Microbial Genomics is a new fully open access, online-only journal from the Society for General Microbiology. Increasingly I try only to link to open access journals from MicrobiologyBytes, but I don’t write much about microbial genomics – why is that? Well for one thing it’s not really my area of expertise, but more importantly, the increasingly impenetrable jargon genomics papers are writen in would not be helpful to the sort of general audience who read MicrobiologyBytes. So while I welcome the open access nature of Microbial Genomics … there’s a problem.
What’s missing from the new journal is the sort of expnatory overview good journals are now providing, such as the Author Summary in PLoS Pathogens, or the Significance paragraph in PNAS. The Impact Statements in Microbial Genomics are good, but not quite the same thing. Microbial Genomics may rely on science bloggers to translate its research ghettospeak into language the oublic can understand, but to me, it’s an opportunity missed.
(Of course, I do know how much researchers hate writing these things ;-)