Appointment of new Editor-in-Chief: a time for reflection upon our past and future


  • V.E. Knott B.A., Hons Psych, PhD,

    Assistant Professor, Corresponding author
    • Centre for Applied Psychology, Faculty of Health, University of Canberra, Bruce, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
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  • P.R. Debruyne MD, PhD, MSc, FRCP(Glasg), FCP,

    Consultant Medical Oncologist & Clinical Pharmacologist
    1. Cancer Centre, General Hospital Groeninge, Kortrijk, Belgium
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  • N.A. Pattison DNSc, MSc, BSc (hons), RN, Dip. Onc.,

    Senior Clinical Nursing Research Fellow
    1. The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
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  • D. Weller MBBS(Adel), MPH, PhD, FRACGP, FRCGP, FAFPHM, FRCP(Edin)

    James Mackenzie Professor of General Practice
    1. University of Edinburgh & Chair, Cancer and Primary Care Research International Network (Ca-PRI), Edinburgh, UK
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Correspondence address: V.E. Knott, University of Canberra, Bruce, ACT., 2601, Australia.

In this issue we welcome new members to the European Journal of Cancer Care (EJCC) and say farewell to others who have contributed to the journal in various roles throughout the past years. We would like to say thank you and farewell to our former Editor-in-Chief, Professor Stephen O'Connor and welcome Professor David Weller as our new Editor-in-Chief. These changes provide an opportunity to reflect upon the journal's accomplishments to date and to look towards the future. We highlight, for example, our continued commitment to serve our readers by ensuring manuscripts accepted into EJCC are within scope and address the objectives of our journal – these include the delivery of high quality care for patients with cancer.

Stephen O'Connor left the journal earlier this year when he took on a new role at Canterbury Christ Church University – this role involves many new commitments, combined with a range of clinical and academic responsibilities. Stephen served the authors and readers of EJCC as Editor from 2008, and his commitment to the journal was exemplary. He embraced a multidisciplinary perspective on cancer care; encouraged the submission of manuscripts reporting on novel and less traditional methods; and supported and encouraged submissions from early career researchers, including those for who English was not their primary language.

Under Stephen's leadership, the breadth of content and its relevance to clinical practice and patient care has seen the journal's Impact Factor steadily increase to 1.308 in the 2012 Journal Citation Reports (from 0.901 in the 2007 Journal Citation Reports). Evidence for Stephen's commitment to the international focus and scope of the journal is illustrated in Table 1. As shown, the journal is committed to publishing research which has international relevance and applicability to improving the quality of cancer care. In embracing a multidisciplinary emphasis for the journal, Professor O'Connor appointed an additional three Associate Editors earlier this year. As described (O'Connor, 2013), these Associate Editors bring expertise in Medical Oncology, Nursing and Psychology. These appointments also assisted in improving work-flow and will lead to reduced time from the submission of a manuscript to publication. Earlier this year, Stephen facilitated EJCC in meeting the competitive demands of the market by implementing a shift from a paper-based to an electronic format for the journal.

Table 1. Country of corresponding author of papers published in EJCC in 2012Thumbnail image of

For all this hard work we would like to thank him and wish him all the best for the next phases of his fruitful career! On a more personal note, we have each known Stephen as an outstanding scientist, colleague and friend. As noted below, we hope to continue to embrace and extend upon the vision that Professor O'Connor had for the journal.

Into the future, the journal will be well served by the appointment of Professor David Weller as EJCC's new Editor-in-Chief. We are excited by the new vision and steer he will bring to the journal, particularly from a primary care perspective. David's background is in general practice (or ‘family medicine’), and much of his research career has focused on the role of primary care in cancer control. His appointment underscores the multidisciplinarity of our journal – a recognition that cancer prevention and cancer care require input from a range of health care professionals. Through his roles with organisations such as the National Cancer Research Institute, the University of Edinburgh and Cancer Research UK, David is working constantly with multidisciplinary teams – and he is keen to see this team approach reflected in the EJCC's content and style in this next phase of its development.

The scope of the journal has already changed in some important ways over the past decade, largely in response to the changing landscape of cancer care throughout the world, and changing priorities in relation to optimising cancer care. As we consider the future of EJCC, it seems timely to remind our readers and authors of our scope and objectives, especially in light of increasing numbers of submissions year on year. The EJCC publishes original research both qualitative and quantitative, or mixed-methods, (for further information regarding appropriate methods see (Debruyne et al., 2013)), literature reviews (preferably systematic reviews or meta-analyses rather than narrative reviews), and special features on current issues affecting the care of cancer patients. When defining the care of cancer patients, we refer to care in a holistic manner; care incorporates a bio-psychosocial approach to cancer, rather than a strictly biomedical approach.

In essence, we endorse the way in which cancer care (incorporating supportive care) is described within the National Health Service guidelines, Improving Supportive Care and Palliative Care for Adults (National Institute for Clinical Excellence; NICE, 2004). Supportive care is defined as care that:

… helps the patient and their family to cope with cancer and treatment of it – from pre-diagnosis, through the process of diagnosis and treatment, to cure, continuing illness or death and into bereavement. It helps the patient to maximise the benefits of treatment and to live as well as possible with the effects of the disease. It is gives equal priority alongside diagnosis and treatment. (NCHSPCS, 2002, NICE, 2004, p. 18)

Accordingly, we are interested in receiving submissions from authors addressing issues of cancer care across the cancer trajectory (from primary prevention and screening through treatment, survivorship and palliative care). Topics of particular interest to us typically feature holistic approaches. We particularly encourage papers in which there is evidence of multidisciplinary collaboration among the range of professionals involved in the delivery of cancer care. Finally, as the journal is international in focus, we encourage the submission of articles reporting on research conducted abroad, and from further afield than Europe (for further information on expectations with regard to the quality of manuscripts, see (Debruyne et al., 2013). When preparing manuscripts, Authors should ensure that they demonstrate the applicability of their research in relating to improving cancer care within an international context.

What kinds of papers are not accepted? EJCC no longer accepts case reports, case studies or short communications. Other papers which are unlikely to be accepted for publication are those involving in vitro or in vivo studies pertaining to oncological treatment unless there is evidence that the work has included an emphasis on quality of life, service delivery, or effective translation to improve patient outcomes.

Once again, we thank past and future contributors of EJCC. We look forward to delivering articles to readers in the future which align with your interests, and our endeavours to improve cancer care for the benefit of patients, and those working with them, throughout the world.