Public Release:  New online, open access journal focuses on microbial genome announcements

American Society for Microbiology

The American Society for Microbiology is launching a new online-only, open access journal, Genome Announcements, which will focus on reports of microbial genome sequences. Genome Announcements will begin publishing in January 2013.

"The revolution in high-speed, low-cost, and high-throughput parallel sequencing technology has changed the way we think about whole-genome sequencing and sequences. Identification of novel bacteria and viruses by sequencing entire genomes of isolates from normal and diseased tissue or the environment is now routine," says Tom Shenk of Princeton University, Chair of the ASM Publications Board.

Although sequence data typically are deposited in GenBank or other shared databases, the rationale for sequencing a particular organism and the detailed methodologies and protocols used often are not readily available.

Since 2007, the ASM's Journal of Bacteriology has published Genome Announcements, brief reports stating that the genome of a particular organism has been sequenced and deposited which provide a citable record of the corresponding GenBank submission. Two other ASM journals, the Journal of Virology and Eukaryotic Cell, joined the Journal of Bacteriology in accepting Genome Announcements in 2011 as a simple, rapid way for authors to inform their communities about completion of new sequencing projects.

"The exponential increase in submissions and the usage of Genome Announcements has confirmed the value and service they bring to the scientific community. As a result, ASM will now publish all Genome Announcements in a single, dedicated, online-only, open-access journal starting January 2013," says Phil Matsumura of the University of Illinois at Chicago, editor of the new journal.

Eukaryotic Cell, Journal of Bacteriology, and Journal of Virology will cease publishing Genome Announcements with the last issues of the 2012 volume year.

Any Genome Announcement manuscript accepted for publication in these three journals by 30 September 2012 will be published in 2012. Authors whose submissions are accepted on or after 1 October 2012 will have the option to transfer their submission to Genome Announcements.

Manuscripts submitted to Genome Announcements must include an abstract, an acknowledgments section indicating the source of support for the work, and a nucleotide sequence accession number. Manuscripts are limited to 500 words (exclusive of the abstract and acknowledgments), and no text headings should be used except for "References." Sequences must be made publicly available before a submission will be considered for publication, and the nucleotide sequence accession number(s) must be provided in a separate paragraph at the end of the text. Manuscripts may not include figures, tables, or supplemental material used to present data or analysis. However, multiple related sequences and their accompanying accession numbers and URL may be presented in tabular form. Publication of Sequence Read Archives (SRAs) is not permitted.

Genome Announcements manuscripts do not require peer review, but may be reviewed at the editor's discretion. Publication of an article in Genome Announcements does not preclude a later publication (e.g., a full comparative analysis) on the same organism in another ASM journal. Genome Announcements articles will be published continuously and will be collected into bimonthly issues throughout the year.

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The American Society for Microbiology is the largest single life science society, composed of over 39,000 scientists and health professionals. ASM's mission is to advance the microbiological sciences as a vehicle for understanding life processes and to apply and communicate this knowledge for the improvement of health and environmental and economic well-being worldwide.

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