Cell biology has never been more diverse. Cell biologists now increasingly cross the boundaries of traditionally defined fields, they use rapidly changing technology, and they work evermore in interdisciplinary teams. These new ways of doing science require new ways of communicating it.
The JCB continuously evaluates and updates its publication formats and guidelines. To provide the best possible avenues to communicate your research and to easily access the exceptional science we publish in each issue, we are introducing several new journal features.
Given the importance and impact of technology development on modern cell biology and the increasing number of biotechnology and clinical applications based on basic cell biology, we are introducing a new Methods section. Papers in this section will describe novel methods and substantial improvements of existing methods which will allow cell biologists to explore problems in unprecedented ways. A second area of dramatic growth within cell biology is Systems and Computational biology. These studies are often structured differently from traditional cell biology papers, and require different criteria for evaluation and publication. We are well aware of the unique nature of these studies and we will adjust our traditional publication formats to accommodate their specific needs, such as publication of large datasets.
To provide clear guidance on papers in these and all other areas of cell biology we have revised our Instructions to Authors and made them more accessible online (http://jcb.rupress.org/misc/ifora.shtml). We strongly encourage you read these before submission of a new manuscript as they contain important information about publication criteria, guidelines for figure preparation, acceptable file formats, and data integrity. We now also include a detailed description of the editorial process to ensure full transparency of what goes on during the review of your manuscript. In addition, journal statistics can now be found on our website (http://jcb.rupress.org/misc/JCB_Stats.shtml).
In today's world, we are increasingly bombarded with information from print, broadcast, and electronic sources. At the JCB we endeavor to make it as easy as possible for our readers to access the information most important to them. As part of our continuing efforts to bring you high-quality focused information, we are introducing a new Reviews section. We will begin publishing full-length reviews in both established and emerging areas of cell biology. These reviews will be a one-stop shopping experience in that each review will provide the full picture in a particular area. This is in contrast to the often incomplete and superficial mini-reviews published by many journals. Look out for an outstanding series of high-class comprehensive reviews, overseen by our new reviews editor, Priya Prakash Budde.
While we feel all papers published in any given issue of the JCB are a great read, there are always some that are of particularly broad interest or outstanding importance. We draw attention to these in our “In This Issue” section. We have recently also introduced the new “In Focus” section, in which we highlight some of the best research published in the journal and the scientists behind it in more detail.
It has also not escaped our attention that nowadays, many lab-mates appear to have headphones surgically implanted in their ears, and our fellow commuters and coworkers are absorbed in online browsing or checking out movies on their smartphones. We are therefore continuously developing ways to disseminate the top-quality research published in the JCB to tech-savvy scientists.
Since October 2007 all our content has been archived in PubMed Central and is freely available to anyone with an internet connection six months after its publication. If you'd rather listen to your science than read it, you can download our biobytes audio podcasts (http://jcb.rupress.org/biobytes), which feature summaries of outstanding research and interviews with authors. And for those who like a more visual experience, we regularly produce the biosights video podcasts (http://jcb.rupress.org/biosights). Late last year we introduced the biowrites blog (http://jcb-biowrites.rupress.org), which gives everyone the opportunity to make their voices heard on any topic relating to the JCB or cell biology in general. And yes, of course, we have a JCB page on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Journal-of-Cell-Biology/48917087706). Whether you prefer to browse in the library or online, receive an emailed table of contents, sign up for RSS feeds, automatically sync content from iTunes, or read updates on Facebook, we provide easy ways for you to access the essential cell biology that we publish in each issue of the JCB. There is no excuse not to sign up and use it!
Of course, the best way to communicate science is still to hear it from the horse's mouth and go to a seminar or meeting. In that spirit, the JCB, in association with the New York Academy of Sciences, is hosting the first ever JCB Young Investigators Meeting on “Cell Biology of Disease: Cancer, Chromosomes and Stem Cells” from Sept. 23–25, 2009, in New York (http://www.nyas.org/events/eventDetail.asp?eventID=13830&date=9/23/2009). The meeting will showcase a select group of rising young stars in the cell biology community combined with several established leaders in the field. We invite you to attend, see, and hear them.
Communication is everything in science. There are more ways than ever to distribute and receive scientific information. We at the JCB are making every effort to make it as easy as possible for you to make your voice heard and to access the wealth of outstanding cell biology we publish. We hope you'll take full advantage of it.