Passing of the baton

in Endocrine-Related Cancer
Author: Charis Eng 1
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  • 1 Genomic Medicine Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to C Eng:

"When you run a part of the relay and pass on the baton, there is a sense of unfinished business in your mind. There is just the sense of having done your part to the best of your ability …. The hope is to pass on the baton to somebody who will run faster and run a better marathon."– N.R. Narayana Murthy

Time flies when we are having fun. These 10 years have gone by in a flash. When time flies, we often forget to dwell on what we have achieved as an editorial team. Yet, we must pause after this decade as there is plenty to be proud of. When I arrived, Endocrine-Related Cancer (ERC) saw slightly over 300 submissions a year with an average turnaround time of a month, which peaked at just a shade under 600, with a current turnaround time of approximately 13 days. The impact factor, which every editor says is not important but cites, rose from ~2.3 to almost 5. More importantly, the actual quality of submissions and hence, published papers has exponentially increased and are submitted from around the world. We popularized thematic, and at times anniversary, review issues, inviting relevant original research articles to be submitted and published in the same issue that the themed reviews would appear. One thematic issue that I am particularly proud of celebrates early- and mid-career women investigators, and the credit must go to Associate Editor Prof Debbie Marsh. With incredibly disruptive new ways of communication, ERC also moved into the social media age during my second term. We initiated profiles, which tell the autobiographical journey of inspirational academics working in the broad field of endocrine cancers and hormones in cancer. The latter have temporarily fallen by the wayside in the last few years, but I personally would like to see their return.

When a new Editor-in-Chief arrives, one is always a wee bit apprehensive about the daily workings of the journal. I am grateful and indebted to those Associate Editors who remained from their previous terms, including Profs Wouter de Herder, Chris McCabe and Bob Clarke, and who helped shepherd my rookie year. And then, there is Dr Kevin McConway, our biostatistical reviewer. I have been an editor of various biomedical journals since 1999 and never have I worked with a statistical reviewer who has such a rapid turnaround time, gives incredibly constructive critique – with great precision, enabling authors to revise quite effectively – and has the breadth to review bioinformatics as well.

I have always strongly believed in grooming a next generation of wise editors who have … well … good editorial judgment. ERC has indulged me over the years, in embracing my appointment of a subset of Associate Editors and members of the editorial board from early- and mid-career faculty, as well as a small handful right out of postdoctoral training. Through mentorship, I am extremely proud to have seen them grow to be confident and wise editors with strong editorial judgment. I am delighted that the training of the next generation of editors will be formalized under the aegis of incoming Editor-in-Chief, Prof Matthew D Ringel. With a pipeline of editors at various levels, a cadre of wise ‘OGs’ were needed for strategic advice, mentorship and advocacy of the journal and the field, and so, the external Advisory Editors were born.

My final year at ERC occurs during an unprecedented time, and yet the journal continues in its successes despite the COVID-19 pandemic, in no small measure due to the determination of the editorial team. In closing, I would like to express my gratitude to our wonderful editorial team of Associate Editors, members of the Editorial Board and the editorial office staff. At midnight, December 31, 2020, the baton will be passed. Over to you, Matt! Run, run like the wind!

"Only those who attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible."– Albert Einstein.

Declaration of interest

The author declares that there is no conflict of interest that could be perceived as prejudicing the impartiality of this editorial.


This work did not receive any specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sector.


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