Editor's Note

In May 2007 the International Society for Microbial Ecology (ISME) and Nature Publishing Group (NPG) launched a brand new publication: The ISME Journal.

As editors, we are extremely excited to by this opportunity to promote the field of microbial ecology. We are joined in this endeavor by a truly excellent editorial board, as well as knowledgeable, involved and timely publisher support. Together, The ISME journal editorial team and NPG look to further define and shape the field of micorbial ecology.

The full title of the new journal, The ISME Journal: Multidisciplinary Journal of Microbial Ecology, reflects the integrated nature of modern microbial ecology, and the goals and scope of the journal manifest this.

The ISME Journal is fully indexed by Medline and all content is now hosted on PubMed. 

Microbial ecology is pivotal to our understanding of the world’s diverse natural and manipulated ecosystems. The most significant recent advances in microbial ecology involve interdisciplinary approaches that link the physiology of microorganisms in situ with a greater grasp of the complex biotic and abiotic factors that shape microbial niches. Research in microbial ecology has been stimulated by a broader recognition that microbial ecology is directly relevant to a wide range of environmental, health and industrial issues. Microbial ecology has also recently grown from a principally descriptive discipline to a hypothesis-driven science that attempts to elucidate mechanisms, utilize or control microbial potential, and solve problems of human interest.

The ISME Journal will harness this expanding discipline by encouraging and publishing original research articles that report findings of wide biological significance in the multidisciplinary field of microbial ecology. We specifically welcome articles that represent major advances in microbial ecology that involve novel approaches or help expand the field of microbial ecology. The ISME Journal will offer the dynamic forum for microbial ecology by also including poignant and up-to-date reviews, commentaries and short communications.

The ISME Journal seeks to promote diverse and integrated areas of microbial ecology spanning the breadth of microbial life, including Bacteria, Archaea, microbial Eukaryotes, and viruses. Contributions of broad biological interest and impact are especially encouraged. Topics of particular interest within the journal’s scope include those listed below:

I: Microbial population and community ecology

II: Microbe-microbe and microbe-host interactions

III: Evolutionary genetics

IV: Integrated genomics and post-genomics approaches in microbial ecology

V: Microbial engineering

VI: Geomicrobiology and microbial contributions to geochemical cycles

VII: Microbial ecology and functional diversity of natural habitats

VIII: Microbial ecosystem impacts

We seek to make The ISME Journal the top journal in its field, but to achieve this goal we require the input of top quality scientific contributions. Consider yourself invited to send your very best, most exciting and scientifically significant work in microbial ecology to The ISME Journal. For more information about the scope of The ISME Journal, or other details about this exciting new venture, we refer to the journal’s active website, www.nature.com/ismej/.

Ian Head & George Kowalchuk
The ISME Journal Chief Editors