Editorial Comment

The ICFA Instrumentation Bulletin is intended to be a forum for people interested in generic instrumentation. The articles should be short, typically a few pages long, and describe either a novel technique or a previously unpublished measurement. We also intend to provide a forum for speculative ideas and not yet proven concepts. We invite articles from industry that describe novel instrumentation techniques. We especially encourage students to try to publish in this Bulletin and hope that their professors will be supportive. However, we discourage "system" descriptions, or papers describing lengthy analysis or software concepts. We believe that such work is already supported by a number of other periodicals and conferences.
What is instrumentation? It is a link between an idea and practical implementation. Although the idea can be formed in front of a blackboard by a theoretical physicist, the instrumentation must be performed in the lab. Good instrumentation work is almost like playing a violin well. If you do not practice, you get out of shape. After a while you tend to "do the instrumentation only in the meetings." I believe that our forefathers of high energy physics were very good in the lab. In fact, modern physics started with bench top experiments. As experiments grew in size, the software analysis became more complex. People became "virtuosos" in software. The lab work, respective to regular practice on the violin, became technical support. I think the field should recognize that the lab work is as equally important as a good B-meson analysis. If this Bulletin will help this process, I will consider it a success.
It was only after lengthy consideration that I accepted this formidable task. Why should this Bulletin exist? One can easily think: "I do not have time and I will publish in NIM anyway." It is clear that the only way to compete with NIM is to publish fast. It takes up to a year to publish in NIM. The only way to solve this is to bring in some new ideas. Obviously, the new idea is the Web. In principle, it will allow very rapid publication of a paper, almost as soon as it is digested at the editor's end. In addition, we plan to have a "question-answer" page which would allow more responsive dialog compared to publishing elsewhere. When five to six articles have been posted on the Web, we will publish the Bulletin.
Web publishing has some drawbacks. Presently, one finds it excessively slow when used at home or when transferring files overseas. Therefore, it is essential that individual articles should be short and must be recallable individually rather than by the whole issue (3-4 minutes per transfer is about maximum one can tolerate). Our Web site is designed such that individual articles can be easily downloaded. A "help" page is available with information on various publishing formats as well as instructions on how to submit an article.
Last but not least, I also wanted to simplify the work at my end, and after a discussion with the Bulletin's Web advisers, we decided that articles should be submitted in paper form and electronically (LaTeX files with postscript figures, or a diskette using MSWord). The Web format for the published articles will be the postscript (PS) and portable document format (PDF). We require authors to submit a brief abstract enabling the reader to get a short overview of the article.
Jaroslav (Jerry) Va'vra

Please send contributions to :
Stanford Linear Accelerator Center,
Bin 62,
P.O. Box 4349,
CA 94309, U.S.A.
e-mail : JJV@slac.stanford.edu

Last modified: 24 May 1996, Jochen.