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ERCIM News No.50, July 2002

50 Issues ERCIM News

by Peter Kunz

With this number ERCIM is celebrating the 50th issue of its magazine, ERCIM News. Established in 1989, ERCIM News has witnessed significant advances in European R&D in Information Technology and Applied Mathematics in the thirteen years since it started.

When INRIA, CWI and GMD founded ERCIM in 1989, the establishment of an ‘in-house magazine’ with the aim of reporting on joint activities was one of the first ‘joint actions’. The magazine has evolved from an ‘in-house magazine’ to a publication covering reports and news about scientific projects from all over Europe and even beyond, reflecting ERCIM’s growth over the years.

“May this newsletter be one of our major channels through which we communicate with each other on our efforts, strategies, approaches and achievements, but also on our problems and questions”. That was the way the directors of CWI, INRIA and GMD, Cor Baayen, Alain Bensoussan and Gerhard Seegmüller started the first issue of the ‘Newsletter’ in April 1989.

From the early issues on, ERCIM News has been published regularly four times a year. With each issue focussing on a special theme, the ERCIM News series has become a unique collection providing an overview on different topics of Information Technology. Examples of successful topics were the two ‘web’ issues (no.25, April 1996 and no.41, April 2000) which coincided with the World-Wide Web conferences in Paris and Amsterdam, or the ‘Grids’ issue (no.45, April 2001). For each issue, ERCIM News invites a personality to write a keynote statement relevant to the European scientific community. Franco Malerba and Elly Plooij-van Gorsel, both Members of the European Parliament, the European Commissioners Erkki Liikanen and Philippe Busquin, UK Minister Lord Sainsbury and the Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern were among the keynote authors. Their keynotes have very much contributed to ERCIM’s visibility.

The Web entered the research institutes in the early nineties and soon raised the question about an on-line version of ERCIM News. From October 1994 on, the newsletter has been published both in printed and electronic format. The electronic edition did not push back the printed edition (and the related costs for printing and distribution) but a lot of readers on the web subscribe to the printed edition, thus increasing its circulation. Beside the free subscription to the printed edition, the ERCIM News website gives access to all previous issues online back to number 19 (October 1994), offers full text search of these issues and has a form to order paper copies of back issues available on stock.

ERCIM News today has a circulation of over 9000 copies and is distributed in over 70 countries. Articles on the web have been accessed by over 60,000 different readers in 2001. Fifty issues of ERCIM News means about 1000 published articles, mainly written by scientists reporting on their research activities. If ERCIM News has achieved popularity to some extent, this is first of all the merit of the authors to whom the ERCIM Editorial Board wants to express their warmest thanks on this occasion.

Please contact:
Peter Kunz, ERCIM office