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Fluctuat net mergitur - 40 years of Cytometry journal. Editorial

: Tárnok, Attila


Cytometry. Part A 97 (2020), Nr.6, S.554-556
ISSN: 1552-4922
ISSN: 0196-4763
ISSN: 1552-4930
Fraunhofer IZI ()

In this issue, we are celebrating a big event: This month marks exactly the 40th anniversary of our academic journal. The first issue of Cytometry/Cytometry Part A was published in June 1980, 100 years after the (first) founding of the journal Science . Forty year, for a scientific journal, is a remarkably long existence, considering that the history of typical scientific publishing in journals is relatively short: Virchows Archiv 173 years, Nature 151 years, Science 140 years, PNAS 106 years, and Cell 46 years.
When preparing this celebratory editorial, I communicated with Brian H. Mayall, the Founding Editor of Cytometry , and many other colleagues who shaped the journal from its very beginnings, including Robert Hoffman, Kathy Muirhead, and Zbigniew Darzynkiewicz. For this 40th anniversary issue, Darzynkiewicz wrote an exciting paper chronicling the journal's history and its contributions to science (this issue, pp. xxx‐xxx). Not only has he been Associate Editor since the very beginning of the journal and the only editor who is on board for 40 years, but has also authored the review on the “Features of apoptotic cells measured by flow cytometry ” (1) which is by far the highest cited article published in our journal's history and a real evergreen, still cited about 30 times a year. Bob Hoffman has also contributed a personal perspective on the journal's 40th birthday (this issue, pp. xxx‐xxx).
I will not recapitulate what has already been written about the birth, primal scream and first decades of the journal, from the first proposals in the late 1970s to the final decision of the SAC (Society for Analytical Cytology), the forerunner of the ISAC, to launch the journal. This has already been beautifully described in the editorial by Brian H. Mayall in 2004 (2), which I recommend for further reading.
Nevertheless, Robert Hoffman kindly shared with me some early documents which he allowed me to use for this editorial. They are illustrating the process of decision making to establish a journal of its own right. You can see the final announcement of founding the new journal Cytometry in the SAC Newsletter to the membership from October 8, 1979 (Fig. 1). It is also interesting to read more about it in other newsletters from 1979; you can find them in the supplementary material. They show the first announcement of plans for future publications (A. January 1979), the ballot for starting a new journal or not (B. February 1979), and the final announcement (C. October 1979).