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June 2002
Vol. 5, No. 6, p 7.
content in context

High marks

April coverAs most readers of this magazine are aware, Modern Drug Discovery (MDD) is a publication of the American Chemical Society, designed to help fulfill the Society’s mission of providing information on chemistry and chemical careers for the benefit of both ACS members and the scientific world in which they work. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the ACS actually publishes 34 research journals and scientific magazines. MDD, the youngest magazine in the Society’s lineup, began in the fall of 1998 with two issues; now in its fourth year, it is published 12 times annually as a service to those who work in medicinal chemistry. As editor, I believe there to be two major factors that distinguish MDD editorially from competitive publications. Each benefits the reader.

One is that we have a wide array of articles on pharmaceutical development. From the history of drug development to the latest in book reviews, we publish stories and articles on both the business and science side of the drug discovery industry. Each month, we have at least two feature articles on editorial themes ranging from genomics and proteomics to high-throughput screening and laboratory automation. In addition to those features, we publish 8 or 10 departments each month on topics such as computers, clinical trials, drug licensing regulations, and book reviews. We have chosen to deliberately cast wide for the selection of stories we include in each month’s issue.

The second factor that distinguishes MDD from its competitors is art. Thanks to Art Director Scott Neitzke and Creative Director Julie Farrar, MDD features rich and diverse layout design as well as original illustrations on the covers. Working with a small cadre of outside artists, we design our covers to go to the heart of each month’s editorial theme. Interior art and design for features and departments are just as carefully selected.

And though it’s obviously easy for the MDD team to speak well of our own art and editorial attributes, last month we were rewarded with external validation. The American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE), a professional association for editors in the business trade and specialty press, conducts an annual competition for art and editorial content in trade publications. The ASBPE competition starts with a regional evaluation, followed by a national competition limited to the regional winners. For 2001, ASBPE has conferred on Modern Drug Discovery magazine its national award for excellence in cover design, for our July 2001 issue on pharmacogenomics (shown above). The art, a set of six “pills”, each for a different individual, held in a physician’s hand, was created by Canadian artist Ferruccio Sardella, who also did this year’s April cover on medical diagnostics for newborns.

In addition, ASBPE awarded MDD a regional editorial citation for our monthly back-page department Diseases and Disorders, where we look at a different malady each month and briefly review the medical presentation and treatment options. And finally, I should note that our sister publication, Today’s Chemist at Work magazine, was recognized by ASBPE with a national award for its special supplement on the history of separation sciences entitled Chromatography: Creating a Central Science (http://pubs.acs.org/).

As editors, we are as pleased as anyone to receive external recognition. Like most people, we tend to work day-to-day with internally generated rewards and motivations. But every once in a while, it’s nice to be judged favorably—especially by our peers. We hope you agree.

James Ryan

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