‘If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.’– Isaac Newton
I am humbled to have been selected as the 5th Editor-in-Chief of Endocrine-Related Cancer (ERC). It is truly an honor and privilege to follow in the footsteps of Profs Vivian James, Marc Lippman, James Fagin, and, for nearly ten years, Prof Charis Eng. Having served previously as an Associate-Editor of ERC, and having similar positions for other journals, I come to this role with experience, but also excitement at the prospects moving forward. I am very pleased that I am beginning with ERC at a very strong point in its history with an outstanding editorial board, a remarkably dedicated staff through a partnership with Bioscientifica, a superb team of international advisors, and a strong reputation in the field. Indices that support the impact of the journal continue to be high, including impact factor, H-index, number of downloads, and other metrics. I am starting my tenure as Editor-in-Chief with the journal in a very strong position due to the superb leadership and vision of my predecessors. This strength will allow us to move forward with new initiatives to further expand its impact.
ERC has a principal mission to support investigators engaged in high impact and high-quality science in endocrine tumors through rigorous, careful, and fair peer review. This creates high value to the authors, the readers, and the societies that support the journal. ERC has long focused on original scientific work with the occasional disease or scientific-focused issue and outstanding reviews from leaders in the field. This approach has been highly successful and, rest assured, will continue moving forward with an emphasis on the unique niche of the journal in endocrine and hormone-responsive cancers. As outlined in my recent commentary published in The Endocrinologist, the onus on journals as an arbiter of high-quality science has been magnified by the current culture of immediate information to the lay community and the impact those interpretations have on public policy. Thus, with Bioscientifica, we will continue to communicate regularly regarding ERC-papers through a strong presence on the internet.
Several new and exciting opportunities are planned to begin shortly. These include the creation of new two year positions for younger individuals to serve as an early career member of the editorial board with close attention to the diversity of science, location, gender, race, and ethnicity. We will solicit reviews on new science and technologies applied to endocrine-related cancers, such as those in physical sciences and engineering, synthetic biology, and implementation/community engagement science. Finally, we will continue to partner further with sister societies worldwide to ensure that ERC continues to be one of the leading specialty journals in our field.
We can be certain that there will be challenges and opportunities along the way, some of which are ongoing while others will occur inevitably in the future. One current challenge is the expansion of new journals including an increasing number of online-only journals. This challenge is balanced by new opportunities to identify exciting new research through online preprint archives. ERC will focus on these newer dynamics as we move toward the future. A second example is COVID-19, which has placed new stressors on scientific progress such as limitations on laboratory staff size and the impact on funding agencies and societies. The pandemic also creates opportunities for new science from basic studies of coronavirus biology and understanding side effects of therapy, to research involving social determinants of health relevant to endocrine-related cancers that have been magnified in this context. ERC has and will continue to focus on new opportunities as we move the journal forward. This will be done in a manner that preserves its roots and maintains its focus but also keeps an eye toward technology opportunities and new science. In this manner, we can best support the needs of both the current and future generation of scientists and clinicians focused on endocrine-related cancers.
I would like to close by again thanking the selection committee, the current and prior editorial board members and teams, and all of you for your support and confidence that ERC will continue to be a flagship journal dedicated to publishing the best science in the field. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have suggestions or thoughts that you would like us to consider as we move forward!
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.