Virus Bulletin editor Helen Martin talks about the future of the Virus Bulletin publication.
Copyright © 2005 Virus Bulletin
Virus Bulletin has seen a few changes over the years - editors have come and gone, the days of listing all known viruses along with descriptions and their hexadecimal search patterns are long gone (indeed the days of being able to list all known viruses within the confines of a 24-page publication are over - when VB was first published in July 1989 the total was a manageable 14), the design and layout of the magazine have been updated, while features such as the VB 100% award scheme and the VB Spam Supplement have been introduced and become part of the furniture along the way.
The next major change is that, from January 2006 Virus Bulletin will become a wholly electronic publication, delivered in PDF format to all subscribers.
Every month all subscribers will receive notification via email that the new issue of Virus Bulletin has been released, and a simple click of the mouse will take the subscriber to www.virusbtn.com where the latest issue will be available in PDF format to be read online, saved to disk or downloaded and printed. This new format will enable us to deliver Virus Bulletin almost instantaneously, cutting out the inevitable postal delays as well as the limits imposed by the printing schedule, thus allowing us to include the most up-to-the-minute material each month.
For those who lovingly maintain a back catalogue of hard copy VBs, this is without doubt the end of an era, but it also marks the start of a new chapter. VB will revert to the practice of producing an annual CD-ROM and in future every subscriber will receive a CD-ROM in January containing all the issues of Virus Bulletin published in the previous 12 months (January to December).
Alongside the new format, a new pricing and licensing structure will be introduced from January 2006 - the first time the basic price of VB has changed in 16 years.
Individual subscribers will see a significant cost saving, with the new subscription costing $175. Corporate customers will see a change too - from January a corporate subscription (or 'licence') will allow subscribers to post Virus Bulletin issues on their company intranet or otherwise circulate them internally, thus allowing all employees access to the magazine. The new pricing structure will be as follows:
Individual subscribers (the magazine may be accessed only by the named individual): $175
Corporate subscriber whose company's annual turnover is $0-10 million (the magazine may be circulated internally/posted on intranet): $500
Corporate subscriber whose company's annual turnover is $10-100 million (the magazine may be circulated internally/posted on intranet): $1000
Corporate subscriber whose company's annual turnover is $100+ million (the magazine may be circulated internally/posted on intranet): $2000
Bona fide educational institutions/charities: $175
Public libraries: $500
As previously, individual subscribers will qualify for a discount on the cost of registration for the Virus Bulletin conference, and corporate subscribers will be assigned a block of discounted conference registrations, the number depending on their subscription type.
While this will almost certainly qualify as the greatest change the magazine has seen so far, subscribers should rest assured that, as the adage goes, the more things change the more they remain the same: there will be no change in the nature of the magazine, its content, or its purpose. As ever, Virus Bulletin will remain dedicated to its quest to provide unbiased and exceptional reporting of all matters relevant to the anti-virus and anti-spam industries.
More information about the changes will be sent to subscribers over the coming months.