Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 1–4 | Cite as

Celebrating the Annals of Surgical Oncology’s 25-Year Anniversary: One of the Most Cited Surgical Journals in the World

  • Charles M. Balch
  • Mark Roh
  • Kelly M. McMasters
  • Deborah WhippenEmail author
Health Services Research and Global Oncology
Annals of Surgical Oncology was organized in 1993 and officially launched in January 1994 (first issue cover, Fig. 1) as the official journal of the Society of Surgical Oncology and subsequently became the official journal of the American Society of Breast Surgeons in 2009.1,2 We previously described the historical landmarks of the journal on the occasion of its 20th anniversary.2
Fig. 1

Cover of the Annals of Surgical Oncology, Volume 1, Issue 1, January 1994

Box 1: Vision of the Journal

Annals of Surgical Oncology (ASO) promotes high-quality surgical oncology management by communicating advances in research and education that are relevant and valuable for the provision of contemporary multidisciplinary care for surgical patients with cancer. As the official journal of the Society of Surgical Oncology and, later, the American Society of Breast Surgery, ASO purposes to be the journal of choice for surgical oncologists worldwide regarding multidisciplinary oncology management, research and education.

Box 2: Mission of the Journal

The mission of the journal is to serve its readers and authors by (1) representing and advancing the profession of surgical oncology throughout the nation and the world, (2) promoting the highest quality multidisciplinary patient care and practice management, (3) providing relevant cancer education and research training materials using print and electronic media, (4) promoting clinical and translational research, with an emphasis on clinical trials, (5) facilitating the career development of surgical trainees and their transition into academic and community-based practice, and (6) promoting public policy and patient advocacy issues relating to the surgical patient with cancer.

During the Silver Anniversary of Annals of Surgical Oncology (ASO) this year, we will celebrate the journal’s history and scientific highlights. In this issue, we reproduce the first page of the first issue of ASO, published in January 199 3,4 that describes the mission of the journal, which still is its editorial compass today (Boxes 1 and 2). We also reproduce our first editorial entitled “What Is a Surgical Oncologist?” 4 The principles in this editorial continue to be a contemporary description of our specialty after 25 years, even as Complex General Surgical Oncology is now formally recognized by the American Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and the American Board of Surgery (ABS).

As part of our 25th Anniversary celebration, we also will reproduce in each issue one of the 13 most cited peer-reviewed articles published in ASO since it began in 1994. These 13 articles are listed in Table 1.
Table 1

Titles, authors, and years of publication for the 13 most cited peer-reviewed articles published in Annals of Surgical Oncology from 1994 to 2016



Original publication month/year

Borderline resectable pancreatic cancer: definitions, management, and role of preoperative therapy

Varadhachary, Gauri R.; Tamm, Eric P.; Abbruzzese, James L.; Xiong, Henry Q.; Crane, Christopher H.; Wang, Huamin; Lee, Jeffrey E.; Pisters, Peter W. T.; Evans, Douglas B.; Wolff, Robert A

Aug 2006

8-Year follow-up of randomized trial: cytoreduction and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy versus systemic chemotherapy for patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis of colorectal cancer

Verwaal, Vic J.; Bruin, Sjoerd; Boot, Henk; van Slooten, Gooike; van Tinteren, Harm

Sept 2008

The FLARE (TM) Intraoperative Near-Infrared Fluorescence Imaging System: a first-in-human clinical trial in breast cancer sentinel lymph node mapping

Troyan, Susan L.; Kianzad, Vida; Gibbs-Strauss, Summer L.; Gioux, Sylvain; Matsui, Aya; Oketokoun, Rafiou; Ngo, Long; Khamene, Ali; Azar, Fred; Frangioni, John V

Oct 2009

Tumor regression and autoimmunity in patients treated with cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 blockade and interleukin 2: A phase 1/2 study

Maker, AV; Phan, GQ; Attia, P; Yang, JC; Sherry, RM; Topalian, SL; Kammula, US; Royal, RE; Haworth, LR; Levy, C; Kleiner, D; Mavroukakis, SA; Yellin, M; Rosenberg, SA

Dec 2005

Surgical complications associated with sentinel lymph node biopsy: results from a prospective international cooperative group trial

Wilke, LG; McCall, LM; Posther, KE; Whitworth, PW; Reintgen, DS; Leitch, AM; Gabram, SGA; Lucci, A; Cox, CE; Hunt, KK; Herndon, JE; Giuliano, AE

April 2006

Pretreatment assessment of resectable and borderline resectable pancreatic cancer: expert consensus statement

Callery, Mark P.; Chang, Kenneth J.; Fishman, Elliot K.; Talamonti, Mark S.; Traverso, L. William; Linehan, David C

July 2009

The National Cancer Data Base: a powerful initiative to improve cancer care in the United States

Bilimoria, Karl Y.; Stewart, Andrew K.; Winchester, David P.; Ko, Clifford Y

Mar 2008

Most pancreatic cancer resections are R1 resections

Esposito, Irene; Kleff, Joerg; Bergmann, Frank; Reiser, Caroline; Herpel, Esther; Friess, Helmut; Schirmacher, Peter; Buechler, Markus W

June 2008

Laparoscopic versus open surgery for rectal cancer: a meta-analysis

Aziz, O; Constantinides, V; Tekkis, PP; Athanasiou, T; Purkayastha, S; Paraskeva, P; Darzi, AW; Heriot, AG

Mar 2006

Cytoreductive surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy in the management of peritoneal surface malignancies of colonic origin: a consensus statement

Esquivel, J.; Sticca, R.; Sugarbaker, P.; Levine, E.; Yan, T. D.; Alexander, R.; Baratti, D.; Bartlett, D.; Barone, R.; Barrios, P.; Bieligk, S.; Bretcha-Boix, P.; Chang, C. K.; Chu, F.; Chu, Q.; Daniel, S.; deBree, E.; Deraco, M.; Dominguez-Parra, L.; Elias, D.; Flynn, R.; Foster, J.; Garofalo, A.; Gilly, F. N.; Glehen, O.; Gomez-Portilla, A.; Gonzalez-Bayon, L.; Gonzalez-Moreno, S.; Goodman, M.; Gushchin, V.; Hanna, N.; Hartmann, J.; Harrison, L.; Hoefer, R.; Kane, J.; Kecmanovic, D.; Kelley, S.; Kuhn, J.; LaMont, J.; Lange, J.; Li, B.; Loggie, B.; Mahteme, H.; Mann, G.; Martin, R.; Misih, R. A.; Moran, B.; Morris, D.; Onate-Ocana, L.; Petrelli, N.; Philippe, G.; Pingpank, J.; Pitroff, A.; Piso, P.; Quinones, M.; Riley, L.; Rutstein, L.; Saha, S.; Alrawi, S.; Sardi, A.; Schneebaum, S.; Shen, P.; Shibata, D.; Spellman, J.; Stojadinovic, A.; Stewart, J.; Torres-Melero, J.; Tuttle, T.; Verwaal, V.; Villar, J.; Wilkinson, N.; Younan, R.; Zeh, H.; Zoetmulder, F.; Sebbag, G

Jan 2007

Improving resectability of hepatic colorectal metastases: expert consensus statement

Abdalla, Eddie K.; Adam, Rene; Bilchik, Anton J.; Jaeck, Daniel; Vauthey, Jean-Nicolas; Mahvi, David

Oct 2006

A randomized trial comparing postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy with cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil versus preoperative chemotherapy for localized advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the thoracic esophagus (JCOG9907)

Ando, Nobutoshi; Kato, Hoichi; Igaki, Hiroyasu; Shinoda, Masayuki; Ozawa, Soji; Shimizu, Hideaki; Nakamura, Tsutomu; Yabusaki, Hiroshi; Aoyama, Norio; Kurita, Akira; Ikeda, Kenichiro; Kanda, Tatsuo; Tsujinaka, Toshimasa; Nakamura, Kenichi; Fukuda, Haruhiko

Jan 2012

Local and distant immunity induced by intralesional vaccination with an oncolytic herpes virus encoding GM-CSF in patients with stage 3c or 4 melanoma

Kaufman, Howard L.; Kim, Dae Won; DeRaffele, Gail; Mitcham, Josephine; Coffin, Rob S.; Kim-Schulze, Seunghee

Mar 2010

To be reprinted in the 2018 volume

The journal has been led continuously for more than 25 years by Dr. Charles Balch as Editor-in-Chief and Dr. Mark Roh as the Executive Editor, and for the past 10 years with Ms. Deborah Whippen as the Managing Editor. We are pleased to announce that the transition of the journal’s leadership will begin this year with the appointment of Dr. Kelly McMasters as the new Editor-in-Chief, beginning in March 2018. Dr. McMasters, a distinguished leader in surgical oncology internationally, has served the Society of Surgical Oncology as a Section Editor and Deputy Editor of ASO and the larger surgical community through the years, and will bring extensive academic and business experience to the journal.

In 2016, ASO received 2658 manuscripts, most frequently from authors in the United States, Japan, China, Korea, and the Netherlands. These manuscripts were peer reviewed by 2419 different reviewers in an average of 26 days to the first decision for acceptance. The acceptance rate for scientific manuscripts after peer review was 19.8%.

Once the accepted manuscript was forwarded to Springer, ASO’s publisher, the article was published electronically in an average of 18 days. We owe a debt of gratitude to the 2500 reviewers, Editorial and Advisory Board members, deputy editors, associate editors, and section editors for their support and expert roles in the peer review process.

The utility of any given journal metric is dependent on the missions of the journal. Annals of Surgical Oncology is a journal that serves to disseminate important research findings and practice-changing results in the field of oncology that are of interest to members of the Society of Surgical Oncology and of educational value to the broad community of surgical oncology investigators, practitioners, and trainees worldwide.5

During the quarter-century life of the journal, the value, scale, and scope of ASO has continued to increase on a global scale.1,2,5, 6, 7 The journal has become a global journal in terms of both authors and readers throughout the world.1,5,7 Both the readership and author submissions are equally divided between North America, the Asia/Pacific, and the Europe/Middle East, with a smaller participation from the South American and African continents.

Indeed, the metrics of ASO for the year 2016 are impressive. The 2016 impact factor calculation attributed 1382 recent “source items” (in 5436 pages) to ASO, which were cited 5584 times in 2016 alone, resulting in a 2 years impact factor of 4041. The 5 years impact factor of 4392 for ASO is the result of almost 14,000 citations in 2016 for articles ASO has published during the past 5 years. Total citations may more accurately reflect the impressions a journal makes. However, ASO’s 2016 impact factor was made up of more total citations than other related journals such as Annals of Surgery, JAMA Surgery, British Journal of Surgery, Journal of the American College of Surgeons, Surgery, World Journal of Surgery, and Journal of Surgical Oncology.8 Taking a longer look, Clarivate Analytics’ (formerly Thomson Reuters) Web of Science database reports that during the period 2007–2016, ASO has accumulated the second-most citations even among a grouping of all 800 journals they catalog as publishing “surgery” research of all forms (Annals of Surgery takes the first spot). The “average” citation index for ASO in recent years is lower than for related journals due to the large number of original research articles published in ASO. Approximately two to five times as many research articles have been published recently in ASO (Fig. 2). By another metric, the Google scholar H5 index for 2016 (for articles published in 2010–2015), the ASO index ranked fifth among the universe of surgical journals.
Fig. 2

Surgical oncology journals: citations and documents published during 2013–2016.

*Source. Clarivate Analytics/Web of Science.

In addition to our mission of publishing scientific peer-reviewed articles, we equally value our educational mission to our readers. The sole medium 25 years ago was the printed version of ASO.6 Currently, most of the journal content is delivered through the electronic medium worldwide. Our partnership with Springer provides ASO to readers in more than 10,000 institutions throughout the world. One metric of the journal’s educational value is page views and full-text downloads. In 2016, readers of ASO accessed an average of 2309 articles every day, which totaled 845,154 downloads for the calendar year. The total usage (or downloads) is estimated to reach almost one million in 2017.

The extraordinary success of ASO in a relatively brief time span (compared with most top-rated surgical journals) can be attributed to the scientific strength of its publications, the thousands of experts who participated in the peer review process, the leadership of the journal and the Society of Surgical Oncology (which owns the journal), our publishing partner Springer Inc., and our readers.



We thank Mr. Sean Beppler, Publisher, at Springer for collecting and synthesizing the journal data used in this editorial.


  1. 1.
    Roh M, Whippen D, Balch CM. State of the journal 2010: managing growth, extending our reach—now the official journal for the Society of Surgical Oncology and the American Society of Breast Surgeons. Ann Surg Oncol. 2010; 7:1–3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Balch CM, Roh M, Klimberg VS, Whippen D. Annals of Surgical Oncology: the First 20 years. Ann Surg Oncol. 2014;21:3708–12.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    The Annals of Surgical Oncology—an oncology journal for surgeons. Ann Surg Oncol. 1994;1:1. Scholar
  4. 4.
    What is a surgical oncologist? Ann Surg Oncol. 1994;1:2–4.
  5. 5.
    Balch CM, Klimberg VS, McMasters KM, et al. Benchmarking the scientific and educational impact of the Ann Surg Oncol. Ann Surg Oncol. 2016:23:2723–9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Balch CM, Roh M, Fried KW. New and improved Annals. Ann Surg Oncol. 1999; 6:1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Balch CM, Whippen D, Klimburg VS, Roh M. Annals of surgical oncology: the global journal for surgeons treating patients with cancer. Ann Surg Oncol. 2010;17:2255–9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Journal Citation Reports, Clarivate analytics. 2016. Accessed 3 Nov 2017.

Copyright information

© Society of Surgical Oncology 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles M. Balch
    • 1
  • Mark Roh
    • 2
  • Kelly M. McMasters
    • 3
  • Deborah Whippen
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Surgical OncologyUniversity of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  2. 2.UF Health Cancer Center-Orlando HealthOrlandoUSA
  3. 3.Department of SurgeryUniversity of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA
  4. 4.Annals of Surgical OncologyN. Fort MyersUSA

Personalised recommendations