The year 2008 marked another eventful year for Cancer Research. Some of the many significant achievements of 2008 included the receipt of nearly 5,000 new submissions; the addition of Deputy Editors, who are contributing to the strategic vision of the journal; and publication of outstanding papers in two new journal sections, Tumor Microenvironment and Systems Biology and Emerging Technologies. Many additional changes designed to enhance the reader's experience and to highlight cutting-edge science are planned for 2009 as well. These initiatives include:

In 2009, the journal will begin publishing papers in mathematical oncology, which is a rapidly evolving area of cancer research. Led by Senior Editors Trachette Jackson and Sofia Merajver, mathematical oncology articles will be published as part of the Systems Biology and Emerging Technologies category of publication. Several Associate Editors who are preeminent scientists in mathematical oncology have been added to the Editorial Board to ensure expert peer review. The intent is to stimulate publication in Cancer Research of groundbreaking work that uses sophisticated mathematical approaches to solve problems in all aspects of cancer research. Emphasis, but not an absolute requirement, would be on papers that integrate theory with experimental data, either newly produced or in the literature. Topics would include modeling of tumor growth, networks, integration of genomic data that yield new predictions, nonlinear dynamics studies of cellular processes that yield testable hypotheses. Further information about this exciting new feature, including formatting and submission instructions, are available in the journal's Information for Authors.1

As mentioned earlier in this report, Cancer Research received nearly 5,000 new submissions in 2008. While I believe that this large number of submissions indicates the cancer research community's desire to publish their findings in a vital publication outlet such as Cancer Research, the journal's editors must continue to strive to ensure that only those studies believed to be of the highest impact are published. As a result, Cancer Research will be accepting only papers judged to be in the top 15% with regard to novelty, significance, and priority.

The journal editors are in the process of finalizing minimum acceptance criteria, which will be published both in the journal and in the journal's Information for Authors. This information will assist authors in deciding whether or not they believe their potential submissions would be well received by Cancer Research. In addition, the criteria will apply to all submissions and will be used by all journal reviewers and editors, providing for consistent standards of peer review and decision making.

At the time NIH-funded papers are accepted for publication, authors are reminded to comply with the funding agency requirement regarding PubMed Central (PMC) deposit, given a link for PMC deposit, and provided with a copy of the version of the paper they are required to deposit. In order to make this process less burdensome for authors, in 2009 the AACR journals will begin making the deposit to PMC for its authors. Further information on this topic will be provided in the journal's Information for Authors as soon as it is available.

Beginning in January 2009, the journal will begin weekly online publishing of manuscripts accepted for publication. The version of the manuscript used for online first publication will be the final edited version incorporating any corrections or changes made at the proof stage. This will help to ensure that the published version is error-free while still making it available to readers in an expedited fashion.

In 2009, the AACR journals will undergo a cover and very minor internal redesign. The goal is to create a consistent “family” element of branding and uniformity across all six journals. The redesign will include a more modern look for the journals. For example, heavier cover stock and whiter paper will be used for journal pages.

In 2009, we will remain committed to enhancing the experience of both our authors and readers. Our commitment to this goal includes implementing exciting new features as well as ensuring that only novel, high-impact articles are published to help Cancer Research continue to be the most frequently-cited cancer journal in the world.