CTS’s 2021 by the Numbers and the Year Ahead

Author: John A. Wagner, MD, PhD on January 20, 2022


Happy New Year from Clinical and Translational Science (CTS)! Looking back, CTS has celebrated much success in 2021. Our goal continues to be becoming 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.

2021 by the numbers:

  • 4.689 Impact Factor (IF)
  • 258 articles e-published
  • Articles from 34 countries
  • 35 days average duration from submission to first decision

In the spirit of a 2021 review, we wanted to celebrate our most impactful contributions. Looking forward to the 2021 IF, the three most highly cited papers* are listed below.  Substantial and impactful COVID-19 research was published in CTS in 2021; thus, unsurprisingly, two of the three most highly cited articles were related to COVID-19. 

  1. Standardizing CYP2D6 Genotype to Phenotype Translation: Consensus Recommendations from the Clinical Pharmacogenetics Implementation Consortium and Dutch Pharmacogenetics Working Group by Caudle et al. – 75 citations
  2. Clinical and Autoimmune Characteristics of Severe and Critical Cases of COVID-19 by Zhou et al. – 67 citations
  3. Safety, Tolerability, and Pharmacokinetics of Remdesivir, An Antiviral for Treatment of COVID-19, in Healthy Subjects by Humeniuk et al. – 56 citations

One other word about IF. In January 2021, Clarivate Analytics announced that it would be changing the methodology for calculating journal IFs starting in 2021. Historically, only articles published in assigned volumes/issues were included in this calculation; this left some ambiguity where articles had their initial publication date in a different year than their issue publication date. Beginning with 2020 IF, which was released June 2021, all content published as early access in 2020 contributed cited references to the 2020 IF numerator. This had a side effect of generally increasing IF across most journals. In later years, all early access articles published in 2020 will contribute to the journal’s denominator in the subsequent 2 IF calculations. These calculations will generally decrease IF across journals. After 2023, the IF calculations will stabilize. 

IF is just one way to measure journal influence. Another important metric of impact is downloads, which also demonstrates strong results in 2021. Downloads are an obvious impact metric that measures how often journal readers take the time to download an article. CTS downloads have shown impressive growth since we relaunched as an ASCPT journal in 2016. Overall, downloads have increased from 578,000 in 2020 to 681,000 in 2021. The top downloaded article was a tutorial, which is consistent with our intended positive educational impact on the field of translational science. Two of the top three downloaded articles were related to COVID-19, which reflects the persistent consequences of the pandemic. The three most downloaded articles in CTS** were:

  1. Regulatory Affairs 101: Introduction to Investigational New Drug Applications and Clinical Trial Applications by Chiodin et al. – 13,465 downloads
  2. COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy: Race/Ethnicity, Trust, and Fear by Willis et al. – 9,467 downloads
  3. SARS‐CoV‐2 Infection as a Trigger of Autoimmune Response by Sacchi et al. – 8,210 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. Interestingly, the Altmetric score does not include LinkedIn posts, a major social media venue for ASCPT members. The three highest Altmetric scores*** in CTS were:

  1. Clinical Evaluation of an Investigational 5 mL Wearable Injector in Healthy Human Subjects by Woodley et al. – Altmetric score of 174
  2. Characterizing the Reproducibility in Using a Liver Microphysiological System for Assaying Drug Toxicity, Metabolism, and Accumulation by Rubiano et al. – Altmetric score of 120
  3. Assessing the Impact of COVID‐19 on Registered Interventional Clinical Trials by Hawila and Berg – Altmetric score of 104

Looking forward to 2022, we are increasingly focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion in research and publishing. CTS is increasing the representation of under-represented population studies that the journal publishes. There are numerous examples of articles related to diversity in CTS, and in recognition of these developments, the CTS Editorial Team will present the CTS award at the annual meeting of ASCPT to an author of an article most representative of diversity, equity, and inclusion published in the journal. In addition, CTS aspires to increase the diversity of authors outside of the US. Already, articles are authored from 34 different countries. Finally, CTS offers a focus on inclusivity and unique perspectives that our early career scientists are bringing to the journal. We’ve been highlighting trainees in our Student/Trainee Spotlight social media postings, an effort led by one of our Editors-in-Training, Stephani Stancil. Look for these and other 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 2022 to help drive our vision for translational science with your submissions.


* Preliminary 2021 impact factor “in-window” citations (i.e., those from articles that will count toward the next IF).

** Downloads are the number of downloads in 2021 for any article published since 2016.

*** Altmetrics calculated through December 14, 2021 associated with any article published in 2021.

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