My best wishes for the New Year!

2014 will bring some major changes for FEMS Microbiology Ecology. You may wish to save your paper copy of the December 2013 issue of the journal. It is the last one, now that the FEMS journals move to a fully digital format. Most of you will likely not notice the difference – as online readership across the world has continued to grow. Personally, I will still miss browsing through the bound paper issue that arrived in my mailbox.

FEMS Microbiology Ecology is thriving and continues to see substantial improvements in journal performance and impact. The journal has a wide and increasing readership, as well as fast turnaround (with an initial decision made on average in less than 30 days after submission). We are working closely with our publisher to improve our journal homepage layout and how it links to articles and highlighted topics. Please check the homepage for Editor's Choice selections, featured articles, MiniReviews, thematic issues and ‘virtual’ issues (that highlight selected past articles around a timely topic). We are introducing graphical abstracts to make the table of contents more captivating. Moving away from paper to a fully digital format opens up new opportunities, including freeing us from any restrictions on the use of color in figures, as well as possibilities for including video files and 3D images. Please also keep in mind the open access options that are available for your publications.

The journal cannot succeed without the efforts of many people. It has been our pleasure to welcome new Editors, most recently Gerard Muyzer as MiniReviews Editor, and several new Editorial Board members. I, along with the Editors and authors, are indebted to our reviewers, both ad hoc and Editorial Board members, whose commitment and diligent work ensures the quality of papers. Thank you for your commitment!! The constructive critique provided by the reviewers and editors contribute to the high quality of the papers that we publish. I am sure you have all appreciated the exciting diversity of topics covered in microbial ecology both in our regular and thematic issues.

I wish to also thank the combined efforts of the staff at the FEMS Publication Office and our publishers Wiley, who ensure smooth operation of the journal, rapid processing of manuscripts, and provide expert assistance to authors and to the team of Editors. It is my distinct pleasure to work with this committed team.

My thanks to all who have contributed to the journal. I hope you will continue to submit your exciting research to FEMS Microbiology Ecology in 2014 and I look forward to highly stimulating reading.