• The ISME Journal

From 1 September, all new submissions to The ISME Journal and ISME Communications will use Oxford University Press submission systems.

 Go to the OUP website of The ISME Journal 

If you have already submitted your article before 1 September, you can keep track of your article via the Springer Nature website. All journal content is also still to be accessed via the Springer Nature website.

 Go to the SN website of The ISME Journal 


▼More about The ISME Journal

Aims and Scope
The ISME Journal seeks to promote diverse and integrated areas of microbial ecology spanning the breadth of microbial life, including bacteria, archaea, microbial eukaryotes, and viruses. Contributions of broad biological interest and impact are especially encouraged. Topics of particular interest within the journal's scope include those listed below

  • Microbial population and community ecology

    • Theoretical advances in microbial population and community ecology, including novel theoretical development relevant to the diversity and structure of microbial populations and communities, advances in modeling and comparisons of microbial ecological principles with those in macroecology
    • Biogeography of microbial populations
    • Environmental factors (biotic and abiotic) defining the distribution and abundance of microbial populations
    • Integrated advances in microbial ecophysiology
    • Phage genetics and ecology and environmental virology, including studies of interactions between viruses and the environment, vectors of viral transmission, epidemiology, and diversity (including generation and maintenance)
    • Community level research of microbial assemblages, with emphasis on the contribution of individuals and populations
    • Microbial survival and persistence mechanisms: Development and selection for resistance (heavy metals, antibiotics etc.)
  • Microbe-microbe and microbe-host interactions

    • Microbial communication and signaling, and advances that allow study on scales relevant to microbial interactivities
    • Plant-microbe interactions, including feed back and response pathways, underlying mechanisms, environmental cues, unique traits, evolution, adaptation and fitness
    • Threat of emerging diseases (pathogenicity, epidemiology, ecology of reservoirs, vectors and host)
    • Symbioses and syntrophic relationships
    • Microbial contribution to medical biotechnology and microbial therapy
    • Commensal microbial ecology - intestinal, oral, etc.
  • Evolutionary genetics

    • Ecological aspects of experimental evolution
    • Insights into genome evolution and adaptation
    • Genetics and ecology of the horizontal gene pool
    • Advances in mathematical and evolutionary genetics
  • Integrated genomics and post-genomics approaches in microbial ecology

    • Studies of in situ function, gene regulation and expression
    • Metagenomic genomic approaches to understanding and accessing the genomic potential of microbial communities
    • Novel microbial ecology approaches involving (environmental) proteomics and metabolomics
    • Theoretical and practical advances in Bioinformatics, including improved linkages between ecological parameters and molecular data, as well as advances in curation and annotation practices
    • Novel "-omics' approaches that address microbial activities and potential at the single-cell level
  • Microbial engineering

    • Environmental Biotechnology, including ecological interactions key to waste water treatment, water management, biofilters, energy production, etc.
    • Development and mechanisms of microbial biocatalysts
    • Developments in bioremediation and biodegradation
    • Microbial contributions and potential in biofuel technologies
    • Microbial process modeling and its application
  • Geomicrobiology and microbial contributions to geochemical cycles

    • Integrated advances in biogeochemistry
    • Microbial contributions to geochemical cycles
    • Importance and mechanisms of microbe-mineral interactions
  • Microbial ecology and functional diversity of natural habitats

    • Terrestrial and subsurface microbial ecology
    • Aquatic and sediment microbial ecology
    • Linking phylogeny and function in diverse ecosystems - common, novel and extreme
    • Biofilm functional microbial ecology
    • Aero - microbiology (distribution, source impact etc), including issues of climate and dispersal
    • Microbial processes and interactions in extreme or unusual environments
  • Microbial ecosystem impacts

    • Impacts of microbial processes on climate change, and impacts of climate change on microbial communities and processes
    • Food web structure, nutrient flow, and biological transformations from micro- through macro- scales
    • Systems microbiology and integration of microbial ecology into systems ecology


  • ISME Communications

This journal is fully online and Open Access and can be directly accessed!

If you wish to submit an article from 1 September, please go the Oxford University Press website of ISME Communications

 Go to the OUP website of ISME Communications 

Already submitted an article before 1 September? Then you can log in to the Springer Nature website. ISME Communications content can also be accessed via the SN website. 

 Go to the SN website of ISME Communications 

▼More about ISME Communications

Aims & Scope

ISME Communications covers the diverse and integrated areas of microbial ecology spanning the breadth of microbial life. The journal encourages contributions that offer substantial advances in the study of microbial ecosystems, communities, and interactions of microorganisms in the environment.

Focus will be on innovative studies that report on new methodologies in microbial ecology, microbiome analyses in a variety of habitats, holobiont interactions, climate change microbiology, biogeography & diversity surveys, time-series analyses and mechanistic studies on the functional importance of microorganisms in specific environments.

As a fully open access partner to The ISME Journal, publications in ISME Communications will focus on novelty, quality and diversity, encouraging both discovery-based and methods-oriented publications.

The scope of ISME Communications will encompass the full breadth of microbial ecology research, exploring topics that include:

  • Climate change microbiology
  • Community assembly
  • Engineered and synthetic microbial communities
  • Host-microbiome interactions
  • Methodological and computational advances
  • Modelling and ecological theory
  • Novel microorganisms and metabolic functions
  • Spatial and temporal dynamics

ISME Communications is a fully open access journal, welcoming a range of content types including original research, review, brief communication and correspondence articles of high significance to the microbial ecology research community.

ISME Communications vs. The ISME Journal

The journals are similar with respect to subject matter but different with respect to impact. ISME Communications is an appropriate venue for high quality research that is of a narrower scope and impact on the field than would be appropriate for The ISME Journal.

In addition to discovery-based research, ISME Communications welcomes methodological and computational studies that represent major advances for the field of microbial ecology.

Out of Scope:

  • Single organisms, unless studied in an ecological context
  • Descriptive / exploratory studies without clear hypothesis and validation
  • Studies with insufficient biological and/or technical replication
  • Studies that lack novelty per se, but provide independent replication / expansion of earlier studies. Publication ISME Communications is an exclusively online publication. This format enables us to publish articles as soon as they are ready, thus benefiting authors by allowing earlier publication dates and giving readers access to accepted papers several weeks before they would appear in a print issue. Papers published online are definitive and may be altered only through the publication of an addendum or correction, so authors should make every effort to ensure that the page proofs are correct. Content Types We publish a variety of content types, including Articles, Reviews, Perspectives, Brief Communications and Comments.