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Former Associate Editor Re-Joins JOP

Oct 05, 2012


Joseph O. Jacobson, MD

Member since
: 1990

: Chief Quality Officer, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical

ASCO activity
: JOP Associate Editor; JCO Editorial Board member; Quality of Care Committee Chair

Joseph O. Jacobson, MD, took on the position of Journal of Oncology Practice (JOP) Associate Editor for a second term. Dr. Jacobson is Chief Quality Officer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, as well as Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

In the following interview, Dr. Jacobson discusses plans for his second term.

AC: Why did you take on the role of JOP Associate Editor again?

Dr. Jacobson: The Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO) has long served as the standard bearer for oncology-related clinical research—but prior to JOP, there was no outlet for publishing quality and practice-related papers. In 2004, I was delighted to learn that ASCO was planning to create a new clinical journal focused on the practice of oncology. I welcomed the opportunity to join the Editorial Board of JOP at its inception, and was the senior author for JOP’s first published peer-reviewed manuscript, “Development of a Patient Registry to Evaluate Hospital Admissions Related to Chemotherapy Toxicity in a Community Cancer Center.”

Subsequently, I was invited to become an Associate Editor by Editor-in-Chief John Cox, DO—a position that I quickly accepted. At the time I was Chairperson of Medicine of a regional medical center north of Boston. Unfortunately, due to growing administrative responsibilities, I eventually stepped down as Associate Editor because I felt I was unable to provide sufficient time to JOP to do a good job.

In 2011, I made an unexpected move back to full-time oncology to become Chief Quality Officer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. When Dr. Cox learned of my move, he asked if I would consider taking back on the role of Associate Editor. After reassuring myself that I would have adequate time for the role, I gladly accepted.

AC: How has JOP changed since your first appointment as Associate Editor, and what do you envision for the journal, moving forward?

Dr. Jacobson: Under Dr. Cox’s leadership, JOP has grown rapidly. It is now PubMed-listed. Since 2008, the number of original contributions received has increased 20-fold to over 200 in 2011. This has coincided with a dramatic increase in web traffic for JOP, which reached over 700,000 hits in 2011. The acceptance rate for unsolicited manuscripts has steadily declined and now stands at a respectable 40%. In summary, JOP now stands squarely with JCO, recognized as an important cancer journal.

Moving forward, I expect JOP to continue to grow in stature and to define itself as the cancer journal for quality- and practice-related publications. Until now, there was no recognized home for quality-related cancer publications. JOP now comfortably fills that niche.

AC: What makes a good JOP manuscript?

Dr. Jacobson: There really is no “ideal” JOP manuscript. Those that are well-suited for JOP will have a strong focus on quality measurement or improvement. Many of these will have been undertaken at a single institution but have the potential to be broadly applicable. Manuscripts that define improvements in the practice of oncology or identify trends in cancer care are also a good fit.

AC: What do you want readers to gain from reading JOP?

Dr. Jacobson: The editors and staff of JOP hope that readers will look forward to each issue, thumb through it with pleasure, and identify articles that are relevant to their practice of oncology.

AC: Do you have any “words of wisdom” for current and future readers?

Dr. Jacobson: JOP is quickly becoming a powerful online journal. Each paper issue is published online with many articles available ahead of print. In addition, there is a growing amount of web-only content. My “words of wisdom,” therefore, are to be sure to read the online version of JOP as well as the print version.

AC: How is JOP unique?

Dr. Jacobson: JOP currently fills the void previously present for those wishing to publish cancer quality-related work. There is enormous opportunity for JOP to grow significantly in this area.

AC: What will be your biggest challenge as a JOP Associate Editor?

Dr. Jacobson: JOP is currently limited to a certain number of pages of print content. Given the steady increase in the submission of high-quality manuscripts, the number of pages will need to grow to keep up with the acceptance of appropriate, meritorious manuscripts.

AC: Is there anything else you’d like to mention?

Dr. Jacobson: It is a pleasure to work with Editor-in-Chief John Cox, DO, and the other Associate Editors and ASCO staff. Please send us your manuscripts.

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