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Lab Manager’s Year in Review: 2016

We look back at the strides Lab Manager has made this past year

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January 2016: After a complete redesign of the magazine at the start of 2015, the beginning of 2016 saw our graphics team make a few small tweaks to the design, most notably to the second page of our table of contents. 

February 2016: This issue saw the launch of a new monthly series called “Labs Less Ordinary.” Starting with the January/February 2016 issue, and inspired by a feature in our December 2015 issue, we profiled a unique or unusual lab each month. We learned about a variety of different labs, starting with Canada’s SNOLAB located deep within the earth in Sudbury, Ontario and ending with Centipede Venom Pharm, a lab in North Carolina dedicated to providing quality centipede venom to medicinal researchers. This month also saw the start of our Linda the Lab Manager video series with the release of our first video on how to buy a biological safety cabinet

March 2016: It was another busy Pittcon in Atlanta, GA, where Lab Manager held its first Lab Manager’s Breakfast and continued our quiz and T-shirt handout for the second straight year. The breakfast gave us the chance to meet with some of our readers to learn what their concerns are and what would be most useful for us to focus on in future issues of the magazine. 

April 2016: Our “Green Issue” cover story focused on how lab managers could boost their labs’ sustainability without compromising research quality. Specifically, it shared tips for the more mindful use (and reuse) of laboratory water, consumables, and equipment. We also included some tips from the Federal Energy Management Program to help labs become more energy efficient. 

May 2016: This month saw the launch of our new series of infographics covering various aspects of lab equipment and products. Our first infographic, “Rotor Roundup,” helped readers choose the best centrifuge rotor for their research applications. 

June 2016: Our safety issue’s cover story this past year covered the controversial topic of working alone in the laboratory, a practice that has resulted in recent horrific accidents. The article examined some proposed guidelines and new technologies to help those working by themselves in the lab. 

July 2016: Our 2016 “Design Issue” showed our readers how to plan and design an optimized lab. The cover story stressed that involving all lab stakeholders from the very beginning is essential to achieving the best possible design. Author F. Key Kidder also explored the issue of secrecy pre-empting patenting in intellectual property battles

August 2016: Our biggest issue of the year—the 2017 Product Resource Guide—included a number of important changes from previous editions. We included mini Q&As to help our readers get started with purchasing specific lab products, as well as maintenance tips and links to our new Linda videos, which offer further advice for buying lab products. The inclusion of QR codes also gave readers an instant connection to additional content from our website. 

September 2016: This issue included our annual look at how lab managers can move their careers forward, as well as the results of our 10th Annual Salary & Job Satisfaction Survey. Overall, the survey findings were positive, showing increased employee satisfaction over previous years, but they also showed that young lab workers continue to have difficulty breaking into the lab workforce and that gender-based wage inequality persists in scientific research. Also this month, we began testing our new eBook program. These eBooks contain key information for buying and maintaining specific pieces of lab equipment. 

October 2016: This fall we published our first-ever Medical Cannabis Issue, with our cover story, one of our Industry Insights articles, and our Analytical Ask the Expert Q&A all touching on key issues and challenges in this growing industry. We hope to continue to provide regular updates on this area of research going forward. October also saw the official launch of our eBook program, gathering all of our relevant content on specific lab equipment into convenient, downloadable PDFs. 

November 2016: As has been our custom the past few years, our November issue cover story explored the current state of social media and science. While a majority of scientists continue to remain skeptical about the value of using social media platforms, author F. Key Kidder found that those who do use social media are now using it for genuine discussion, rather than pure self-promotion. This issue also included our annual look at the challenges and advantages of millennials in the lab

December 2016: To close out the year, the Lab Manager staff met for our annual editorial meeting during which we discussed several new ideas for the brand. While we can’t reveal all of the new content you can expect to see in 2017, we can say that it will include expanded video and editorial offerings! This month, we also made the decision to end our quiz for Pittcon 2017, but we’ll have something new at the booth this year. If you’re at the show, be sure to come by Booth 1243 to check it out and say hello. 

For 2017 as a whole, we will continue to build on the new products we launched in 2016, with plenty of new infographics, eBooks, and Linda videos on the horizon. All of the magazine sections from last year will also return, with Labs Less Ordinary continuing as a regular series. As always, we remain on the lookout for new ideas as long as they support our mission of helping lab managers run their labs as efficiently and effectively as they can. All the best to you, our readers, as we move into the New Year.

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