Last month the American Society for Microbiology held its 114th general meeting in Boston, Massachusetts. The event attracts a global list of attendees from all areas of microbiology. I made the trip over as a representative of our Publishing team (along with colleagues from other departments at the Society) to raise awareness of our journals and talk to potential new authors.
Attending events like ASM is vital for publishers as it gives them the chance to meet their audience face-to-face. The benefits of this are two-fold: as well as promoting the journals and highlighting new products, we get a chance to hear the concerns that new and established researchers have regarding academic publishing today. We find out what pressures they may be under to produce research, and what steps we can take to deliver the maximum benefit to them.
As this was my first ASM event, I wanted to find out how the Society for General Microbiology’s journals were perceived. Many delegates reported very positive publishing experiences. Others had questions about the Society’s open access policy and our submissions process. We are using this important feedback to improve the relevant information in our Information for Authors.
Although it was gratifying to find that most people who visited the stand were aware of the Society’s publications, and had often published in them, there were still many who were coming to the journals for the first time. I was also keen to raise awareness of our new journal, JMM Case Reports, and it was good to see lots of enthusiasm for the publication’s scope and rationale.
One highlight of the meeting came from having a Journal of General Virology Editor on the Society for General Microbiology stand. Paul Duprex spent an afternoon answering delegates’ questions about all aspects of the journal publishing process as well as extolling the benefits of submitting an article to JGV itself.
Former Society President and current Society Equality and Diversity Champion, Hilary Lappin-Scott also stopped by to chat to delegates about her experiences with the Society.
I asked Paul for his thoughts on representing the journal at our stand and on the meeting generally:
‘Like the Society for General Microbiology, ASM has broad reach across the discipline and the annual meeting draws thousands of microbiologists. It’s the perfect location to highlight the integrated portfolio of Society journals.
‘I believe strongly in the community and power of professional societies. As a graduate student, the Society for General Microbiology supported my attendance at many meetings. Years later, now as a JGV Editor, promoting the Society and our journals at ASM allows me to say ‘thanks’ to the Society in a tangible way.’
Next year the ASM annual meeting moves to New Orleans and we hope to see many of you there.