It is both an honor and a pleasure to have been appointed as the fifth Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology (JIMB). I would like to thank my predecessors Robert D. Schwartz, Allen Laskin, Joseph J. Cooney, and George E. Pierce for establishing JIMB and developing it into the internationally recognized journal it is today. I would also like to thank my fellow Senior Editors, the Board of Directors of the Society for Industrial Microbiology (SIMB), and the SIMB Publications Committee for the confidence they have shown in my vision for the fourth decade of JIMB.
The first issue of JIMB was published three decades ago (1986), originally as the Journal of Industrial Microbiology. From its early years, the Journal attracted authors who were leaders in applied microbiology and biotechnology, including Ingram , Demain , and Ōmura . For over 30 years, JIMB has been recognized by the scientific community for the quality of the material it publishes and the service it provides to individuals and entities interested in industrial microbiology and biotechnology.
As we enter the fourth decade of JIMB, we hold the responsibility to not only maintain the stature and visibility of the Journal, but to also build on its previous success and lead it to become the world’s premier journal in applied microbiology and biotechnology. To achieve this goal, we plan to focus on three major areas: (a) improving the quality of published manuscripts and the visibility of the Journal; (b) increasing the Journal’s impact factor; and (c) broadening the scope of JIMB to cover emerging topics in applied microbiology and biotechnology.
We plan to work closely with SIMB to attract speakers from SIMB meetings to publish their work in the Journal, as well as encouraging JIMB authors to present their work at the Society meetings. We will engage leaders in applied microbiology and biotechnology to serve as Senior Editors and Editorial Board members of JIMB, establish an annual award for work published in JIMB by young investigators, commission special issues on emerging topics and featuring authoritative contributions from experts in the field, secure open access to more published articles, and reach out to potentially underserved audiences. Several of these initiatives are already underway, including the appointment of new Senior Editors and Editorial Board members, a JIMB session at the Annual SIMB meetings to highlight work recently published in the Journal (“JIMB: Past, Present, and Future”), and the publication of special issues on Microbial Genome Mining , Metabolic Engineering , and Natural Products, the latter dedicated to Satoshi Ōmura , a recipient of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine.
Broadening the scope of the Journal to include emerging areas is critical for JIMB to become the premier venue for publication of applied microbiology and biotechnology research. This is especially important in the current era of industrialization of biology and development of new biomanufacturing processes . While publishing cutting-edge research in core areas of applied microbiology and biotechnology will continue to be the norm, we will also use JIMB publications as a vehicle to promote the future of these areas and expand their breadth. These include synthetic and systems biology, genomics and genome mining, metabolic engineering, biocatalysis and bioconversion, agriculture and food biotechnology, natural products, bionanotechnology, and integration of big data in industrial microbiology and biotechnology.
The implementation of the strategies described here will be a collective effort involving the JIMB Editor-in-Chief, Senior Editors, and Editorial Board members; SIMB leadership, steering committees, and members; and authors and readers like you. I look forward to working with you all.
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Gonzalez, R. From the New Editor-in-Chief. J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol 43, 1–2 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10295-015-1711-9