Welcome to Bench Marks, the very first venture by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press into the wonderful world of blogging. Bench Marks is meant to accompany CSH Protocols, our online methods journal / database. CSH Protocols was built from the ground up to take advantage of being an online product. Rather than just transferring book pages into electronic form, we’re trying to build something new, to utilize the tools that the web provides. One such tool is easy and open communication, hence this blog from me, David Crotty, the Executive Editor.

The purpose of Bench Marks is to serve as a newsletter and as a forum for our readers. I’m hoping to highlight some of the interesting material already available, and to let you know about new protocols as they are published. Having some history and examples of the protocols in use, as well as some info about the labs that are providing them, is always handy. I’m sure I’ll also be posting information about whatever strikes me as interesting in the world of science. I come from a fairly diverse scientific training, first as a graduate student with Debra Wolgemuth at Columbia, studying regulation of mouse Hox genes, then as a postdoc with Scott Fraser at Caltech. Scott’s lab is a wonderful experiment in interdisciplinary science, freely mixing biologists with chemists, physicists, computer scientists and even a conceptual artist. I’ve been a Commissioning Editor with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press for the last six years, putting together books on a wide variety of subjects, from mathematics to drug addiction. I’m hoping to bring an eclectic mix like this both to this blog as well as to CSH Protocols, expanding our already broad coverage area as much as possible.

But enough about me. This blog should be about you as well. It gives me a place to hear back directly from our readers. Is CSH Protocols meeting your needs? Are there areas we should be covering? What protocols are we missing? Feel free to drop me a line via the comments on any post, or send along a direct e-mail. The more I hear from you, the more useful we can make CSH Protocols as a laboratory tool.