- Since its inception, MCP has recognized the promise of proteomics and its underlying technologies to significantly move the boundaries of knowledge in biology and medicine. As has been noted (1), proteomics represented a paradigm shift in how experiments were designed and executed and how the resultant data were interpreted and stored. But the journal has also recognized that the value of the proteomic approach and the data generated were only as good as the quality and reliability of that data“a corollary of the computational maxim, “garbage in, garbage out.” Thus, in its very earliest stages, the editorial staff of MCP, particularly Steve Carr, Ruedi Aebersold, and Al Burlingame, began earnest discussions about how a journal should evaluate data arising from large scale, often called “shotgun,” mass spectrometric experiments, which ultimately lead to the first set of guidelines (2).
- As of January 1, 2013, the paper entitled “Electrophoretic Transfer of Proteins from Polyacrylamide Gels to Nitrocellulose Sheets: Procedure and Some Applications,” by Towbin and colleagues (1), had been cited 52,488 times (ISI Web of Knowledge v5.8), placing it among the elite group of papers that have truly transformed life science research. For more than 30 years, the nitrocellulose-based Western blotting technique introduced by this paper has been a principal method for the detection of specific proteins in complex biological samples.
- 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.
- Several years ago, the editors of MCP1 , concerned with the widely varying standards in articles reporting large scale protein identifications, undertook the task of drafting and adopting guidelines for manuscripts that laid out what it felt (and strengthened by considerable advice and comments received from numerous experts in the field) were the minimum set of requirements for reporting and analyzing this type of data (1). The purpose was to raise awareness to the fact that if articles were severely flawed by incorrect or incomplete information, the field of proteomics was bound to suffer a major loss of credibility.
- With this issue, we initiate a new phase of the association of MCP with the Human Proteome Organisation (HUPO), a relationship that extends back to the inception of both ventures. Since the now historic first congress in Versailles in November 2002, MCP has been privileged to publish the abstracts/program of every HUPO congress. This was an important decision for a young journal but one that was in keeping with the principles enunciated at the time the journal was founded, to wit, that it meant to strive not only to record the progress of proteomics, as it evolved as a science, but also to support the development of this relatively new field through appropriate ancillary activities.