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Stem Cell Research & Therapy in 2012

Stem Cell Research & Therapy was launched just over two years ago, with the aim of its becoming the major forum for basic and translational stem cell research and the development of stem cell-based therapies [1]. Stem Cell Research & Therapy is particularly interested in articles that bridge the gap between laboratory and clinic. There are many challenges in bringing stem cell therapies to the clinic in comparison to the translational pathway for traditional pharmaceutical products.

The benefits of open access publication were reviewed in last year's anniversary editorial [2]. In this editorial, we would like to present the recent progress on important issues that influence an author's decision on where to submit his or her manuscript.

Progress in the last year


Stem Cell Research & Therapy is now indexed by MEDLINE, the premier bibliographic database of the US National Library of Medicine. Each article record is indexed by using MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) terms, and thus the articles are highly accessible via PubMed. Readers can click straight through from PubMed to the Stem Cell Research & Therapy website to read the open-access research articles without having to register or sign in. The final published version of all articles is automatically deposited in PubMed Central; research articles are publicly available immediately upon publication, whereas subscription content, such as reviews and commentaries, becomes available a year after publication.

Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters (formerly the Institute for Scientific Information) (New York, NY, USA) has accepted Stem Cell Research & Therapy for tracking from volume 1, issue 1, and the journal's first (partial) impact factor is expected in the 2011 Journal Citation Report, which is to be published this summer. The early acceptance of Stem Cell Research & Therapy is an indication of the journal's success in its first few years of existence.

Growth of the journal

The journal received over 19,000 article accesses via the website in March 2012 and this figure has been growing each month. The two most accessed research articles published in 2011 have both received over 5,000 accesses so far; Jung Lim and colleagues [3] studied the effects of mesenchymal stem cells in a rat model of cerebral ischemia, and Alan Nixon's group [4] used fetal-derived embryonic-like stem cells to treat tendon injury in horses.

A review by editorial board member Christian Jorgensen and colleagues [5] on immunosuppression by mesenchymal stem cells remains our all-time most accessed article, having received nearly 16,000 accesses in the two years since its publication in March 2010.

Articles are regularly featured on the BMC Update, which is sent out fortnightly to more than 400,000 recipients. In addition, registrants on the journal website can sign up to receive article alerts on a daily, weekly, fortnightly, or monthly basis; new-issue alerts are sent out when each issue is complete. Readers can find out how many times an article has been accessed or cited via the 'About this article' link from the right-hand side navigation bar, and via the 'My manuscripts' section of the website, authors can keep track of how many times their published articles have been accessed.

Our average time from submission to first decision is 6 weeks, and the average time from submission to publication in 2011 was 20 weeks. We aim to continue to improve on this metric in the coming months.

Looking forward

Commissioned articles from opinion leaders in the field are a key component of the journal. We aim to increase the relevance of this section to translational stem cell therapy research in the future. Upcoming commissioned content includes reviews from Nicholas Boulis and colleagues on stem cell therapy for the spinal cord and from Aastrom Biosciences (Ann Arbor, MI, USA) on its experience in developing a multicellular therapy expanded from a patient's own bone marrow. These reviews will be published as part of a series on 'Clinical applications of stem cells', edited by Mahendra Rao, a member of the editorial board. Also coming up this year are a series devoted to 'Physical influences on stem cells', edited by Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, an editorial board member, and a special collection of articles on 'Stem cell research in the Asia-Pacific region'. These series join our published and ongoing series on 'Induced pluripotent stem cells', 'Stem cell niche', 'Epigenetics and regulation', and 'Immunology and stem cells' as references within the field [6].

Our key objectives over the next few years are to increase the international reach and impact of the journal and to seek new and effective ways of engaging and communicating with our readers and contributors. Please do post a comment online or contact the editorial office if you have suggestions for what developments you would like to see. Thank you, as ever, to our editorial board, authors, reviewers, and readers for your support.


  1. Donnelly A, Johar S, O'Brien T, Tuan RS: Welcome to Stem Cell Research & Therapy. Stem Cell Res Ther. 2010, 1: 1-10.1186/scrt1.

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  2. Locke P, O'Brien T, Tuan RS: Stem Cell Research & Therapy marks its first anniversary. Stem Cell Res Ther. 2011, 2: 22-10.1186/scrt63.

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  3. Lim JY, Jeong CH, Jun JA, Kim SM, Ryu CH, Hou Y, Oh W, Chang JW, Jeun SS: Therapeutic effects of human umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells after intrathecal administration by lumbar puncture in a rat model of cerebral ischemia. Stem Cell Res Ther. 2011, 2: 38-10.1186/scrt79.

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  4. Watts AE, Yeager AE, Kopyov OV, Nixon AJ: Fetal derived embryonic-like stem cells improve healing in a large animal flexor tendonitis model. Stem Cell Res Ther. 2011, 2: 4-10.1186/scrt45.

    Article  PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Ghannam S, Bouffi C, Djouad F, Jorgensen C, Noël D: Immunosuppression by mesenchymal stem cells: mechanisms and clinical applications. Stem Cell Res Ther. 2010, 1: 2-10.1186/scrt2.

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  6. Stem Cell Research & Therapy: Article collections. []

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Correspondence to Philippa Locke.

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Competing interests

PL is an employee of BioMed Central and receives a fixed salary. TO and RST are the Editors-in-Chief of Stem Cell Research & Therapy and receive an annual honorarium.

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Locke, P., Tuan, R.S. & O'Brien, T. Stem Cell Research & Therapy in 2012. Stem Cell Res Ther 3, 16 (2012).

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