Cell Biology International in New Livery: Portland Press becomes our Publisher


email wheatley@abdn.ac.uk


Cell Biology International (CBI) was published originally by Academic Press (AP) for the International Federation for Cell Biology (IFCB), and latterly by Elsevier after it acquired AP. A decision was made by the IFCB Executive almost 2 years ago to move to Portland Press Limited, the not-for-profit wholly owned subsidiary of the Biochemical Society, based in London. However, we have had to stay with Elsevier throughout 2009 in order to fulfill a 5-year contract.

The transition from Elsevier to Portland Press has been taking place in stages starting in May 2009. The first job was to ensure continuous subscriptions to CBI (prices have been held at 2009 levels and include access to the back archive) and explore new market possibilities. The second stage involved building a new website for CBI (www.cellbiolint.org), and you will find access to the new submission system on its home page. The third has been to customize Portland Press's very thorough electronic submission and peer-review system called Sirius, and train myself and the Managing Editor (Angela Panther) in its use. On 1 September 2009, the Sirius system was activated and is now receiving all submissions to CBI. Thus we are fully in the hands of Portland Press from now on.

Our new publisher brings a number of benefits for our authors and readers. The Sirius system will help us to speed up the time from submission to decision, and allows us to publish authors' manuscripts as PDFs (CBI Immediate Publications) on the day they are accepted. As we progress through 2010 we will be moving to an ‘asap’ publishing model where the final Versions of Record of papers are published online as soon as the proofs have been corrected. This will enable us to reduce the time from acceptance to final publication online.

Online users will benefit from being able to read papers in EESI-View* (Portland Press's innovative and highly acclaimed online format), and can personalize their interaction with the journal by using “My CBI” to set up customized searching alerting, create email distribution lists to tell colleagues about papers of interest and access a filing cabinet to sort and store their favourite papers. We also have an online Comments facility where readers can post their comments about papers.

We sincerely hope that the high-quality papers, both reviews and primary research articles, included in the first issues will give us a ‘flying start’ in 2010. CBI has become a much more popular home for cell biology papers over the last 5–6 years, and we know that it is a journal that authors in the Far East see as an excellent venue for their publications. Submissions have increased 3-fold since 2003 and the Journal now receives 550–600 manuscripts a year. Of these, approx. 30% deal with cancer cell biology or closely related experimental work on cell proliferation. In the near future, the online environment will give us the opportunity to showcase these ‘cancer cell biology’ papers so that we develop a community of readers and authors.

When IFCB began publishing its journal it was called Cell Biology International Reports (see cover shown in Figure 1), but the word ‘Reports' was dropped after volume 16 in 1992. The original publication was for ‘camera-ready’ short communications of new findings in cell biology, which was the quick way of doing things before modern electronic systems took over. A number of articles coming in today, particularly those relating to methodology, are succinct preliminary communications. Hence we have decided to re-launch the title Cell Biology International Reports as an online-only, open-access sister publication to CBI that will offer fast publication for papers that the Editorial Board of CBI judge to make a technically sound contribution to the literature. I am convinced that many authors will benefit from Cell Biology International Reports (www.cellbiolintrep.org) being an additional arm of our operation.

Figure 1.

Cover of one of the last issues of Cell Biology International Reports

It published mainly two-page ‘camera-ready’ preliminary and very short communications in those days.

Since 1998, CBI has acquired an increasing reputation among cell biology journals. Only a few years ago, Portland Press became the publisher for Biology of the Cell (formerlyBiologie Cellulaire) on behalf of the Société Française des Microscopies and the Société Biologie Cellulaire de France, and in a short time raised its Impact Factor very substantially. Let us hope that CBI (Figure 2) will do the same in the capable hands of Portland Press's staff.

Figure 2.

Cover of the first issue of volume 34 in January 2010, when the publisher changes to Portland Press Limited (London)

Finally, I am honoured to have been the Editor-in-Chief for almost 12 years. My job has been made easier by the daily management of CBI being in the very capable hands of Angela Panther, Managing Editor, without whom CBI would not have become what it is today. We are greatly indebted to her and she gets my most hearty thanks for her hard work.


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    Enhanced Electronic Serials Interface. Developed by Portland Press. UK Patent No: 2416468