We are approaching the close of my first year of serving you as the Editor-in-Chief of Cancer Research, and I want to thank all of our readers and contributors for your patience during this period of transition. During the last several months, I have conducted an evaluation of Cancer Research and its operations, and I would like to share with you our exciting plans to both further enhance the journal’s status and its ability to serve the readership over the course of the next year.

Perhaps the most critical components of a journal’s success are the scientific expertise and dedication of the members of the Editorial Board. Clearly, the excellence of our reviews, along with an efficient and rapid process, is critical to our continued success. In this regard, I wish to express my sincere gratitude to our Associate Editors for their hard work on behalf of the journal especially in this time of transition. However, it is clear to us that the efficiency of our review process has been undermined and that authors are waiting far too long for both referees’ comments and decisions. Please be assured that we recognize this problem and that we are taking immediate steps to address it. First, the transition to electronic submission/review and online publication (detailed below) is long overdue will surely have an immediate impact on the speed of review. Second, as the terms of some of the outstanding, long-term Associate Editors come to an end we will be challenged to replace them with candidates who share their experience and commitment to the journal. This will be an opportunity to expand both the numbers and the expertise of the board such that we can accommodate the increasing number of submissions without overburdening the Associate Editors. Third, we will be changing the process by empowering the Associate Editors with the latitude to perform quick review of manuscripts which may not have the initial priority warranting a full review. Fourth, we will be moving toward a system of subsection editors such that the assignment, review and decision process is decentralized.

Cancer Research is in the process of modernizing its editorial procedures to maximize the benefits to authors. The Editorial Office is currently replacing its manuscript management system with a new, state-of-the-art system. Once it is operational, this new Windows-based system will offer several features that will be instrumental in streamlining the review process, including:

• Electronic submission of manuscripts • Electronic peer review • More accurate assignment of manuscripts • More efficient tracking of reviews

As these features become available to our authors and referees, we will make appropriate announcements.

We are committed to maintaining and improving the impact of Cancer Research on the field. The rapid pace and sheer volume of scientific discovery have necessitated that all scientific journals meet the highest standards of quality and utility. To this end, we are launching Cancer Research Online. Beginning January 15, 2001, the full text of Cancer Research will be published online through a partnership with HighWire Press. At the time of the launch of the 2001 volume of Cancer Research Online,all current and future issues of the journal, as well as all of the issues published in the 1999 and 2000 volumes, will be available in full-text, searchable HTML. In addition, the abstracts of all articles published in Cancer Research since 1973 will be available in searchable HTML through the online journal site, thus providing an archive of important past results.

This online presence will make Cancer Research an even more dynamic forum for cutting-edge findings, offering features and enhancements that will transform the reader’s experience. These features include:

• Hyperlinks to the Medline abstracts of cited articles • Free full-text access to cited articles in journals published with HighWire • Hyperlinks to GenBank • Related article retrieval • E-mail alerts • Enhanced international distribution

After the launch of Cancer Research Online in mid-January 2001, the journal site will be open to all interested parties through February 28, 2001. Beginning March 1, access to the site will be restricted to subscribers. I strongly urge all non-subscribers to take advantage of this open-access trial period to evaluate Cancer Research Online. We expect that, like its print counterpart, the online journal will become a vital resource for all investigators.

I believe that these imminent changes in the peer review process as well as bringing Cancer Research to our readers online will dramatically enhance the journal experience for our contributors and referees as well as for our readers. As we work to transform Cancer Research in the coming months, we welcome your feedback. With your ongoing commitment and support, Cancer Research will continue to be the premier publication forum for the cancer community.