In the last year, the Editors and Editorial Advisory Board of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention have worked to bring informative, high-quality scientific reports to our readers. By several objective criteria, progress has been made. The number of manuscripts submitted has increased by more than 50% in the last three years, whereas the number of published pages has remained essentially unchanged. As a result, acceptance rates have improved from 64% to 44% over this interval. According to the Science Citation Index, CEBP’s Impact Factor now ranks 3rd among 85 public health journals, up from 5th place last year. Among 105 oncology journals,Impact Factor of CEBP ranks 13th, up from 14th a year ago. The credit goes to our dedicated Senior Editors (Drs. John Potter for Epidemiology, Fred Kadlubar for Biomarkers, David Alberts for Chemoprevention and Caryn Lerman for Behavioral and Prevention),members of the Editorial Advisory Board, and the CEBP staff(Susan Short and Cecelia Gallo).
In the last year, new two sections have been added to the Journal. The first is Null Results in Brief, which describe pertinent negative findings of interest to our readers. The objective of these reports is to reduce publication bias attributable to selective reporting of positive results. Publication of null findings is useful for future meta-analyses and helps to discourage data-dredging that leads to false-positive reports. The second new category in the Journal is Hypothesis, in which a new concept or perspective is presented when the available data are inadequate for publication as an original article. Hypotheses are useful in generating new ideas and identifying the additional data needed to establish a new concept or finding.
In 1998, Dr. Caryn Lerman was appointed as our first Senior Editor for Behavior Prevention. Under her leadership, the Special Issue on Psychosocial Aspects of Cancer Genetic Testing was published. Thereafter, she helped to establish behavioral sciences as an essential component of CEBP. Unfortunately, other commitments have necessitated that she leave her post as Senior Editor. I am deeply grateful to Dr. Lerman for her contributions and leadership over the last two years. Fortunately, Dr. Ellen Gritz, Professor and Chair,Department of Behavioral Sciences, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, has agreed to serve as our new Senior Editor for this area. Dr. Gritz was president of the American Society of Preventive Oncology, which cosponsors CEBP with AACR. Dr. Gritz has published extensively in the areas of tobacco control, alcohol abuse,and quality of life of cancer survivors. Her work has been widely cited, and she will undoubtedly provide strong leadership in her areas of expertise.
Despite the increased number of submissions, the interval from receipt of a new manuscript to the decision letter has remained at approximately 70 days. Within this interval, the appropriate Senior Editor or Editorial Advisory Board member is selected to handle the review. On the basis of two reviewers’ critiques and recommendations of the Associate Editor, the Senior Editor or I make an initial decision. Conditionally accepted manuscripts are revised, and a final decision is rendered. Although the review times have been shortened by approximately 5 weeks in recent years, the process is still lengthy. Periodically, I receive irate letters from authors about delays,particularly during the summer months when most Board members (even workaholics) take vacations. I apologize to the few contributors who have had this experience, and ask that they not do unto others as others have done unto them.
Recently, AACR decided to proceed with “bundling” of its journals. Under this plan, libraries and other institutions will receive all AACR journals. This decision will greatly expand access to CEBPand create more opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations involving AACR members and other investigators.