Journal Information

Aims and Scope
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 ecological interest and impact are especially encouraged. Topics of particular interest within the journal's scope include those listed below:

  • Microbial population and community ecology

    • Theoretical advances in microbial population and community ecology, including novel theoretical development relevant to the diversity and structure of microbial populations and communities, advances in modeling and comparisons of microbial ecological principles with those in macroecology
    • Biogeography of microbial populations
    • Environmental factors defining the distribution and abundance of microbial populations
    • Integrated advances in microbial ecophysiology
    • Phage genetics and ecology and environmental virology, including studies of interactions between viruses and the environment, vectors of viral transmission, epidemiology, and diversity
    • Community level research of microbial assemblages, with emphasis on the contribution of individuals and populations
    • Microbial survival and persistence mechanisms: Development and selection for resistance (e.g., heavy metals, antibiotics)
  • Microbe-microbe and microbe-host interactions

    • Microbial communication and signaling, and advances that allow study on scales relevant to microbial interactions
    • Plant-microbe interactions, including feedback and response pathways, underlying mechanisms, environmental cues, unique traits, evolution, adaptation and fitness
    • Threat of emerging diseases (e.g., pathogenicity, epidemiology, ecology of reservoirs, vectors and host)
    • Symbioses and syntrophic relationships
    • Microbial contributions to medical biotechnology and microbial therapy
    • Commensal microbial ecology (e.g., intestinal, skin, oral)
  • Evolutionary genetics

    • Ecological aspects of experimental evolution
    • Insights into genome evolution and adaptation
    • Genetics and ecology of the horizontal gene pool
    • Advances in mathematical and evolutionary genetics
  • Integrated genomics and post-genomics approaches in microbial ecology

    • Studies of in situ function, gene regulation, and expression
    • Metagenomic approaches to understanding and accessing the functional potential of microbial communities
    • Novel microbial ecology approaches involving proteomics and metabolomics
    • Theoretical and practical advances in bioinformatics, including improved linkages between ecological parameters and molecular data, as well as advances in curation and annotation practices
    • Studies of microbial activities and potential at the single-cell level
  • Microbial engineering

    • Environmental biotechnology, including ecological interactions key to wastewater treatment, water management, biofilters, and energy production
    • Mechanisms of microbial biocatalysts
    • Bioremediation and biodegradation
    • Microbial contributions and potential in biofuel technologies
    • Microbial process modeling and its application
  • Geomicrobiology and microbial contributions to geochemical cycles

    • Integrated advances in biogeochemistry
    • Microbial contributions to geochemical cycles
    • Importance and mechanisms of microbe-mineral interactions
  • Microbial ecology and functional diversity of natural habitats

    • Terrestrial and subsurface microbial ecology
    • Aquatic and sediment microbial ecology
    • Linking phylogeny and function in diverse ecosystems
    • Biofilm structure and function
    • Aeromicrobiology (e.g., distribution, source impact), including issues of climate and dispersal
    • Microbial processes and interactions in extreme or unusual environments
  • Microbial ecosystem impacts

    • Impacts of microbial processes on climate change, and impacts of climate change on microbial communities and processes
    • Food web structure, nutrient flow, and biological transformations from micro to macro scales
    • Systems microbiology and integration of microbial ecology into systems ecology

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, including bacteria, archaea, microbial eukaryotes, and viruses. 
  • 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. 

Our publishing models  
The ISME Journal is a Transformative Journal (TJ). When research is accepted for publication, authors can choose to publish using either the traditional publishing route OR via immediate gold Open Access. 

The ISME Journal is actively committed to becoming a fully Open Access journal. We will increase the number of articles we publish OA, with the eventual goal of becoming a fully Open Access journal. A journal that commits to this process is known as a Transformative Journal. 

Find out more about Transformative Journals

Authors may need to take specific actions to achieve compliance with funder and institutional open access mandates. If your research is supported by a funder that requires immediate open access (e.g. according to Plan S principles) then you should select the gold OA route, and we will direct you to the compliant route where possible. For authors selecting the subscription publication route our standard licensing terms will need to be accepted including our self-archiving policies. Those standard licensing terms will supersede any other terms that the author or any third party may assert apply to any version of the manuscript.

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.

The 2020 peer review performance metrics for The ISME Journal are shown below:

Average time to decision without external review - 11 days
Average time to decision following external review - 65 days
Average time from submission to acceptance - 160 days
Average time from acceptance to publication - 15 days
Article page views - 1,207,171
Altmetric mentions - 9,529

The 2020 journal citation metrics for The ISME Journal are as follows:

2-year Impact Factor*: 10.302
5-year Impact Factor*: 12.284
Immediacy index*: 2.271
Eigenfactor® score*: 0.04488
Article influence score*: 3.506
Journal Citation Score*: 2.82

SNIP: 2.426
SJR: 4.422

*2020 Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition (Clarivate Analytics, 2021)

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

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