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A new journal from ASBMB

Open AccessPublished:April 20, 2018DOI:https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.E118.003292
      If you have been reading my editorials, you’ll know that I took on the position of Editor-in-Chief of JBC in July 2016 during a time of “massive change” and “shifting landscapes” in scientific publishing (
      • Gierasch L.M.
      The Journal of Biological Chemistry: 2016 Onward.
      ,
      • Gierasch L.M.
      JBC is on a mission to facilitate scientific discovery.
      • Gierasch L.M.
      On the costs of scientific publishing.
      ). My goals were to preserve the strengths of this venerable journal while anticipating the coming needs of the scientific community and how a scientific publication like JBC must evolve to serve them. We at JBC have approached these goals with an open mind about what’s best for the future of JBC and, more broadly, science publishing. Today, I’m thrilled to announce an important milestone in this process: We have decided to launch a new journal!
      There are those of you who will say that the publishing landscape is sufficiently crowded … but wait: We are really excited about the opportunities presented by this new journal. Please read on about the features we have planned.
      • All of the papers in this new journal will be immediately available free of charge upon acceptance.
      • There will be no limits on words, figures, tables, or references in the research articles appearing in this new journal.
      • The review process will be built on teams of editors who pledge their service to the journal, take ownership of journal policies, and are committed to rigorous scientific standards and rapid turnaround.
      • This new journal will vow to help authors and readers advance their science by removing barriers to manuscript submission and ensuring wide dissemination of content.
      • This new journal will not be tied to the status quo, but will incorporate innovative approaches to scientific communication.
      • The scope of this new journal will be the molecular mechanisms that define life processes, welcoming papers that describe basic or applied science and that range from detailed mechanisms to broad systems-level studies. Interdisciplinary work will be encouraged.
      As you can see, we’ve put a lot of thought into this, and we’re convinced that this journal will be outstanding. Why are we so sure? Because, actually, we are describing JBC. Surprise! We were motivated to tell you a story about a “new” journal because we’ve been watching other publishers tout new journals with a variety of fabulous features, and we often think to ourselves, “But we’re already doing that … ?” And, with its longstanding dedication to innovation and all the changes we’ve made recently, JBC does feel new!
      If you didn't realize JBC did all this, take note:
      • JBC papers are published as Papers in Press immediately upon acceptance and are freely available. Moreover, JBC is compliant with funder mandates for open access because authors can pay a modest fee to make the copyedited, finalized versions of their JBC article freely available. Final redacted versions of papers are freely available on the journal website one year after initial publication. Special content like Editorials and Reflections are always freely available.
      • JBC does not limit words, numbers of figures, or references. We have all experienced the frustration of reading a paper that cannot articulate the rationale for the investigation, much less properly describe the results or the meaning extracted from them because it has been condensed to meet an arbitrary word count. We at JBC believe that methods should be described in full in an article and not relegated to supplementary online-only material or left out completely. In addition, an inclusive reference list keeps the scientific trail intact!
      • JBC relies on a dedicated pool of reviewers—our Editorial Board members—who are experts in their fields, extensively trained in journal practices and policy, and who respond promptly to new assignments (
        • Guengerich F.P.
        • Gierasch L.M.
        What happens when you submit a paper to JBC?.
        ). They communicate regularly with the Associate Editors who manage the review process in order to discuss particularly tricky manuscripts and exchange ideas and information. And, JBC’s in-house, scientifically trained staff helps authors communicate effectively with our broad audience and checks for errors in figure preparation that could obscure scientific meaning. This combined process leads to the publication of papers that are exciting, impactful, and stand the test of time.
      • A new submission system at JBC makes it easy for authors to submit their papers directly or to transfer them from the bioRxiv preprint server. The JBC website allows authors to easily track their papers and to follow conceptual threads across our journal and others. Scientifically trained staff at JBC helps papers to be discovered through social media, emails, news releases, virtual issues, and more.
      • JBC is committed to exploring new technology to facilitate scientific communication and connect the scientific literature. We're working with Google, Meta, and others to make articles more accessible and discoverable. We're embracing preprints, requiring CRediT taxonomy, and encouraging ORCID identifiers to make author contributions more transparent. We're also actively investigating other possibilities: Our strategy is not to get distracted with flashy technology just because it exists, but to identify and adopt those that solve problems.
      • JBC publishes a breadth of topics in biological chemistry, from studies that delve into the details of enzymatic catalysis to those that use multi-omic data sets to identify the biomolecular pathways that determine cell fate within a complex tissue or organism. Papers are welcomed at JBC whether they have no obvious translational significance or seek to push the boundaries of applied research in antibody design, green energy, the microbiome, and everything in between. JBC publishes papers describing new tools, techniques, and data sets, as well as Minireviews that capture new insights and changing paradigms. Papers in JBC cut across the boundaries of traditional disciplines, finding those emerging topics and open questions where some of the most unexpected and illuminating discoveries in science take place.
      Of course, we are not launching a new journal! We don’t need to … We remain loyal to JBC and are proud of our bragging rights. And, we remain committed to making JBC even better. Many potential enhancements to JBC are on the table, and we would welcome any feedback you have at [email protected].

      References

        • Gierasch L.M.
        The Journal of Biological Chemistry: 2016 Onward.
        J. Biol. Chem. 2016; 291 (27371571): 15406-15407
        • Gierasch L.M.
        JBC is on a mission to facilitate scientific discovery.
        J. Biol. Chem. 2017; 292 (28432178): 6853-6854
        • Gierasch L.M.
        On the costs of scientific publishing.
        J. Biol. Chem. 2017; 292 (28963340): 16395-16396
        • Guengerich F.P.
        • Gierasch L.M.
        What happens when you submit a paper to JBC?.
        J. Biol. Chem. 2017; 292 (28108617): 1535-1537