New journal Microbiome now accepts short reports of metagenomic datasets and their associated clinical or environmental data, such as those recently used for the NIH-funded Human Microbiome Project (HMP).
Microbiome, which is open for submissions, reflects the growing importance of the need to study microorganisms and their function in their natural environment, their microbiome, whether that environment is the human body, an environmental niche or any other habitat. “Microorganisms, by their omnipresence, impact the entire biosphere, including the human body.” explains co-Editor-in-Chief Jacques Ravel, who is studying the effect of the human microbiome on women’s health. Dr Ravel was an author on two recent publications in Nature that comprehensively mapped the human microbiome on 18 sites in the human body (see here and here).
The new article type, Microbiome announcements, describes libraries of shotgun metagenome, metatranscriptome or marker gene (e.g. 16S rDNA) sequence data from clinical, host-associated, or environmental samples. “We have set rigorous standards in term of quality and availability of the data to guarantee that the studies we will be publishing are useful to other scientists,” says Dr Ravel. “We are working with experts in the field and are embracing genomics standards, such as those established by the Genomics Standards Consortium, which are very important to us,” explains co-Editor-in-Chief Eric Wommack.
Through this focus on both clinical and environmental microbiology, Microbiome hopes to integrate researchers with common scientific objectives across a broad cross-section of sub-disciplines within microbiome research. “The studies of the human microbiome and the environment are characterizing key microbial interactions but appear to act independently from one another. We hope Microbiome will facilitate the conversation that leads to new insights,” says Dr Ravel.
A prestigious international Editorial Board will be working with Microbiome, including leading interdisciplinary scientists from the U.S., France, Australia, China and other countries, who represent academic centres, private and environmental research centres, as well as federal agencies.