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First Base

By Kevin Davies

Kevin Davies, Ph.D.Editor-in-ChiefSept. 9, 2002 | THIS ISSUE MARKS the six-month anniversary of the launch of Bio·IT World, an opportune moment to take stock of what we have achieved so far, but more importantly, to consider ways that we can enhance the publication to better serve our readers — the bio-IT community.

Bio·IT World was created to mark the rapid integration of information technology in the life sciences, or as Juan Enriquez puts it in As The Future Catches You, the convergence of the digital code and the genetic code. The timing of our launch was interesting, to say the least, what with the intensifying problems plaguing the computer, pharmaceutical, and bioinformatics industries, not to mention the frigid air blowing through the world of publishing.

Nevertheless, we can look back on the first half-dozen issues of Bio·IT World — reaching more than 25,000 leaders from biotech, pharma, IT, and academia — with considerable satisfaction. Our debut issue profiled 60 leading champions in the bio-IT arena — even though, not surprisingly, one or two had bitten the dust by the time of publication. Many more have since arisen and been nominated, with full details archived on our Web site (

Thanks to the sterling efforts of my editorial colleagues, each issue has steadily improved in quality, diversity, and design. We have spotlighted major trends in life sciences and information technology, while offering instructive examples of how the two disciplines are uniting. Our coverage has also diversified to embrace topics such as training, compliance, government regulations, and intellectual property. Our Web site ( now offers a broad selection of research, career, and event information, along with a daily updated stream of news and commentary.

Not surprisingly, international colleagues at our parent company, IDG, have also recognized the enormous excitement in this field. Related publications have already been launched in Australia and Sweden, with others in the works. We are also pleased with this issue to welcome hundreds of international subscribers to our publication.

The Future: Managing the Data 
Our main focus is to foster and nurture the field of bio-IT research and development. We have already solicited the opinions of scores of subscribers to appreciate more fully the range of problems and issues you wish to see us cover. Your main concern can be succinctly distilled into three words: "Data, data, (and) data." Issues such as data management, compliance, and LIMS, as well as cutting-edge research areas, were mentioned prominently. Our future coverage will fully reflect these needs, particularly with regard to key issues in the pharmaceutical industry, from the discovery phase through clinical trials and beyond, with emphasis on case studies and best practices. Our coverage will also benefit from the views of a rich stable of guest contributors.

More observant readers will have noticed a subtle but significant change to the tagline on our front cover, which now simply reads "Technology for the Life Sciences." We will continue to build on the strength of the publication in covering areas of data acquisition, placing more emphasis on the technologies and equipment that drive the massive explosion in data generation.

This issue also marks the launch of the inaugural IT and Informatics Buyer's Guide, a volume that has superseded our expectations. Credit to John Russell, Salvatore Salamone, Tony Strattner, and colleagues for their tireless efforts in compiling information from 333 companies in 14 different categories. The result is an invaluable technology and services resource for the bio-IT community. Next year, we will introduce a similar guide dedicated to life science equipment manufacturers.

With your help, Bio·IT World will fulfill its mission to become an indispensable source of news, information, and analysis on the dynamic world of bio-IT research and development. I welcome your feedback, ideas, and criticisms — constructive or otherwise — at

Kevin Davies

For reprints and/or copyright permission, please contact Angela Parsons, 781.972.5467.