The EAU is gearing up to offer a new scientific journal besides the established titles of European Urology and European Urology Focus. We spoke to the Editor-in-Chief of European Urology Oncology, Prof. Alberto Briganti (IT) about the journal’s mission, its intended audience and place in the landscape of medical journal publications.
“This is a new journal, and the EAU’s first official journal that is fully devoted to the research of genitourinary (GU) cancers,” Briganti explained. “The novel idea is to assemble an editorial team of specialists from different GU-related disciplines who will work together to create a multidisciplinary journal in which different aspects of GU cancers such as medical oncology, radiation therapy, urology, imaging, pathology, molecular pathology are all represented.”
The journal will feature a range of sections, encompassing original research and reviews, discussions and some Guideline reviews. Briganti: “In GU cancers, prostate, kidney and bladder cancer are of course most prevalent, but we will also feature testicular, penile and other rarer cancers. We will have new research coming in, and we are also commissioning reviews on several ‘hot’ topics. We actively commission systematic review, metaanalysis, as well as opinion papers, on topics in which there is interest.”
In terms of target readers, European Urology Oncology is designed to serve every medical expert dealing with GU cancers and their research, including urologists, medical oncologists, radiation therapists, imaging specialists and general research scientists. “Naturally, our core audience is the urologist,” Briganti said. “Urologists are among the main actors in GU treatment and represent majority of our readers. But the scope of our journal goes beyond urology and this might attract attention from other disciplines. Our ultimate aim is to have a wide audience including also non-surgical communities.”
European Urology Oncology will be published online, every other month. EAU members will automatically get access to the new journal. Briganti: “The first edition is coming up soon. We are currently working on the first batch of papers that was accepted."
Chosen as the EU Oncology editor partly due to his previous editing experience, Briganti previously served on the European Urology editorial board, and co-edited EU Focus, together with Mr. James Catto (GB). He also served as guest editor for various issues of other medical journals.
Serving as Associate Editors are medical oncologist Dr. Laurence Albiges ( FR), urologist Dr. Gianluca Giannarini (IT), Prof. Ashish Kamat (US) who is involved in Urologic Oncology & Cancer Research and radiation oncologist Prof. Paul Nguyen (US). Managing Editor Ms. Emma Redley is based in Sheffield (GB), where the editorial team of European Urology is also based.
“We have a dream team of editors with different backgrounds from all over the world, who are also key opinion leaders in their respective fields,” Briganti said. “Together, we will endeavor to make this journal essential for those publishing in the field. Competition is very high and we believe that if we insist on quality and rigorous peer reviews, the journal will improve and reach high standards.”
The genesis of European Urology Oncology came from the wealth of GU research that is submitted to European Urology. Roughly 80% of these submissions are related to genitourinary cancers, with many of the submissions deserving of an audience. Briganti: “If you consider the number of papers submitted to the main journal, the numbers of straight rejections or rejections after peer review, so many of these are rejected despite their quality. These papers may be given another chance for publication under the EAU’s banner.”
“Authors who might initially not have their research accepted by the editors of European Urology, but who produce good quality papers are then given a chance to be considered for EU Oncology. I believe there is a lot of research which cannot always be allocated (due to space constraints) to the main journal. This is common practice in the industry, and many journals have sister publications in this way.”
Initially, EU Oncology will draw on submissions to European Urology. “Ultimately, we hope to receive more and more direct submissions, but as the journal is in its infancy, James Catto and I decide which article should go be considered for EU Oncology after rejection from European Urology,” he added.
Whether the emergence of a new, GU cancer-focused journal would affect the current balance of contents of European Urology is difficult to say. “I don’t foresee such a change,” Briganti said. “GU cancer research is so wide, and there are so many developments in terms of clinical and translational research. There will always be sufficient material for both journals. The main journal will continue publishing high-quality material in the field of GU cancers.”
“There is no intention to have any competition now or in the future. Both journals will cover research in uro-oncology. Additionally, European Urology also covers benign diseases, which we will not cover. It has the highest impact factor as it is the most highly-cited, most-read, most-distributed journal in the field. We are a small journal compared to European Urology, and there will not be any competition between us.”
Briganti anticipates more of a divergence between the journals, but not in the short-term. “It takes time to set up a new journal and make it fly properly. In the future, as we begin to receive more direct submissions, we may end up featuring more and more articles within the area of pure medical oncology or translational research,” he said. “Ultimately, our goal is to publish innovative and high-quality papers which are of course distributed and well-read among the GU community. The journal’s high-quality evidence should ultimately translate into practice-changing data.”
Role of medical journals
Translating the research published in medical journals into practice-changing data is exactly the goal of medical journals. “The literature that an EAU membership provides should be useful for any urologist. This way they can stay up to date and be aware of changes in practice or future directions of practice,” Briganti said. He noted that a journal’s ultimate aim is to help improve patient care by publishing and circulating high-quality research, and direct the reader’s attention to new and evidencebased medicine. “We contribute to increasing the adherence to good treatment by practicing urologists,” he said.
European Urology, and soon, European Urology Oncology are not only widely-cited journals, but are also discussed at meetings, eventually helping shape medical guidelines. Briganti: “The ability to improve and change guidelines is the best that any journal can do. It means you are influencing the rules for good clinical practice. This makes a journal great.”