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Breast Cancer Research– the first ten years

Breast Cancer Research was launched in 1999 with the aim of providing a home for translational research in breast cancer [1]. The field of translational research has advanced considerably over the past ten years, and the journal has evolved over this time to meet the changing needs of the breast cancer research community. As we celebrate Breast Cancer Research's 10th birthday, we take this opportunity to reflect on the journal's growth over the last decade.

Breast Cancer Research is committed to open access publication of research articles, and remains the only journal in the breast cancer field dedicated to open access. Open access means research is universally and freely available via the Internet. Authors retain their own copyright, allowing them to grant any third party the right to use, reproduce and disseminate the article. Open access has broad benefits both for scientists and the general public. Anyone with an Internet connection is able to read the research for free without having to rely on access to a library with a subscription. For example, the 2006 paper by Scutt et al. [2] received wide coverage [3] and was instantly available for any interested patients or clinicians – something that is much more difficult for articles published in subscription based journals.

Over the last ten years, there have been massive leaps forward in open access publishing. Many more journals now offer open access options, and there is more support for this publishing model within the scientific community. In particular, many funders now advocate open access by making it a condition of funding that a version of the accepted article is made available in a public repository such as PubMed Central. A recent exciting development has been the announcement of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy [4], which comes into place in April this year.

Open access allows our research to be accessible to a vast potential audience, with over 80,000 articles downloaded from our website every month. Indeed, our most highly accessed article from Arpino and colleagues [5] has been downloaded over 35,000 times since publication. Our highly visible research is complemented by educational reviews and timely opinion pieces. The type of articles published has changed over the years, expanding in 2003 to encompass endocrinology [6], and adding new sections such as clinical trial updates [7].

Breast Cancer Research has always aimed to make the most of the advantages available online over the traditional print format, and in 2005 the print version of the journal was discontinued. This reflects a general publishing trend away from print in the way readers now find articles of interest. The journal's online functionality means you can search PubMed or Google Scholar for related articles, post and read comments, email articles to colleagues and even post articles directly to social networking sites such as Facebook. In the pipeline are online tools for our referees, and a revamped design for the homepage, which will give the website a cleaner, easy-to-navigate new look.

In addition to developing online functionality, the journal has always strived to provide access to the latest research as quickly as possible. Our average time from submission to giving authors a first decision is less than 6 weeks, and for the past year we have published all research articles as soon as they are accepted. Articles now have their final citation and are listed in PubMed on the day they are accepted – a service unique to Breast Cancer Research amongst our competitor breast cancer journals. All our research articles are immediately archived in repositories such as PubMed Central to ensure that our articles will be permanently available.

Of course, one measure of a journal's success that is highly valued amongst our authors and readers is that of the Impact Factor. Breast Cancer Research currently has an impact factor of 4.16, ranking us the second most cited breast cancer journal, according to the 2006 Journal Citation Report [8]. Breast Cancer Research also compares very favourably using the new SCImago Journal Rank [9]. SCImago takes into account the citation record of the journal you are being cited by and ranks Breast Cancer Research 26th out of all 139 oncology journals, an impressive placing for a niche journal.

Breast Cancer Research has had a very impressive first ten years. As we celebrate the journal's continued growth, we would like to thank our Editorial Board for their ongoing support, as well as our authors and reviewers who all contribute to the journal's success. We hope to continue to evolve, and look forward to the journal's progress over the next decade!


  1. Ponder BAJ: Breast Cancer Research: a meeting point as well as a journal. Breast Cancer Res. 1999, 1: 1-10.1186/bcr1.

    Article  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  2. Scutt D, Lancaster GA, Manning JT: Breast asymmetry and predisposition to breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res. 2006, 8: R14-10.1186/bcr1388.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  3. Nature News. []

  4. NIH Public Access Policy. []

  5. Arpino G, Bardou VJ, Clark Gm, Elledge RM: Infiltrating lobular carcinoma of the breast: tumor characteristics and clinical outcome. Breast Cancer Res. 2004, 6: R149-R156. 10.1186/bcr767.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  6. Jordan VC, Ponder BAJ: Introducing a new section to Breast Cancer Research: endocrinology and hormone therapy. Breast Cancer Res. 2003, 5: 281-283. 10.1186/bcr646.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Breast Cancer Research Clinical trial updates. []

  8. Journal Citation Reports. []

  9. SCImago Journal & Country Rank. []

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Correspondence to Frances Mulvany.

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Competing interests

FM is an employee of BioMed Central and receives a fixed salary. BP is Editor-in-Chief of Breast Cancer Research and receives an annual honoraria.

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Mulvany, F., Ponder, B.A. Breast Cancer Research– the first ten years. Breast Cancer Res 10, 103 (2008).

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