Year 2001: An Even Better Year for CB&R

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  • CANCER BIOTHERAPY & RADIOPHARMACEUTICALSVolume 16, Number 6, 2001Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.


    Year 2001: An Even Better Year for CB&R

    Gerald L. DeNardo, M.D. and Robert K. Oldham, M.D.


    The year 2001 was another highly successful yearfor our journal. The mission of CB&R and its Ed-itors is to attract and communicate publicationson novel therapy and imaging that are biomole-cularly based. This mission places the journal ina most strategic and important position becauseof the remarkable activity and developments inthis area. Biomolecular therapy and imaging aremaking, and promise to continue to make, greatcontributions to our understanding of cancer andour management of patients with cancer. This isreadily verified by the high level of activities andexpenditures by both new biotechnology com-panies and the large, well established drug com-panies. As an international journal, CB&R mustattract and communicate with physicians and sci-entists throughout the world in the language ofthe journal, English. This is sometimes a chal-lenge for our authors, referees, and the Editors,because important material often comes from cre-ative contributors whose native language is notEnglish. We believe that our referees contributeuniquely to both the scientific and literary qual-ity of the publications, and show an unparalleleddedication to this rather thankless task. Our con-tributors have invariably commented favorablyon the quality and timeliness of the reviews thatthey have received. As the central theme forCB&R is cancer, so its contributors and its audi-ence include physicians and scientists in allbranches of cancer, medical, surgical, radiation,

    and nuclear oncologists, and the scientists in-volved in these disciplines and in the explorationsof the biomolecular mechanisms of cancer. In ad-dition to submitted material, the Editors have ac-tively solicited manuscripts, Editorials, Updatesand Historical Vignettes from a world-wide poolof distinguished authors from distinguished in-stitutions, focusing on presenting the most noveland efficacious therapy and imaging proceduresand state-of-the art reviews to bring our diversereadership up to speed. Although we are not thereyet, we aim to be the leading journal in our areaof purview. We have made great strides in thepast year and there is concrete evidence of ac-celeration toward our goal.

    There are a variety of tests of a journal. Forexample, there are subjective assessments, suchas identification by physicians and scientists ofthe journals that they deem most influential.These assessments can be significant althoughdifficult to document and measure. In the pastseveral years, much work has been done to pro-vide objective measures of the impact of variousjournals. Most of these studies use citation anal-ysis to quantify various measures of importance.If an author cites a journal article, it suggests thatthe cited journal has influenced the author insome manner. The more frequently that a journalis cited, the more often the worldwide commu-nity indicates that journals impact. Another in-dicator is the immediacy of citation after publi-cation of the article. Although all of theseobjective tests have their limitations, including,for example, that they usually represent trailingindicators because the trailing two or more yearsare used in order to lend statistical significanceand to accommodate the turn-around time re-

    Address communications to Gerald L. DeNardo, M.D.,Molecular Cancer Institute, 1508 Alhambra Blvd., Room3100, Sacramento, CA 95616. Telephone (916) 7343787,Fax: (916) 4512857, e-mail:

  • quired for citation, they have validity althoughoften used inappropriately. The exact numbersare quite fragile, but the general ballpark of thenumber and, particularly, the direction of the in-dicators are relevant. We are happy to report thatthe number of citations for CB&R, its impact fac-tor, and immediacy index, all improved by factors of 2 to 4 times from 1998 to 2000. Sim-ilarly, our ranking among oncology, imaging, ex-perimental oncology, or pharmacology journalsimproved substantially over the same span oftime. Because of the nature of these indicators,data for 2001 will not be available until late sum-mer of 2002. We are confident that these trendswill continue and we look forward to the data for2001 with great expectations. We recognize thatwe have a considerable way to go to approachthe stature of the best journals, often sponsoredby medical and scientific organizations. Suchsponsorship brings the advantages of a large read-ership, stature and funding along with a corre-sponding tendency towards an establishmentmentality and control that can be counterpro-ductive to the dissemination of truly novel infor-mation. Many an Editor has discovered after thefact that he and his journal rejected an article sub-sequently determined to be seminal and impor-tant by the test of time.

    Successful Editors know that in order to im-prove the quality of their journal, there is no sub-stitute for active, energetic and qualified referees,Editorial Board members, and Editors. There isno substitute for judgment, quality, and rele-vance, and timely review and publication. Impactand other citation measures merely report thefacts. Authors and readers gravitate to journalswith widespread influence, timely review andrapid publication, and openness to novel and of-ten controversial ideas. These are the strengths ofa journal such as ours, although they are moredifficult to quantify at any single point in time.Yes, the number of submissions and, we believe,their quality continues to increase, so that the Ed-itors now struggle to continue our commitmentto rapid review and publication. The following istypical for most manuscripts: They go out for re-view within one week of receipt and the refereesare allowed three weeks to return their review.

    The corresponding author receives a responsefrom the Editor and detailed excellent and rigor-ous reviews by two or more referees within sixweeks of receipt of the manuscript by the Editor.Invariably, authors have acknowledged the con-siderable contributions of the referees to the sci-entific and literary quality of their manuscripts.Publication of manuscripts occurs generallywithin three months of receipt of an acceptableinitial or revised manuscript. Because most man-uscripts require revision in order to make themthe best that they can be, the usual turn-aroundtime from initial submission to publication isabout six months, often much less when the ini-tial submission is acceptable or nearly so. Again,we must emphasize that this rather unique and re-markable turn-around achievement while main-taining appropriate peer review is made possibleby our dedicated and highly responsive referees,including members of the Editorial Board, and toour equally dedicated staff, Carolyn Potts andNona Simons, to all of whom we are most in-debted.

    A few final comments. As you may have no-ticed, CB&R became available in an electronicformat on line early in 2001. You may assess this and other Liebert journals by The University of Cali-fornia, the institution of one of the Editors, sub-scribed to CB&R on line without input from theEditor, so that the journal publications are im-mediately available to all physicians and scien-tists at these institutions. You may have also no-ticed that CB&R has published exceptionalHistorical Vignettes and Updates by leading au-thors in almost every issue. The contributionsfrom these authors have exceeded the wildest ex-pectations of the Editors. Consequently, we wishto alert you to a series of three Updates to be pub-lished on The Management of Breast Cancer:Today and Tomorrow, in the first half of year2002. Although this has been a troubling year forthe world, it has been a good year indeed for yourjournal. We wish you peace, good health, andhappiness in the year 2002. Please share yourideas for improving CB&Rs ability to fulfill itsmission with the Editors or members of the Edi-torial Board.



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