Reflections on 2008

I remember sitting in the Epernicus office a year ago, staring out over a thick blanket of December snow and wondering what the next few months had in store for us.  Epernicus was in its infancy in those days.  Our mission was bold but untested.  Our portfolio of assets was thin.  It included a basic web application, 2 office chairs, 1 file cabinet, 4 enthusiastic founders, and a whopping 20 members. 
Over the next several months, we held focus groups, built and rebuilt many parts of the site, and refined our vision for what would make high quality, high utility scientific network.  During this time, it was the input of many of our members, friends, and colleagues which shaped our ideas and the eventual platform. 
Since we opened our virtual doors this past summer, we’ve seen scientists join from over a thousand institutions in 57 different countries.  Epernicus members have added nearly 20,000 assets and have built rich profiles that are helping colleagues learn about their skills and accomplishments.  It’s been very gratifying for us to see the community grow.  We’ve also appreciated all the feedback that we’ve gotten along the way through emails, focus groups, and our member advisory council.  Our members’ feedback – both complimentary and constructive – has been a key factor that has made Epernicus one of the leading scientific networks. 
We have come a long way in one year; but we also know that we have a long way to go.  Our core mission remains the same: to enable scientists to find the people and resources they need to advance their research. 
In 2009, we have set an ambitious agenda for ourselves.  Our focus will be on helping scientists showcase their talents more effectively while also facilitating more productive exchanges between researchers.  We want Epernicus to be a resource that scientists can go to whenever they want to learn about a colleague, find a specific skill, or ask a question to their community.  As it has been from the beginning, the input of our members will be a critical part of ensuring success. 
Happy Holidays from everyone on the Epernicus Team!  We’re looking forward to 2009!

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