Two years ago we decided we wanted to do something each year to celebrate the importance of new methodological developments in biological research, and the people who bring them to fruition. In 2007, it was clear that next-generation sequencing was going to have a profound impact on scientific research. Therefore, it was an obvious first choice when we decided to start selecting a ‘Method of the Year’.
Last year we invited our readers to help us in the selection of the Method of the Year 2008 by nominating and voting for their choice. While participation was good, it wasn’t high enough to have much impact on our choice. This year we are starting voting a month earlier and are hopeful that the level of participation will be substantially higher.
We also want to clarify that we are not asking people to nominate and vote for papers published in Nature Methods. Although anyone who wants to nominate a Nature Methods paper is welcome to do so, we hope that readers will consider the broader universe of biological research methods.
It is quite likely that our choice will not be a method represented by a single paper but rather a class of methods like next-generation sequencing or super-resolution imaging. But readers are welcome to pick a single paper that represents a broader methodological advance they want to nominate and explain their choice to other readers.
We have already seeded the voting with our Methods to Watch from the last two years. Maybe one of them will now be ready to be declared Method of the Year.
As always, we welcome your feedback and encourage you to vote for the method you think deserves to be declared the Method of the Year 2009 and encourage your colleagues to do so as well. Just go to http://www.nature.com/nmeth/votemoy2009 and start voting!