Society for General Microbiology announces new open access and open data journal, Microbial Genomics

Today, at their Annual Conference in Birmingham, the Society for General Microbiology will announce the launch Microbial Genomics, a fully open access journal publishing research articles that use genomic approaches to further our understanding of microbiology, from clinically important pathogens to microbial life in diverse ecosystems.

Microbial Genomics is the first journal from the Society to publish with a mandatory open data policy, requiring authors to archive any data associated with their paper. The Society for General Microbiology has partnered with the online data repository Figshare to make all data deposited with them accessible to researchers across the globe, via the published article. Of this decision, the Societys Product Manager, Parita Patel, said, Data sharing encourages a collaborative approach through the visibility, transparency and reuse of research data to advance microbiology in the same way that the open access movement has. Submissions to Microbial Genomics are open now, with all open access fees waived during the launch period. The journals first articles will be published in July 2015.

The journals joint Editors-in-Chief are Professor Nicholas Thomson and Professor Stephen Bentley, both based at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, UK.

Professor Thomson explains why the Society is launching the new publication: Microbial Genomics fills an important niche as it offers an open approach to capture rapidly developing research in a field that often falls between the gaps in the scope of other journals.

Professor Bentley added that, Technological advances in the field of genomics have led to a vast amount of data being produced every day. Microbial Genomics will provide a forum for researchers to present these data, which will be vital for the development of future therapies and public health interventions.

In addition to the Editors-in-Chief, Microbial Genomics has appointed an expert, international editorial board. Dr Jennifer Gardy, a genomic and molecular epidemiologist from the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, Canada, will be one of the journal’s Senior Editors. She explained why the new journal is well placed: “The field of microbial genomics has never had its own flagship journal and we are well-positioned to fill that gap. In a field where data sharing is critical to research output, the journal’s open access, online model sets an excellent example – we have the opportunity to show other journals not just how to survive but to thrive in an era where scientific publishing is offering new opportunities to authors like the archiving of pre- and post-prints, and facilitating the publication of supplementary data, protocols and software.”

The announcement of Microbial Genomics reflects the Society for General Microbiology
s continued commitment to open access publishing, following the launch of JMM Case Reports, its first fully gold open access journal, in 2014.