Cancer Research is the flagship publication of one of the largest scientific societies in the field and its most frequently cited journal. This exceptional resource has a long history of communicating studies of broad interest and high impact in basic, translational, and clinical aspects of oncology. Building on the outstanding leadership of the previous Editor-in-Chief and his team, the new editorial team seeks to continue to expand the breadth, influence, and quality of the journal, which is well situated to extend its stature as the field's leading scientific society journal.
A key strength of Cancer Research is the interest of its content to the field as a whole, which encompasses a broad and diverse readership. Looking to the future, the incoming editorial team will continue to focus on publishing studies with the highest impact and broadest significance. We will also offer other content and editorial improvements to assist readers in gaining a cross-disciplinary grasp of diverse areas of the field. We will deepen the general core excellence in pathobiology, particularly in the exciting and rapidly growing areas of tumor microenvironment and immunology, capturing the most seminal work. Overall, the editorial team will work to continue the tradition of Cancer Research as the cancer community's most vital publication, strengthening its focus on broad-reaching, high-impact studies that inform solutions to the personal, clinical, and societal problems posed by cancer.
Research Articles and Priority Reports will continue to serve as the two categories for high-impact, original research content. Criteria for submission of images have changed, and all manuscripts must adhere to the new guidelines found in the journal's Information for Authors (http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/misc/ifora.shtml). Beginning with this issue, two important changes will be made to how each article is communicated in Cancer Research:
1) In each issue's online table of contents, the title of each article will be accompanied by a single-sentence precis. The precis will provide a compact summary of the context and implications of the findings in a way that can be readily grasped by a general audience. Beginning in the near future, authors will be asked to provide a precis at the time of manuscript submission.
2) Each accepted Research Article and Priority Report's title, abstract, and precis will be subject to editing by the Editor-in-Chief or the Senior Editors. Overly detailed or lengthy text in these article areas will be shortened and rewritten. All alterations to these areas will be provided to the corresponding author for their final approval prior to publication.
The goal of these changes is to improve the clarity and brevity of these key elements, so that the meaning, context, and implications of the findings of all the research articles published in the journal can be more readily grasped by its diverse readership.
Review Articles, which appear in each issue, are typically commissioned but topics for proffered reviews are also considered. In general, a Minireview format for the article is preferred and should contain a single descriptive cartoon to highlight the main “take home lesson.” However, longer traditional Reviews can also be considered at the discretion of the Deputy Editor for this section. Minireviews offer a quick survey of recent seminal findings, technological advances, or new concepts, especially as they may integrate different parts of the field or stimulate new multidisciplinary areas of investigation. A unique aspect of Cancer Research Minireviews is that they provide the primary authors of an important study being surveyed the opportunity to broadly discuss their own work and its implications.
Point-Counterpoint Review articles offer different expert perspectives on controversial or intensely discussed issues of wide interest and importance in the field. These timely pieces are generally commissioned by the Deputy Editor for Reviews, who also entertains inquiries on proffered topics for consideration and/or authorship.
Perspective Articles are informed opinion pieces. This category of content focuses on issues or questions of wide-ranging interest and impact. The pieces may be commissioned by the Editor-in-Chief or the Deputy Editors, who also entertain inquiries for proffered articles.
Breaking Advances, a new feature that will appear regularly in the future, are short highlights of seminal studies reported in the field. This section of the journal encompasses the former Highlights page in Cancer Research but now also includes coverage of studies published in other journals, including the other AACR journals.
Meeting Reports will summarize important findings, discussions, and arising issues or controversies presented at important conferences in the field. Reports on AACR conferences are prioritized. Articles in this category are generally commissioned but may be proffered by recognized experts attending meetings at the discretion of the Deputy Editor for this section.
The new editorial team has been expanded and rebalanced to reflect priorities for the journal as well as areas of expertise where submissions are received and distributed. Changes have been made in the categories for submission and in the number of editors in each category to improve editorial efficiencies. In particular, the number and balance in expertise of the Senior Editors and Editorial Board members who handle manuscripts has been matched more closely to the category in which manuscripts are received. By reducing the workload in high submission categories, this change should help enhance review efficiency. The roles and responsibilities for the different editors of the journal are as follows:
Editor-in-Chief guides the vision, strategy, and operations of the journal, with the assistance of the senior members of the Editorial Board who include the Deputy Editors and the Senior Editors. Journal content and editorial issues are ultimately the responsibility of the Editor-in-Chief, who also acts to resolve any editorial issues that arise during the critique of research reports and other articles considered by the journal.
Deputy Editors are responsible for the special content sections of the journal. Deputy Editors control and edit the content for their section with the assistance of Editorial Board members, at their discretion. Three Deputy Editors have been named: Dan Welch as Deputy Editor for Reviews, Lisa Coussens as Deputy Editor for Breaking Advances, and Mariano Barbacid as Deputy Editor for Meeting Reports.
Senior Editors are responsible for organizing the peer review of manuscripts, with the assistance of the Editorial Board, and for making editorial decisions on the suitability of manuscripts for publication in Cancer Research. Their responsibility includes the decision whether to solicit critiques or triage a manuscript, returning it to the corresponding author without formal review. In general, manuscripts are assigned to members of the Editorial Board for review; however, at their discretion, Senior Editors can review manuscripts themselves or obtain critiques from external experts. A total of 41 Senior Editors have been named in the new editorial subcategories of the journal, including Molecular and Cellular Pathobiology; Tumor and Stem Cell Biology; Therapeutics, Targets, and Chemical Biology; Prevention and Epidemiology; Microenvironment and Immunology; Integrated Systems and Technology; and Clinical Studies.
Special Advisors to the Editor-in-Chief will provide expert counsel in the area of tumor immunology as it impacts the vision, strategies, and tactics for the future development of the journal. Two Special Advisors have been named, Olivera Finn and Giorgio Trinchieri, who will provide special expertise in immunology as it relates to cancer pathophysiology and therapy. There has been a historical shift in the perspective of the mainstream of the field on the role of immune microenvironment and host immunity in cancer. While the predominant focus of the field remains the cancer cell itself, tissue and organismal context can no longer be considered secondary, and may indeed emerge as dominant, necessitating greater cross talk and integration of the field as a whole with regard to immunologic thought.
Editorial Board members are responsible for peer review of articles. In addition to providing peer review, Editorial Board members also compose Reviews or other articles in their areas of expertise for the journal.
Cancer Research has matured to become a highly translational enterprise. It is exciting to behold the field as it enters what may be a golden age of applications of modern concepts to create dramatic clinical improvements in cancer diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment. For those who seek the elimination of the scourge of disease, Cancer Research will continue to serve as the leading venue for publishing high-impact findings of the broadest significance to the field, along with other content to enlighten and integrate the field's efforts to change the fate of those suffering from cancer.