ASBMB to partner with Elsevier to publish its journals open access

The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) will work with Elsevier to transition journals from hybrid to gold OA

By Ian Evans - May 13, 2020
Elsevier partnership image

For over a century, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) has worked to advance the science of biochemistry and molecular biology. In part, it does this by developing the careers of researchers in these fields. With more than 11,000 members, including students, researchers, educators and industry professionals, the ASBMB is one of the largest and most respected molecular life science societies in the world.

The society also publishes some of the best research in the field: it’s home to three of the top journals in biochemistry, proteomics and lipids — Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC), Molecular & Cellular Proteomics (MCP) and Journal of Lipid Research (JLR).

Earlier this month, the ASBMB announced that it would be partnering with Elsevier to publish those journals. Beginning in January 2021, all three journals will be available on Elsevier’s online platform ScienceDirect and will move from a hybrid (subscription) to a gold open access model, making articles immediately and permanently available for everyone to read, download, copy and distribute.

Nancy RodnanFor Nancy Rodnan, Senior Director of Publications for the society, one of the biggest reasons for this partnership was the difference it would make for authors:

It will streamline the submission process, make authors’ research discoverable on the ScienceDirect platform as well as on our own journals’ websites – and, importantly, lower the cost of open-access publishing in ASBMB journals for both members and non-members.

Among the reasons the ASBMB chose to work with Elsevier on this was our experience in transitioning journals from subscription to open access – something that requires a significant amount of infrastructure. For example, authors looking to publish open access will want to know whether the journal they‘re considering meet requirements mandated by their funding bodies, or whether their institutions have specific agreements for open access funding.

Hélène Hodak, PhDDr. Hélène Hodak, Publisher for Elsevier’s Molecular Biology portfolio, explained:

We have a range of dedicated tools for these kinds of scenarios. Our Elsevier Open Access Services system links authors and their work with the specific policies issued by their institution and funding body so we can give authors the publishing options that accommodate, for instance, the appropriate user license and any central funding or Article Publishing Charge discounts agreed on between their institution and Elsevier. We are very pleased to equip the ABSMB with this kind of infrastructure.

Alongside the 500+ societies Elsevier currently partners with, the ABSMB will also benefit from Elsevier’s data-driven strategic advice, new technologies and extensive global reach – all of which have become increasingly important as societies look to compete in an evolving and increasingly complicated market.

Louise CurtisEmphasizing the importance of ASBMB’s relationship to Elsevier and the company’s commitment to society publishing, Louise Curtis, SVP of Elsevier’s Life Sciences journals group, commented:

I’m delighted that we have this opportunity to partner with the preeminent society in biochemistry and molecular biology. For me, it reflects our steadfast commitment to working with – and for – the communities we serve. We look forward to supporting the ASBMB to achieve its goals to the benefit of molecular life scientists.

Gerald Hart, PhDThe ASBMB’s journals will retain their editorial independence. This was also an important factor in the decision, as ASBMB President Dr. Gerald Hart, Professor and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar at the University of Georgia, stated:

ASBMB journals have earned a strong reputation for publishing papers based on the quality of the science and their contributions to advancing a field. The practicing scientists who lead and review for our journals will continue to make all editorial decisions. Authors can count on ASBMB journals to continue providing rigorous, fast and fair peer review

By adhering to these principles, the ASBMB has provided a long, rich history of supporting researchers throughout their careers. It’s something that Elsevier staff know firsthand. Dr. Hodak, who has a PhD in molecular microbiology, described her relationship with the society:

I happen to be one of those scientists who benefited directly from ASBMB’s educational resources at conferences early in my career. The ASBMB invested in generations of scientists over the years, and now they are part of academia, healthcare and various industries, including publishing. It is a thrill to support the society in this transition and, in the process, support future generations of scientists.


Ian Evans
Written by

Ian Evans

Written by

Ian Evans

Ian Evans is Content Director for Global Communications at Elsevier. Previously, he was Editor-in-Chief of Elsevier’s Global Communications Newsroom. Based in Oxford, he joined Elsevier six years ago from a small trade publisher specializing in popular science and literary fiction.

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