Posted by Sten Westgard, MS
Now that the third edition of Basic QC Practices has been published, there is the inevitable question for readers who purchased the second or even the first edition of the book: is this new edition worth the upgrade?
Just to review the history of publication: the first edition came out in 1998, the second edition came out in 2002, and now, eight years later, we have come out with the third edition.
Anyone who has been to college recently, or footed the bill of a child in college, knows that textbook prices have been getting higher every year, and that textbook publishers are quick to release a new edition. At Westgard QC, we don't try to churn out new editions every other year. As it happens, one of my first jobs out of college was at a college textbook publisher. It was a sobering experience, because it was clear that new editions were being published solely to make the previous edition obsolete. In that way, publishers could prevent their profit margins from being eroded by the re-sale of textbooks.
That's not what we do here at Westgard. The new edition was really overdue.
Here are just three examples of what was removed from the old second edition:
- Chapter 18: computer technology for selecting the right QC. We removed the discussion of software tools. In the new edition, we now explain how to use a manual tool that readers can download. This should provide a more accessible design tool that can be immediately used (and has no additional cost to the reader)
- Chapter 19: computer technology for implementing QC right. We removed this list of QC software packages. In the intervening 8 years, most of the QC charting programs have been lost, so to speak. Even our own charting program, EZ Runs, was purchased and absorbed into Bio-Rad's software offerings
- Glossary, Reference List, and Self-Assessment Questions and Answers. While these are valuable, they take up a lot of space in the book. In the third edition, we have moved these to an online section available to readers, and freed up the space to add new chapters