Publications of research conducted during short-term research education training programs serve as an outcome measure for students’ successes and a program’s value. We compared the impact of cancer publications from research conducted during a short-term cancer research education training program, to publications by program participants in the years following completion of the training program and earning an academic or professional degree. Bibliometrics and altmetrics from NIH, ResearchGate, Google Scholar and Scopus® that measure publication impact were collected on cancer publications by student interns in the CaRES (Cancer Research Experiences for Students) R25 program from 1999 to 2017; and on cancer publications in subsequent years by program alumni (students who completed CaRES). Publication characteristics and impact measures were described and compared. Of 558 publications, 206 (37%) were related to CaRES internship projects and 352 (63%) related to any cancer research in which program alumni engaged following their internships. CaRES project publications were cited more frequently and held a higher research interest score than later cancer publications by CaRES alumni but appeared in journals having lower impact factors (p < 0.05). A higher proportion of alumni were first authors of their publications as compared to first authorship by interns (p = 0.02). Research conducted during short-term cancer research programs can be scientifically meaningful and of comparable quality to publications by program alumni who engage in cancer research careers.