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First anniversary of Molecular Cancer: achievements and future goals


Molecular Cancer has been launched for one year now. Here, we describe achievements of the past year and future goals of the journal.


It is a time of change [1]. There is no doubt that the uncensored exchange of scientific results hastens progress and will be the gold standard for any journal [27]. BioMed Central, the publisher of Molecular Cancer, is passionately committed to maximizing the visibility and impact of published papers by open-access publishing. In addition, our online submission and processing system allows that manuscripts are quickly reviewed, revised, re-reviewed and published without moving a piece of paper.

Molecular Cancer, an open-access and on-line journal, publishes cutting-edge papers from all areas of cancer-related science [5, 8]. This journal publishes each article immediately upon acceptance as a provisional portable document file (PDF) followed by a fully formatted PDF and web version. As a fully peer-reviewed journal, Molecular Cancer publishes selected papers from among the articles submitted, due to stringent criteria our referees and editors impose on manuscripts (Figure 1). Acceptance of papers is based on the originality of the observation or investigation.

Figure 1
figure 1

Paper Statistics 2002/2003. Pie chart displaying acceptance rate of papers submitted to Molecular Cancer. Data is for the first publication year, from June 2002 to July 2003. A total of 48 research papers were received, including pre-submission inquiries, Molecular Cancer rejected 32 (66%), and published 16 papers (33%) The median turnaround time of publication was one month. Invited papers, e.g. reviews and editorials, are not included in this calculation.

Manuscripts submitted for publication must meet the journal's criteria for acceptance. Each manuscript must have a foundation of well-developed, solid data plus a significant advance over existing literature. Pre-submission inquiries will be screened and authors receive a response no later than one day after receiving the request. After passing initial screening, the manuscript will be subjected to rigorous and anonymous peer-review by three or more scientists. Associate and deputy Editors serve as core referees. The authors are informed of the comments made on their paper without delay. A few examples may illustrate how quickly papers are reviewed and published. The paper by Nawaz et al [9] may be one example. Hours after receiving the paper, we sent it out to three referees outside the editorial board and revised by the authors. Finally, we accepted the paper on the following day. This achievement is due to on-line processing system that the journal employs. Molecular Cancer published a number of pivotal research papers in its first year. The readers frequently accessed number of the published papers. For example, the paper by Zhang et al [10] has been accessed over 3000 times. This probably would not have been achieved if access had been restricted by subscription.

Review papers published by Molecular Cancer describe new developments of interdisciplinary significance and highlights unresolved questions and future directions; it provides a critical but balanced view of the field. Reviews focus on one topical aspect of a field rather than providing a comprehensive literature survey. They can be controversial, but in this case should indicate opposing viewpoints. Reviews should not be focused on the author's own work. The review by Kunz et al [11] tops the list for the most accessed papers in the last thirty days with more than 400 hits per month. Again, access without any restriction and limitation maximizes visibility and impact of published papers. Access rates and numbers of citation will finally prove the scientific merit of any published paper, no matter if it is a review, hypothesis or research paper (table 1 and table 2).

Table 1 Four most accessed papers of all time published by Molecular Cancer. Data as of July 22, 2003
Table 2 The four most accessed papers from the last month. Data as of July 22, 2003.

During my time as editor of Molecular Cancer, I received many encouraging e-mails from fellow readers and contributors. Readers appreciate the open-access policy of our publisher. In addition, it is positively noted that large amounts of data appear on the journal site [12]. Last but not least, every paper published by Molecular Cancer is available through PubMed.


Molecular Cancer publishes manuscripts in all areas of cancer-related science. Papers are be subjected to fast, fair, rigorous and anonymous peer-review. Once, a paper passed the peer-review process, it appears immediately as just published manuscript PDF followed by a fully formatted PDF and web version. All published papers are indexed in PubMed and archived in PubMed Central.

Author's contribution

CS drafted the paper, ABD, KL and GMS provided comments, critique and suggestions for its improvement. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


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CS acknowledges support from the German Research Foundation. GMS is a recipient of a Fellowship of the Cancer League of Bern, Switzerland.

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Correspondence to Christian Schmidt.

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Deora, A.B., Luettich, K., Schmidt, C. et al. First anniversary of Molecular Cancer: achievements and future goals. Mol Cancer 2, 26 (2003).

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