December 2013

An open letter to our contributors

Dear ASBMB Today Writers,

“Publishing your work is important. Even if you are giving a piece to some smaller publication for free, you will learn something about your writing. The editor will say something, friends will mention it. You will learn.”
— Tim Cahill, founding editor of Outside Magazine,
in an interview with travel writer Rolf Potts

Those of us in the writing world talk (and write) a lot about why we should or should not give away our work for free. We will get clips, exposure and training. We will devalue an already undervalued field.
As editor of ASBMB Today, a nonprofit publication, I rely almost entirely on you, dear volunteer contributors. Some of you are seeking publications to beef up your CVs. Some of you are seeking experience so that you can move away from the bench. Increasingly, some of you are seeking a public forum in which to share personal stories seasoned by science.
No matter why you do it, I want to thank you. Thank you, on behalf of myself, our organization and our readers, for putting yourself through the terrifying and sometimes humiliating process of writing.
I know that what you do is not easy, and I know that your time is valuable. I also know that seeing your name and stories in print has its intrinsic rewards, but those don’t put gas in your car. My hope, though, is that writing for ASBMB Today will pay off for you one day.
You deserve to be congratulated by your peers, colleagues and supervisors. For you have done what most don’t have the guts to do: You’ve informed, entertained and comforted strangers at the risk of exposing yourself as imperfect and vulnerable, which of course we all are.
Angela Hopp
Angela Hopp
Editor, ASBMB Today

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