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Seven Years of Good Luck

Open AccessPublished:January 01, 2009DOI:https://doi.org/10.1074/mcp.E900001-MCP200
      The end of 2008 marks the completion of the first seven years in the life of Molecular & Cellular Proteomics, which began publication in 2002. Although it has a way to go to reach the plateaus of its stable mates (the Journal of Biological Chemistry began its second century in 2005, and the Journal of Lipid Research celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, to which the editors and staff of MCP offer their heartiest congratulations), it has enjoyed some considerable measure of success in its own right. From the outset, it has been a leading publication in a relatively fledgling area of biochemical research and has well lived up to its stated mission of playing an active role in the development of the field, and the supporting technologies, and not simply being a repository. However, science and the acquisition of knowledge are dynamic entities and keeping abreast of the constant changes this produces requires corresponding changes for the chroniclers, i.e. the keepers of the scientific record. So, as we look forward to our eighth year, we report some immediate new features as well as some long term plans.
      One of the major accomplishments that the editors of MCP are particularly proud of has been the introduction of guidelines for the publication of mass spectrometry data for the identification of proteins. It was the product of a considerable amount of effort, spear-headed by Steve Carr with substantial input by many stakeholders, and although it has been a challenge to implement and enforce these standards, the journal remains committed to this task and continues to feel that they are serving a very useful and important purpose. For some time, it has also felt that a second area that needed similar attention involved manuscripts reporting information relevant to clinical applications. Thus, as we have already reported (
      • Celis J.E.
      • Carr S.A.
      • Bradshaw R.A.
      New guidelines for clinical proteomics manuscripts.
      ), using a similar process as that employed for producing the mass spec guidelines, we crafted guidelines for this class of manuscript as well. These have been posted on the journal website for the past few months, and we hope that authors interested in this area will have taken note of it. It is now time to apply them, and beginning immediately we have generated a similar gateway in the manuscript submission process that will engender a compliance check before the formal review procedures are initiated. Articles that contain information related to both topics (mass spectrometric-based protein identification and clinical applicability) will be inspected relevant to both checklists. The new guidelines differ a little from the protein identification ones in that only a portion of the information is required; the remainder should be addressed if the requisite information is available but is not essential.
      The journal also plans to begin a series on issues that are confronting proteomics and that might even be viewed as impeding its progress. These will not be reviews of the classic sort but rather will come closer to our Perspectives category. We hope that they will not only focus on problems but also provide ideas about how they might be effectively addressed in the future. It is our further hope that they will generate some discussion, and we plan two changes to deal with this.
      First, we will formalize our Letters to the Editor section and incorporate it into the Table of Contents of both the printed and electronic versions, which will hopefully make it more visible and therefore more attractive. This section will remain available for any letters dealing with material published in MCP and will not be limited to discussions of the new series. At the same time we plan to open up a new blog site on the web page, fully available to the public, to post comments regarding the journal, its contents, or any matters related to the field of proteomics. Both of these features should be ready shortly after the first of the year.
      We also enter the New Year with a reformulated group of Associate Editors. Two of the founding group members, Patsy Babbitt and Kevan Shokat, retired this past year (and will indeed be sorely missed) and have been replaced by four new members. Thus, Jerry Hart (Johns Hopkins University Medical School), Betsy Komives (UC San Diego), Mike Snyder (Yale), and John Stults (Genentech) join Ruedi Aebersold, Steve Carr, Julio Celis, and Ray Deshaies, bringing the Associate Editors group to eight (brief sketches of the new Associate Editorscan be found in Ref.
      • MCP Adds Four New Associate Editors
      . We extend are sincerest thanks to Patsy and Kevan for their great service during the early development of the journal and are delighted to welcome our newcomers, who add their prestige and wisdom to our efforts.
      MCP and the editorial staff remain committed to enhancing and broadening the field of proteomics through high standards and innovative improvements. As always we welcome comments from the scientific community (and are in fact making it easier to do so). We conclude by noting that we must not have broken any mirrors (traditionally followed by seven years of bad luck) because MCP has enjoyed much good fortune in its formative years. We hope these and other changes to come will continue this trend.

      REFERENCES

        • Celis J.E.
        • Carr S.A.
        • Bradshaw R.A.
        New guidelines for clinical proteomics manuscripts.
        Mol. Cell. Proteomics. 2008; 7: 2071-2072
        • MCP Adds Four New Associate Editors
        ASBMB Today. September 2008; : 5