2020 in the Year-View Mirror: Full Speed Ahead to 2021

Author: John A. Wagner, MD, PhD on January 18, 2021


Happy New Year from Clinical and Translational Science (CTS)! There are many reasons to put 2020 in the rear-view mirror and look forward to 2021. COVID-19 has exacted an enormous toll on everyone, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  

Looking back, CTS has celebrated much success in 2020. Our goal is to be a beacon for the field of translational science, fulfilling a major component of ASCPT’s strategic plan. Growth of CTS since we relaunched as an ASCPT journal in 2016 is displayed in the graph above. 2020 was characterized by some terrific topline numbers:

·       3.373 Impact Factor (IF)


·       205 articles e-published

·       32 COVID-19 articles published

·       31.7 days average duration from submission to first decision

In the spirit of a 2020 review, we wanted to celebrate our most impactful contributions. Looking forward to the 2020 IF, the three most highly cited papers* were:

1.       Lessons Learned from Alzheimer Disease: Clinical Trials with Negative Outcomes by Cummings et al. with 42 citations. 

2.       Targeting RNA: A Transformative Therapeutic Strategy by Yin and Rogge with 24 citations. 

3.       Clinical and Functional Relevance of the Monocarboxylate Transporter Family in Disease Pathophysiology and Drug Therapy by Fissel et al. with 20 citations.

Of course, we could not review 2020 without commenting on COVID-19 research. At the ASCPT family of journals, we committed early-on to rapid peer review of translational science and clinical pharmacology research on COVID-19. Substantial and impactful COVID-19 research was published in CTS. The three most highly cited papers on COVID-19 were: 

1.       Clinical and Autoimmune Characteristics of Severe and Critical Cases of COVID‐19 by Zhou et al. with 28 citations.

2.      Hydroxychloroquine for Treatment of SARS‐CoV‐2 Infection? Improving Our Confidence in a Model‐Based Approach to Dose Selection by Arnold and Buckner with 18 citations.

3.      Pharmacokinetics of Favipiravir in Critically Ill Patients With COVID‐19 by Irie et al. with 11 citations.

IF is just one way to measure journal influence. Another important metric of impact is downloads, which also demonstrates strong results in 2020. Downloads are an obvious impact metric that measures how often journal readers take the time to download an article. Two of the top three downloaded articles are tutorials, which is consistent with our intended positive educational impact on the field of translational science. CTS downloads have shown impressive growth since we relaunched in 2016. The three all-time most downloaded articles in CTS** were:

1.      Immunotherapy and Novel Combinations in Oncology: Current Landscape, Challenges, and Opportunities by Morrissey et al. with 24,467 downloads.

2.       Regulatory Affairs 101: Introduction to Investigational New Drug Applications and Clinical Trial Applications by Chiodin et al. with 19,089 downloads.

3.       Current Status of Companion and Complementary Diagnostics: Strategic Considerations for Development and Launch by Scheerens et al. with 16,966 downloads.

In our increasingly social media-connected world, another measure of journal influence is the Altmetric score, which is a measure of the global, public attention articles garnered, including through news outlets and social media. Not surprisingly, the highest Altmetric score was associated with a COVID-19 article.  The three highest Altmetric scores*** in CTS were:

1.      Effect of Combination Therapy of Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin on Mortality in Patients With COVID-19 by Lauriola et al. with an Altmetric score of 626. 

2.       Gene Therapy 2017: Progress and Future Directions by Keeler et al. with an Altmetric score of 399.

3.       Clinical Evaluation of an Investigational 5ml Wearable Injector in Healthy Human Subjects by Woodley et al. with an Altmetric score of 174.

Looking forward to 2021, we’ve added a Position Paper article type, which is an authoritative report outlining state-of-the-art translational science practices or issues. Also this year, Mini-Reviews will include a category on mechanisms of action of therapeutics. Look for these new, exciting additions in the coming year.


Thanks to the CTS authors and readers, ASCPT membership, and the many folks who make the Journal work – including editors, peer reviewers, as well as ASCPT and Wiley staff – CTS had another successful, impactful year on the journey to becoming a beacon of translational science. The Journal owes its success to each and every one of you.


Do you have the next IF, download or Altmetric winner? Submit to CTS and find out. Are you curious about the top cited, downloaded or Altmetric-winning papers? Read them today, and join us in 2021 to help drive our vision for translational science with your submissions.


* Preliminary 2020 impact factor “in-window” citations (i.e., those from articles that will count toward the next IF).

** Usage numbers are through November and are downloads for any article published since 2016.

*** Altmetrics calculated through Jan. 7, 2021 associated with any article published since 2016.

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