We’re bringing significant, enduring research to the scientific community.
Read our editorial to learn about the changes happening at JBC and to discover our vision for the future of scientific publishing.
How we bring our mission to life
Our people share their thoughts about JBC’s role as a leader in the scientific community and about its commitment to publishing trustworthy science.
“JBC is a crucial forum – a network of highly qualified and committed reviewers and editors.”
“I found the review process outstandingly constructive and stimulating. This experience drives me to send more papers to JBC.”
Here are a few interesting facts about us (beyond the fact that JBC is home to great science).
years in scientific publishing
countries represented by our authors
2 of 289
Eigenfactor rank within category
days (on average) to first decision
You’ll be in very good company
Publish where many of the greatest scientists have published. And get help from our own great scientists. We have 28 associate editors and 833 editorial board members. You can follow some of them on twitter.
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We are inspired by the JBC community. It is so exciting to see the breadth of scientific accomplishments published in the journal, whether from the labs of Nobel laureates or new assistant professors, and whether tackling the most fundamental concepts or taking on diseases and other societal challenges
We view our mission as encompassing three charges.
First, it is our responsibility to safeguard the research we publish. Our associate editors and editorial board members are committed to providing high-quality reviews, returning crucial feedback to authors so scientific conclusions are sound. Our standards for data deposition, reporting and presentation help ensure that JBC papers will stand the test of time. Since 2016, we’ve implemented several enhancements and expansions to strengthen these practices further.
Second, it is our goal to help scientists disclose their findings in the most efficient and effective way possible. We’ve made numerous changes to support authors during the publication process and promote papers after publication, and we are continuing to develop new policies and practices toward these ends.
Finally, it is our aspiration to facilitate scientific discovery in new ways. By making use of new technologies and forging new partnerships, we are seeking to connect scientific stories, enable data sharing and reuse, and better serve authors, readers and scientists as a whole.
We hope you are also inspired to be part of this great community. We look forward to working with you to realize a better future for scientific publishing.
We started by listening to you.
First, we’re viewing JBC from the author’s perspective. We’ve removed many formatting rules and requirements for initial submissions so the science – not the article structure – is the focus. Similarly, we’ve reintroduced Supplemental Data as an expedient accompaniment to the manuscript, as long as all data that are essential are in the paper itself. We’ve also shortened review deadlines and formalized our appeal process to make sure your manuscript receives prompt and objective attention.
Second, we’re inviting more scientists to be part of our community. JBC papers that report new methods, such as the Lowry assay, have enabled research tremendously. We’re championing those technical advances in our “Methods and Resources” section that welcomes assays, screens, probes, databases, -omics data sets, software, and other tools for the community; importantly, we do not require that these papers include an immediate application to gain new mechanistic insights about a biological system. We also now welcome computational studies that do not include “wet” experimental results, as long as authors relate their findings to previous experimental work or propose experimentally testable models.
Finally, we’re investing in you. We’ve hired new staff members to help edit and disseminate your manuscript so that your hard work gets the recognition it deserves. We’re also hiring more staff members to manually check that each paper meets our presentation standards so readers can have full confidence in your conclusions.
We’re building on our rigorous processes with several new practices.
We’re expanding our efforts to promote best practices. We’ve always reviewed a subset of JBC papers for compliance with our high presentation standards, and we’re now hiring additional staff so we can check all papers en route to publication. We’re also helping researchers establish good habits by hosting workshops and writing tutorials on data analysis and reporting.
We’ve always supported community standards for data deposition, and we require that authors submit sequence, genomics and structural data to compliant databases. Plus, we’re partnering with Bio-Protocols to encourage authors to submit step-by-step protocols, enhancing reproducibility.
We’re improving transparency and objectivity in our review process. We went behind the curtain in a recent editorial to explain JBC’s procedures so authors know how their work is being evaluated. And we’ve added the names of associate editors to the final versions of papers they handled so readers can see who coordinated the review process. We’ve also created a formal appeals committee to ensure standards are being applied consistently across the journal.
Finally, we know that delays in publication can hold up graduations, promotions and grants. At JBC, we’re getting your results out faster by focusing our review process on evaluating the science as written, and not requesting unnecessary expansions of the scope that demand extensive revisions. We’ve also simplified our submission requirements and shortened review turnaround times even more so authors can move toward publication as quickly as possible.
Initial submission is more flexible than ever: We’ve simplified our initial formatting requirements, and you can submit your paper by transferring it from bioRxiv in addition to uploading it to the JBC site. Your paper is then assigned to the associate editor whose expertise is most relevant to your work. We add new associate editors and editorial board members to our team regularly to make sure science across the scope of biological chemistry has a home at JBC.
The rigorous review process is one of JBC’s most enduring traditions. In most cases, the associate editor will assign two or three referees – typically, but not always, editorial board members – to assess your manuscript. Once the referee reports are in, the associate editor makes a decision about whether the paper should be accepted, revised or declined. We’ve reduced the review period on Accelerated Communications to just five days, and the average time from initial submission to sending the decision for a regular paper is only 21 days.
As your paper nears publication, you’ll be contacted by one of our scientifically trained staff editors with suggestions for improving your title and abstract. Our goal is to help improve the clarity and reach of your work, so that readers can more readily find and appreciate your contributions.
To learn more, please read our editorial on this topic.
We’ve heard you: Though you know you can trust the results you read in JBC, finding the papers you’re most interested in among the many great papers we publish can sometimes be a challenge. We’re making changes on several fronts to help you connect with our content.
First, we updated our website in 2016 to aid navigation and readability, helping you follow the trails you already know about and letting us draw your attention to new content and important announcements you might not have found on your own.
Second, we’ve created new ways to collect and comprehend our papers. Our new virtual issues are focused compilations of topical content that help readers quickly get up to speed on the recent findings in their field and beyond. Our new Editors’ Picks Highlights are concise, expert analyses of our Editors’ Picks that provide context to and commentary on these articles.
Finally, we’ve initiated new projects and partnerships that deliver papers to your metaphorical door. Our scientifically trained staff members are helping authors make sure their messages are clear in their titles and abstracts so scanning our table of contents or performing keyword searches are more effective. We’re presenting related content at the bottom of each article online so you can click through to other papers. And we’re spreading the word about new content in email digests, tweets and Facebook posts, so you can stay in touch with JBC in your preferred medium.
For more than 100 years, JBC has set the standard for high-quality, enduring research: Readers know they can trust the papers they find in JBC. Readers also know JBC is the single best place to find all of the latest advances from their colleagues; after all, we publish more NIH-sponsored research than any other journal.
How do JBC papers stand the test of time so well? We start with true peer review by research-active scientists at all editorial levels. We keep our focus on what’s in front of us: Papers are reviewed rigorously but without requests for excessive extensions of a study’s scope. And we allow authors to tell the full story: There are no word or page limits for regular articles, so all of the important methodological details and scientific caveats are captured in a complete record.
Why do authors keep coming back to JBC? In addition to the strengths of the publication process, our identity – both as individual scientists and the journal as a whole – as part of a scientific society means we’re looking beyond the bottom line. For example, JBC’s accepted manuscripts are immediately and freely available online. We’re partnering with organizations such as Bio-Protocol to make science more reproducible and TrendMD and Meta to create scientific threads that facilitate future discovery. Publishing with JBC also sustains our scientific culture, as individual voices are amplified by supporting a society actively advocating for science.
To learn more about JBC’s perspective, read our August 2016 editorial.