If you have visited the JEB website (jeb.biologists.org) recently, you will have noticed that the site looks a little different. On the face of it, we have a new-look home page and colour scheme (to match that on our online submission site and in the front section of the journal) but there are a few other changes that may go unnoticed at first glance.
We have reorganised our Instructions for Authors and Reviewers to make it easier to find the relevant information required for submitting and reviewing manuscripts. As part of this process, we have reviewed and updated our editorial policies and publishing ethics guidelines, particularly important as JEB has now become a member of COPE (the Committee for Publication Ethics). We have also provided guidelines for the new Methods & Techniques section that we will be launching later in the year – a direct response to feedback from authors and readers who said they'd like JEB to provide a venue for shorter papers focusing on innovative methodological advances or significant modifications to recognised methods of data collection and analysis.
As The Company of Biologists is a not-for-profit organisation, we have also made it easier to find information about applying for the charitable funding that is awarded by the company on behalf of JEB: this includes Direct Travel Grants, to assist postgraduate and postdoctoral students attending scientific meetings; Travelling Fellowships, intended to enable students to make collaborative visits to other laboratories; and Meeting Grants, to assist with the costs of organising scientific meetings.
The new-look website also provides information about the JEB Symposia that we host and fund each year. These small meetings aim to review current knowledge of specially selected topics in experimental biology and stimulate the cross-fertilisation of new ideas and collaborations across specialisation boundaries by bringing together experts with diverse scientific backgrounds. The symposia form the focus of our annual review volumes, which are freely available on the website without subscription barriers from the time of publication. To make them easier to find, we have grouped them together in a Special Issues Collection, which also incorporates special issues that have arisen from other scientific meetings. The Special Issues Collection is accessible from the homepage and features all the themed issues published in the journal since the JEB Symposia were established in 1979. Other article collections that can be accessed from the new homepage are the Reviews Collection, Commentaries Collection, Inside JEB Collection and JEB Classics Collection.
While we appreciate how crucial it is for scientists to communicate their research effectively to their peers, it is also important – in this age of publicly funded science – to bring many of the discoveries published in JEB to a broader audience. We regularly send press releases of selected papers to journalists and media organisations, and the website's newly launched ‘JEB in the News’ section provides links to recent press coverage of our articles – for example, how seals use their whiskers to track fish, how methamphetamine improves memory in snails, and how wearing high heels can shorten calf muscle fibres. Recent press coverage can also be found on our twitter and facebook pages, which are easily accessed from the new homepage.
Most importantly, JEB continues to provide the same great content as it always has. All articles are freely available six months after publication and the website includes a fully browsable and searchable archive of JEB content going back to 1923. As ever, if you have any comments or further suggestions on the journal and its website, please do let us know.