When GenomeWeb began publishing Genome Technology in the autumn of 2000, it was clear that big changes lay ahead in the field that we serve — genomic research — as well as in our own industry of scientific publishing.
After 12-plus years of GT, it is hard to say which field has changed more; one could make a compelling case for either. Each has been both a victim and a beneficiary of the process of "creative destruction" that accompanies rapid technical innovation.
As the printing presses have been cranking out Genome Technology year after year, the cost of sequencing one human genome has dropped four orders of magnitude. We have witnessed an overwhelmingly dominant technology — Sanger sequencing — become marginalized and, depending on whom you ask, the technologies that slew Sanger may be calmly awaiting their own extinction event.
Sequencing, once the domain of the high priests who run industrial-scale centers, is becoming democratized. Soon, everyone will be doing it.
All the while, the economics of printing text and images on paper and shipping it all over the world have gotten worse and worse. Whether that cost is borne by subscribers or by advertisers does not seem to matter. Mighty newspapers, just a decade ago among the most profitable enterprises known to capitalism, are now bankrupt and bereft. Print-based journals and magazines, too, are fighting valiantly in retreat.
At some point one must say "enough!" And so it is with Genome Technology. Despite our heritage of groundbreaking journalism and service to the genomics community, the numbers no longer add up. It is time to go.
But all is not going. The most popular features of GT are being preserved and will be incorporated into GenomeWeb.com. Thus, the tens of thousands of regular visitors to GenomeWeb.com will be able to access not only the field's most comprehensive news reports, but also GT's surveys, trend analyses, and windows into the scientific culture of genomics.
Thanks are due to the many fine journalists who have contributed to Genome Technology over the years, but especially to our three visionary editorial directors: Adrienne Burke, Meredith Salisbury, and Ciara Curtin. Meanwhile, we'll see you on the Internet.