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First Base 


January 12, 2004 | OBSERVANT READERS will have noticed a few changes to Bio·IT World this month. These changes are not purely aesthetic, but reflect more practical considerations that are worth highlighting, along with many other initiatives that we are proud to introduce for 2004.

DIGITAL DELIVERY. The modest reduction in size of this magazine certainly has the noble advantage of saving more than a few trees, but it has many other important benefits. Most excitingly, our new format has been designed for maximum compatibility with the newly introduced digital delivery platform of Bio·IT World. In light of reader research that suggests that at least half of our subscribers would welcome a digital magazine, we have selected the qMags delivery system to produce a faithful digital copy of the entire print magazine. Readers can opt each month to receive a portable, digital version of Bio·IT World, literally within minutes of publication rather than waiting weeks, in some cases, to receive a hard copy. Current print subscribers may choose digital delivery if they prefer (or both for a nominal fee), while we can now offer affordable subscriptions to overseas readers. For more information, please go to www.bio-itworld.com/subscribe.

REDESIGN. The new print format has allowed art director Mark Gabrenya to wield his magic and make the first major design changes to the publication since its launch in March 2002. The result is fresh, but it still retains the original feel. Mark has selected two new fonts for the redesign: The main text is ITC Charter, designed by Matthew Carter; headlines and banners are in FF Fago, created by Ole Schäfer.

CONTENT. We are delighted to introduce a new team of contributors to Bio·IT World - The BioTeam. Inside the Box is a monthly column from the IT consultants, profiled in our March 2003 issue ("The BioTeam: Riders of the Storm," page 24). The column will delve into key issues of IT implementation, benchmarking, licensing, and so on, providing incisive opinion and commentary from experts with unparalleled field experience.

In addition, we will be bringing regular profiles of companies and corporate executives who define the best of bio-IT. Our Company to Watch series relaunches this month with a profile of Ambrx, a San Diego biotechnology concern that is re-engineering the genetic code. And Greg Lucier, president and CEO of toolmaker Invitrogen, joins me in conversation.

2004 BIO·IT WORLD CONFERENCE + EXPO. We have assembled an outstanding conference program for the 2004 Bio·IT World Conference + Expo, which begins on March 30 in Boston. This year's event will include three full days of conference tracks, including "The Druggable Genome," "Informatics and IT Infrastructure," and "E-Clinical Trials Research." The conference also marks the debut of the Health·IT World Conference + Expo, with its own dedicated conference program. Four superb keynote speakers—George Poste, Susan Lindquist, Michael Ruettgers, and Steven Holtzman—workshops, and an expanded exhibition should make for an indispensable event. Full details can be found at www.bio-itworldexpo.com.

2004 BEST PRACTICES AWARDS. We are expanding the program dramatically this year to include 10 categories (see www.bio-itworld.com/bestpractices). As in 2003, each entry will be evaluated by a pre-eminent panel of judges, with the winners being announced at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., later this summer. The closing deadline is April 12, and I urge you to participate in this impressive event.

BIO-IT BULLETIN. Under the direction of Web editor Catherine Varmazis, we have steadily enhanced our site, www.bio-itworld.com, to provide a rich assortment of daily news and features. Our news section, renamed Bio·IT Bulletin, includes a comprehensive roundup of key company news and transactions, reports and analysis, and the most interesting stories from the international media.

HEALTH·IT WORLD. The e-newsletter has rapidly gained stature in the healthcare field and will shortly debut a monthly digital magazine and accompanying Web site, offering a peerless source of news on healthcare informatics, technology, and information-based medicine.

These are just some of the new offerings and services that we trust you, our readers, will find of value throughout 2004 and beyond.






For reprints and/or copyright permission, please contact  Terry Manning, 781.972.1349 , tmanning@healthtech.com.