The Editorial Board of Molecular Ecology has decided to inaugurate a sister journal to be entitled, Molecular Ecology Notes. This new journal is being launched to accommodate the rapid expansion in the numbers of primer, computer, and technical notes submitted to our editorial office, as well as to ensure more rapid dissemination of this time-sensitive material. To accomplish this latter goal, we are planning immediate on-line publication (web address to be announced) of notes accepted in the journal, followed by quarterly distribution of a print version. In addition, primer/locus information reported in Primer Notes will be included in a user-friendly database linked to the Molecular Ecology Notes web site. Please note that subscribers to Molecular Ecology will receive Molecular Ecology Notes free of charge. No additional subscriptions or paperwork are required. This policy will ensure that the dissemination of articles published in Molecular Ecology Notes equals that of the mother journal.
We feel that the journal and database will offer several advantages to the molecular ecology community. Foremost among these is speed. Our target is on-line publication in less than one month from manuscript receipt — the current lead-time for accepted papers in Molecular Ecology is closer to four months. Although we have instituted procedures to accelerate publication in Molecular Ecology, early publication of Notes on the web will ensure that primers, computer programs, and technical information are disseminated to the community with minimal delay. Secondly, primer information has become increasingly dispersed across multiple papers, journals, and disciplines, and we expect this problem to worsen with the development of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for ecologically important genes. The database associated with the journal should minimize scatter and provide a single source for primer sequences, amplification conditions, polymorphism levels, cross-species amplification, and literature citations. Finally, the launch of Molecular Ecology Notes will allow the mother journal to focus on the ecology, evolution, behaviour, and conservation of organisms rather than on distracting (albeit important) technical details. As a consequence, Molecular Ecology will no longer publish primer, computer, and technical notes following the December, 2000 issue. All primer, computer, and technical notes will thereafter appear in both on-line and print versions of Molecular Ecology Notes.