The Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education (JMBE) is an online open access journal that publishes original peer reviewed articles. JMBE features diverse content ranging from scholarly research in biology education to curriculum content to readily adoptable classroom resources. JMBE welcomes submissions pertaining to scholarly teaching in undergraduate, graduate and professional (e.g., medical school), K-12, and informal education.

The scope of the journal is rooted in microbiology and its branches to other biological disciplines. JMBE covers articles addressing good pedagogy and design, student interest and motivation, recruitment and retention, citizen science, faculty development, and institutional transformation. JMBE editors provide extensive feedback, guidance, and support to authors from submission through publication. View job descriptions for the JMBE Editorial Board

JMBE is sponsored by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM; www.asm.org), the oldest and largest single life science membership organization in the world, and is indexed in PubMed CentralCrossRef, and DOAJ

The journal features five core sections:

  • Letters to the Editor directly address articles published in this or other biology education journals.
  • Research is for hypothesis-driven research in student learning. Documentation of sound assessment strategies that support research conclusions is required. Articles that address social science or qualitative work are also welcome.
  • Perspectives places a particular, current topic of science education into perspective. Articles focus on a specific topic, problem, or approach of broad, general interest to science educators, but do not primarily discuss the author's own work.
  • Curriculum includes field-tested activities that foster active learning and other best practices in education. Activities may be used in the classroom, laboratory, and/or field or online in blended and distance-learning experiences. Manuscripts in this category must include evaluations of the activities, and these evaluations must demonstrate effective learning.
  • Tips and Tools promote practical tips, suggestions, and advice for improving biology education.

JMBE may also solicit manuscripts for special themed issues, which have broader, inter-disciplinary focus, such as Scientific Ethics or Science Communication. Manuscripts submitted for these special issues should follow the Author Guidelines for Themed Manuscripts and will be vetted using the JMBE Themed Issue Rubric.

Manuscript Production Fees

Fee Structure

  • $1600/$1700 (ASM members*/ASM non-members) for manuscripts published in the Research, Curriculum, and Perspectives sections
  • $800/$900 (member*/non-member) for manuscripts published in Tips and Tools
  • Fees are not currently required for Letters to the Editor.

*Corresponding author who is an active member of ASM at the Contributing or Premium level. Nonmember corresponding authors or Supporting members may join ASM and renew or upgrade their membership online to obtain discounts on publication fees.

Fee Waivers

Fee waivers will be considered for corresponding authors:

  • From a community college or minority serving institution
  • From an under-resourced country (World Bank defined low-income economies)
  • In a temporary position, such as a graduate student, postdoctoral fellow, or adjunct; or
  • Early in their career (within five years of completing their training)

Independent Review Processes

Acceptance of ones’ manuscript is dependent upon editorial and peer review only. Ability to pay the publication fee will have no impact on whether or not an article is accepted. Once a manuscript is accepted, an independent review of any waiver request will be made. No manuscript will be published unless a fee is collected or a waiver granted.

To learn more about why production fees are necessary to sustain JMBEread a letter from the Editor in Chief. Still have questions? See our production fees FAQ.

2.2 Peer Review

Review Policy

Peer Review. All manuscripts are considered to be confidential and are reviewed by the editors, members of the editorial board, or qualified ad hoc reviewers. When a manuscript is submitted, it is given a number and sent to the editor. Always refer to this number in communications with the editor(s) and JMBE production staff. It is the responsibility of the corresponding author to inform the coauthors of the manuscript’s status throughout the review and publication processes.

The reviewers operate under strict guidelines set forth in "Guidelines for Reviewers" and are expected to complete their reviews within two weeks after receiving the manuscript. The corresponding author is notified, about six weeks after submission, of the editor’s decision to accept, reject, or require modification.

Any manuscript with a laboratory component will undergo review by JMBE’s Laboratory Safety Review Committee, prior to regular review. As a result, authors may be asked to make safety-related changes to their manuscript before it goes out for regular review. This review has been established to ensure that all laboratory practices comply with ASM’s Guidelines for Biosafety in Teaching Laboratories and to mitigate any risk to the students, faculty, and institutions who may be adopting the activity.

Manuscript Disposition. Manuscripts may be rejected upon receipt by the Editor-in-Chief and/or Editor if they do not fit the scope of the journal or section. In this case, the manuscript will not enter the review process and the Author will be asked to review the Author Guidelines more thoroughly before resubmitting.

Once a manuscript is deemed appropriate for review, there are four possible outcomes:

Decline Submission

This indicates that the paper is not appropriate for publication and the Author will not be requested to resubmit. The manuscript will exit the system, marked as “Archived.”

Resubmit for Review

This indicates that while the manuscript topic is engaging, there are major issues with structure, inadequate data or assessments, or another problem. The manuscript will exit the system, marked as “Archived,” and the Author is requested to make extensive revisions based on Editor comments. The Author may submit a new manuscript when all reviewers’ concerns have been addressed.

Revisions Required

This indicates that the paper is acceptable, but minor revisions are necessary. The manuscript remains “Active” in the system. The author will upload a revised manuscript, along with a cover letter indicating the changes made. The revised manuscript will be reconsidered by the Editor and may be sent out for re-review, and a final decision will be made.

Accept Submission

The manuscript matches the focus and scope of the journal and is accepted for publication. It will move forward in the production process.

Note: When preparing revised manuscripts, it is essential to carefully follow the instructions given in the Editor's letter (also see how to submit a revised manuscript to JMBE). In particular, provide an annotated copy of the manuscript as well as a cover letter that addresses, point-by-point, the concerns of the Reviewers. If a revision is not received within six months after requested, the file may be closed and archived.

Reviewing a manuscript written by a fellow scientist is a privilege, and an enjoyable educational experience. However, it is also a time-consuming responsibility. ASM and its editors, authors, and readers therefore appreciate the willingness of our community to review manuscripts. Please see our Guidelines for Reviewers and the JMBE How-To Series: Reviewing Manuscripts for JMBE.

If you have questions about the review process or are interested in becoming a reviewer, please email jmbe@asmusa.org.

Ethical Guidelines

Scientific errors and incorrect interpretations inevitably occur in the published literature, but authors who knowingly commit fraud or other scientific misconduct seriously compromise the integrity of the scientific record and the success of future scientific research.

Authorship. Only individuals who contribute directly to the intellectual content of the paper should be listed as authors. For example, prospective author(s) have: (a) conceived and planned the work that led to the report; (b) written the paper, or reviewed successive versions and taken part in the revision process; and (c) approved the final version. Holding positions of administrative leadership and collecting and assembling data, are not, by themselves, criteria for authorship. Other persons who have made substantial, direct contributions to the work but cannot be considered authors should be acknowledged with their permission.

Previous or Duplicate Publication. Previous publication of a small fraction of the content of a paper does not necessarily preclude its being published, but members of the Editorial Board need information about previous publication when deciding how to use space in the journal efficiently; they regard failure of full disclosure by authors of possible prior publication as a breach of scientific ethics. Please send a copy of any document that might be considered a previous publication via email to the Editor, or provide this document during the submission process as a supplementary file.

Preprint Policy. JMBE Editors will consider manuscripts for publication that have been posted in a recognized, not-for-profit preprint archive (such as bioRxiv), provided that upon acceptance of the manuscript for publication, the author is still able to agree to the terms of an Open Access license. It is the responsibility of authors to inform the journal at the time of submission if and where their article has been previously posted. If the manuscript is accepted for publication in JMBE, authors are required to update the preprint with a citation to the final published article that includes the DOI along with a link

Conflict of Interest Notification. Conflict of interest exists when an author, reviewer, or editor has financial or personal relationships that could inappropriately bias or compromise his or her actions. Authors must (a) identify individuals who provide writing or other assistance and disclose the funding source for this assistance, (b) disclose potential conflicts to study participants (and should state in the manuscript that they have done so), and (c) describe the role of the study sponsor(s), if any, in the study design; the collection, analysis, and interpretation of the data; the writing of the report; and the decision to submit the report for publication. If the supporting source had no such involvement, the authors should so state.

Such perceived conflicts--or their absence in a study--must be disclosed by the author via the “Comments to the Editor” route when the manuscript is submitted. Additionally, either the presence or absence of perceived conflicts must be addressed in the acknowledgements section of the manuscript.

Project Funding. Sources of outside support for research must be named in the manuscript. The role(s) of the funding organization, if any, in the collection of data, its analysis and interpretation, and in the right to approve or disapprove publication of the finished manuscript must be described in the methods section of the text.

Informed Consent. The use of human subjects or other animals for research purposes is regulated by the federal government and individual institutions. Manuscripts containing information related to human or animal use should clearly state that the research has complied with all relevant federal guidelines and institutional policies.

Warranties and Exclusions. Articles published in this journal represent the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily represent the opinions of ASM. ASM does not warrant the fitness or suitability, for any purpose, of any methodology, kit, product, or device described or identified in an article. The use of trade names is for identification purposes only and does not constitute endorsement by ASM.