Public Release:  American Society for Microbiology to launch new open-access journal

American Society for Microbiology

The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) today announced plans to launch mBio®, a new open access online journal designed to make microbiology research broadly accessible, in mid-2010. The focus of the journal will be on rapid publication of cutting-edge research spanning the entire spectrum of microbiology and related fields.

"The microbial world is a highly interconnected one in which microbes interact with living and nonliving matter to produce outcomes that range from symbiosis to pathogenesis, energy acquisition and conversion, climate change, geologic change, food and drug production, and even animal behavioral change. The goal for mBio® will be to publish the very best science in microbiology for all individuals interested in any aspect of the microbial world," says Editor in Chief Arturo Casadevall. Casadevall is the Leo and Julia Forchheimer Professor and Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York.

One unique feature of mBio® will be that every published research article will be accompanied by a brief non-technical summary written by the author in language that conveys the importance of the work to non-specialists in that area of research.

"I strongly feel that scientists need to communicate their work to everyone in society," says Casadevall. "Connecting with the public is an important investment in maintaining the scientific enterprise."

A new term "ASM Access®" has been coined to reference mBio®'s particular definition of Open Access, which otherwise varies among scientific publications. Full text of mBio® articles and supplemental materials will be accessible by the public immediately upon publication. Full text of mBio® articles also will be deposited in PubMed Central with access immediately upon publication. mBio® authors will be asked to sign a licensing agreement granting publishing rights to ASM and permitting unrestricted non-commercial reuse by others.

The new journal will be linked with the American Academy of Microbiology (AAM), the honorific leadership arm of the ASM. The relationship will allow mBio® to draw on the considerable expertise of the Academy's members to serve in an editorial capacity.

"The Academy envisions mBio® as inclusive and all-embracing, reflecting the greatly expanding and diverse knowledge base of the 21st century," says John Collier, Chair of the AAM Board of Governors.

Author of more than 440 scientific research papers, Casadevall is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the American Association of Physicians, and was elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Microbiology. Until July 2009, he served as an editor of the ASM journal Infection and Immunity. He continues to serve on the editorial boards of the Journal of Clinical Investigation and the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

"With his deep understanding of microbial processes and his broad research interests, Professor Casadevall was the obvious choice for Editor in Chief of mBio," commented Thomas Shenk, chair of the ASM Publications Board.

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ASM journals have long been recognized as important venues for dissemination of significant, high-quality microbiological research. The launch of mBio® will complement the excellence of ASM's 9 specialized primary research journals. Like the rest of the ASM journals program, mBio® will also be hosted on the HighWire platform at journals.asm.org.

A formal "Call for Papers" will be issued in December 2009, and the journal launch is planned for May 2010. Detailed information about the new journal is posted at http://mbio.asm.org and will be updated periodically throughout 2009 and into 2010.

The American Society for Microbiology, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is the largest single life science association, with 40,000 members worldwide. Its members work in educational, research, industrial, and government settings on issues such as the environment, the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases, laboratory and diagnostic medicine, and food and water safety. The ASM's mission is to gain a better understanding of basic life processes and to promote the application of this knowledge for improved health and economic and environmental well-being.

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