Details of which editors oversee and are responsible for making decisions on manuscripts at certain decision stages can vary depending on the journal and whether the journal staff includes an internal Executive Editor.
All submissions must be made electronically through the AACR SmartSubmit online system. Before submitting a manuscript, corresponding authors are expected to be familiar with all AACR journal editorial policies, the scope of the journal to which they are submitting, and the general word limits of the article type they are submitting (see the “About the Journal” page of the relevant journal). The Authorship section in Editorial Policies details the responsibilities of the corresponding author. Additional details on how to submit a manuscript are available within SmartSubmit. Each journal's SmartSubmit homepage is linked below:
Submission requirements are less stringent for initial submissions than for revised submissions. Authors may upload a cover letter and a single manuscript file in Word or PDF format containing the main manuscript text and all display items (e.g. figures, tables). For initial submission only, authors are encouraged to present each figure and its legend together in sequence to facilitate peer review. Supplementary data should be uploaded separately (see acceptable File Types).
Authors submitting to most AACR journals have the option of suggesting an appropriate Deputy or Senior Editor to handle their submission. All authors may suggest individuals they feel are most qualified to review their manuscript. Suggested reviewers may be editorial board members of the journal or experts in topics relevant to the manuscript but who are not associated with the journal. Suggested reviewers will be considered and used at the editor’s discretion.
For revised submissions, manuscripts are expected to adhere closely to all formatting and length requirements of the pertinent article type. Source files must be uploaded for the manuscript text and all display items (see acceptable File Types). Figures may not be presented in the same file as the main text. All revisions must be accompanied by a detailed, point-by-point response to all reviewer and editor comments and a listing of all changes made with the relevant page or line numbers indicated. Marked-text manuscripts may be uploaded as supplementary data to assist editors and reviewers in evaluating changes.
After receiving a revise decision, all authors will be asked to complete electronic copyright, conflict of interest, and author contribution forms. Authors are strongly urged to complete these forms at this time. In the event that the reviewers support publication, failure to provide these forms at this time is likely to result in publication delays.
All submissions undergo an initial editorial review by the journal editors. Submissions are judged on how well the manuscript and described research fit the editorial scope of the journal and its expectations of scientific excellence, importance, and impact on the wider cancer research community. Manuscripts that meet these initial editorial standards are sent for peer review. Manuscripts that do not meet these standards are returned to authors at this stage; the editor may suggest that the manuscript be transferred to a more appropriate AACR journal (see “Transfers” section below).
The peer review process is managed by a handling editor who is responsible for assigning appropriate reviewers based on the scientific content of the manuscript and the expertise needed to evaluate the technical rigor and importance of the work being reported. Reviewers are asked to provide an overall recommendation supported by detailed comments on the quality and originality of the science as well as the applicability and impact of the reported results and conclusions.
Upon receiving all the reviewer comments, the handling editor managing the peer review process assesses both the detailed comments and the overall recommendations of the individual reviewers. The editor then records his or her own comments on the manuscript and either renders a decision or recommends a decision to the Editor(s)-in-Chief. The decision to accept, revise, or reject the manuscript takes into account all the comments and recommendations of reviewers and editors. The editor responsible for the final decision has the discretion however to weight individual reviewer comments as appropriate based on the expertise of each reviewer in the relevant areas and the reviewers’ familiarity with the standards of the journal. Once made, the decision is communicated to the corresponding author.
An editor may determine that although a manuscript is not appropriate for his or her journal, it may be more suitable for another AACR journal. In these cases, the editor will suggest that the authors transfer their manuscript and any available reviewer comments to a particular alternate AACR journal for consideration. Transfers provide an opportunity for authors to easily submit to another AACR journal without repeating the manual submission process. When the manuscript has already undergone peer review, transfer can also substantially speed up the publication process by making use of the prior reviewers and their evaluations of the manuscript. If an author accepts the offer to transfer their manuscript, the editor at the receiving journal will make an independent determination as to the suitability of the manuscript for their journal. The editor may use the original reviewers or could decide to add new reviewers if this is determined to be necessary.
Authors also have the opportunity to initiate transfer of their manuscript to another AACR journal of their choice without having received a transfer offer to a particular journal. All transfers are at the discretion of the author and are initiated using a link provided in the manuscript decision letter. Further details about the transfer process can be found at AACR Manuscript Transfer Service.
Manuscripts that have been declined for publication will be reconsidered only at the discretion of the editor(s). Authors who wish to request reconsideration of a previously rejected manuscript must do so in writing by sending correspondence that includes the manuscript ID number to the journal editorial office. Requests for reconsideration sent to a location other than the journal editorial office will not receive a reply. Please be advised that, due to keen competition for journal space, only those manuscripts that have been judged to be of the highest priority can be accepted for publication. Authors should explain in detail the reasons why they believe the manuscript should be reconsidered. If it is determined that it should be reconsidered, the author may be asked to submit it as a new manuscript. It will receive a new identification number and submission date and then undergo review as a new submission. Please note that Clinical Cancer Research does not consider appeals.