Journal Information

The ISME Journal is the flagship publishing venue for the International Society for Microbial Ecology, published by Springer Nature.

Aims and Scope

The ISME Journal covers the diverse and integrated areas of microbial ecology. We encourage contributions that represent major advances for the study of microbial ecosystems, communities, and interactions of microorganisms in the environment.

Articles in The ISME Journal describe pioneering discoveries of wide appeal that enhance our understanding of functional and mechanistic relationships among microorganisms, their communities, and their habitats.

The broad scope of The ISME Journal encompasses the full breadth of microbial ecology research, exploring topics that include (but are not limited to):

  • Climate change microbiology
  • Microbial contributions to biogeochemical cycles
  • Community assembly
  • Engineered and synthetic microbial communities
  • Host-microbiome interactions
  • Microbiomes of engineered environments
  • Modeling and ecological theory
  • Novel microorganisms and metabolic functions
  • Spatial and temporal dynamics

The ISME Journal welcomes a range of content types including original research, reviews, brief communications, and perspective articles of the highest significance for the microbial ecology research community.

The ISME Journal versus ISME Communications 

The journals are similar with respect to subject matter but different with respect to level of advance. The ISME Journal selects discoveries that merit the attention of all microbial ecologists, whereas ISME Communications is an appropriate venue for the majority of research from our laboratories that is of high quality yet of somewhat narrower scope and impact on the field than would be appropriate for The ISME Journal.

Although The ISME Journal will consider methodological and computational studies, they must be “game changers” for microbial ecologists, leading to a fundamental shift in techniques adopted by the discipline or presenting a major discovery because of the new technique. Given the relative rarity of such groundbreaking methods papers, most methods-oriented manuscripts should be submitted directly to ISME Communications.

The following studies will be considered out of scope:

  • Focus inappropriate (e.g., only relevant to lab culture conditions, or primarily emphasizing animal or plant processes).
  • Limited advance (e.g., the study is incremental, confirmatory of prior knowledge).
  • Preliminary (e.g., observations do not lead to conclusions that are sufficiently supported, or insufficient replication)
  • Descriptive (e.g., lack of hypothesis, or focusing only on amplicons, MAGs, or data meta-analyses). 

Why Publish in The ISME Journal?

  • We are an official journal of the International Society of Microbial Ecology.
  • Ranked amongst the top 10 journals worldwide in Ecology and Microbiology, we promote diverse and integrated areas of microbial ecology, spanning the breadth of microbial life.
  • We encourage contributions of broad ecological interest and impact.
  • We provide wide exposure and high visibility for your publication through our platform. We also offer funder-compliant open access options.
  • World's leading voices in the field form our expert editorial team, providing attractive turnaround times from first decision to publication.  

Journal Metrics

Article metrics such as number of downloads, citations and online attention are available from each article page, and provide an overview of the attention received by a paper.

2022 Citation Metrics

2-year Impact Factor*: 11.0
5-year Impact Factor*: 12.3
Immediacy index*: 2.1
Eigenfactor® score*: 0.04001
Article influence score*: 3.3
Journal Citation Indicator*: 2.56

SNIP**: 2.624
SJR***: 3.619

*2022 Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Clarivate Analytics, 2023)
**Source-normalized Impact per Paper (Scopus)
***SCImago Journal Rank (Scopus)

2022 Peer Review Metrics

Submission to first editorial decision: 5 days
Submission to Accept: 163 days

2022 Usage Metrics

Downloads: 2,689,713
Altmetric mentions: 30,049

12 issues per year

Abstracted/indexed in:
Google Scholar
Science Citation Index
Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch)
Current Contents/ Agriculture, Biology & Environmental Sciences
Current Contents/ Life Sciences
EBSCO Discovery Service
Summon by ProQuest
EBSCO Academic Search
EBCO Engineering Source
EBSCO Environment Complete
EBSCO Environment Index

International standard serial number (ISSN): 1751-7362
Electronic international standard serial number (eISSN): 1751-7370

The ISME Journal now provides its latest table of contents as an RSS web feed. This allows users with an RSS reader to receive automatic updates whenever new content is added to these pages.

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