A Review of the Review
What this magazine has covered so far.
This, the sixth issue of this magazine (and the final issue of Volume 2), provides a good opportunity for reflection on where we’ve been and where we’re headed. Three years ago, the NIH requested applications to establish National Centers for Biomedical Computing. Each center would be required to “disseminate software, data and new discoveries to the national community.” But, the NIH specified, “[journal] publications and a good website…may not be sufficient.” At the time, it struck the Simbios team that there existed no communication media—conferences, journals or magazines—covering the entire gamut of the biomedical computation field.
To fill that gap, we proposed launching a new magazine, Biomedical Computation Review, which would specifically aim to bring together a very diverse group of researchers who share a common interest in biomedical computing, whether at the molecular, cellular, organism or population scale. Opening up new channels of communication could only lead to improving the rate of cross-fertilization of ideas between fields.
After only six issues, we’ve covered an amazing broad swath of biomedical computing. The six tables of contents read like a veritable smorgasbord of the field. We’ve selected a mix of cross-cutting issues and depth articles that includes 12 feature length articles, 37 news articles, 7 editorials/guest editorials, 3 editor’s picks, 6 Under the Hood mini-tutorials, 1 book review, 5 Seeing Science articles exploring the boundaries of biomedical computation and the arts, and 3 featured labs. In those articles, BCR has highlighted the work of 274 different researchers from 109 institutions (about 1 in 5 international). Of those, 27% are at the molecular/cellular level, 25% are at the organism/population level and 48% are multi-scale or abstract in nature.
About 85% of the magazine content is written by professional science writers and the other 15% is written by community researchers. The editorial board consists of 15 members and the 12 program and science officers for Simbios provide additional valuable input. Affiliated Design of Livingston, MT directs the magazine’s layout and design, and our debut issue (June 2005) recently won an award for Excellence in Communication and Graphic Design from Graphic Design USA.
About 3,000 receive the magazine in print and the website has had many more unique visitors from all over the world, with the numbers increasing every month.
As we look forward to future issues of BCR, we have lots of great new topics to cover. There’s so much interesting material to cover in areas that are nearest and dearest to you. Biomedical computing is advancing so rapidly on so many fronts and so we look to you, our readers, for additional input and guidance. Let us know what we’re doing right or where we might do better. And proposals for written contributions are welcome.