Editorial – What is the significance and impact of a study?


The translational impact of articles published in Letters in Applied Microbiology is now at the forefront of the journal's strategy, as is reflected by the new ‘Significance and Impact of the Study’ section in each article. This section is not a summary of the abstract, but a reflection of the results reported in the published article and how these results will be applicable in their respective field.

In considering the impact of the study, authors should reflect on what constructive and applied contribution their study will make to their field of research. Authors are reminded that Letters in Applied Microbiology publishes across a wide range of applied microbiology areas and that readers might not necessarily be familiar with their specific field of research. The impact of what is being reported in the study should be written with a nonexpert reader in mind.

The significance of the study should reflect on the extent of the contribution made by the study to improve our understanding, to change a concept or to promote a new hypothesis in a particular field of research. The significance of the study could be simply reflected by the following two questions: Why should my study be published? What significant scientific contribution is my study making to my field of research? The significance of the study should also be written with a nonexpert in mind.

Letters in Applied Microbiology is ideally placed to become the medium in which significant studies from a global authorship can be rapidly published. With this in mind, the Significance and Impact of the Study is highly visible in both the online and print editions of the journal, and as such, it is important that authors take full advantage to promote and highlight the key messages of their article.

The global readership of Letters in Applied Microbiology ensures a properly written Significance and Impact of the Study section can not only promote greater interest from readers within the field of research of a given article, but also across a wider audience.

Testing for antimicrobial activity

Antimicrobials are a key topic for Letters in Applied Microbiology. Articles featuring novel actives, potentiation of antimicrobial activity and synergism or antimicrobial resistance are prominent items, although a number of submissions cannot be published because they lack standardized test methodologies. Authors are now provided with new guidelines, under the heading ‘Antibiotic antimicrobial susceptibility testing and microbial resistance’ in the main journal guidelines, to ensure that the methodologies used to measure antimicrobial activity and to define microbial resistance and multiresistance are appropriate. By promoting the use of standardized testing, I want to ensure the usability of the results published in Letters in Applied Microbiology.

Finally, I take this opportunity to thank the Editors and the reviewers who are committed to providing comprehensive and constructive reviews, which remains an important service of Letters in Applied Microbiology to each author.