Amplifying our members’ voices: a new home for magazine content on the journals website

20 March 2024

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The Microbiology Society is a membership charity and not-for-profit publisher. We support and invest in the microbiology community for the benefit of everyone. In order to do this as effectively as possible; to seize opportunities as they arise and, to meet the ambition of our strategy 2023-2027, we are evolving. As our members, you will be aware of changes we are making across our activities, ranging from the delivery of our communications to the way we administer grants and how we organise events.

In 2024, we have adopted a digital first policy, with the aim of eliminating print publications to be more environmentally sustainable and in recognition of the growing popularity of our digital channels. As we announced last year, both issues of Microbiology Today (MT) will be published online – allowing readers everywhere to enjoy the content.

Following discussions with the Editor and the Editorial Board, the October 2024 issue of Microbiology Today will be the last in a traditional magazine format as we aim to expand the reach, influence of and engagement with our members’ research work, at a time of rapid change across the scientific publishing landscape.

From 2025, there will be a new home for magazine style, member-authored content on our journals website, which we will share across multiple channels – increasing the reach and impact of that content and advancing understanding of microbiology.

As a not-for-profit publisher we reinvest into the community, for the benefit of all. As well as increasing the reach and impact of our members’ research, this new route to publish will help the Society continue to demonstrate it offers a variety and diversity of article types – away from the traditional research papers – which are open to microbiologists at all career stages, wherever they are in the world.

Our journals landing page is designed as an author community, encompassing ‘Micro Perspectives’ (opinions, views and other shorter or more personal pieces which are published in our journals in a variety of article types) and ‘Micro Scopes’ (authors’ stories behind their research written in a blog-style format).

From 2025, member-authored content, magazine-style will be published as ‘Micro Perspectives’ on the journals website. This serves several important purposes:

  • It extends the reach of authors across our portfolio, with new types of content which can be shared via our popular social media channels, as well as via the membership newsletter.
  • It highlights to early career members the range of content the Society supports and publishes, beyond the traditional research article.
  • It provides ‘Micro Perspectives’ with a DOI making them citable and adding to the authors’ publication record.
  • It welcomes ‘hot topics’ and opinion pieces, which may not be published elsewhere.

This content will continue to be a mix of feature science articles, perspectives, Q&As and stories behind our members’ science. It will be one route to commissioning for ‘Micro Perspectives’, with other content coming from existing sources and other commissioning efforts, which will add up to ensure a flow of new content under this family of article types, on a rolling basis.

Member-authored content like ‘Micro Perspectives’ will be celebrated as part of our journals offer, helping extend the reach and potential influence of our journals content.

We believe this is a really exciting development for members publishing magazines-style content with us and we are commissioning for ‘Micro Perspectives’ to be published in 2025. We welcome contributions from all our members. Get in touch and find out more at [email protected].

For anyone attending Annual Conference 2024 in Edinburgh, the Editor of Microbiology Today, the Associate Director of Communications, Brand and Audiences and the Communications and Engagement Manager will be happy to chat about these changes and will be available via the Society’s stand.