Dispatches from Wendy Newsham, Director of Institutional Sales and Business Development
In case you haven’t heard, we’re launching a new journal: The CRISPR Journal.
I’ve been in scholarly publishing nearly 15 years and have never seen so much buzz and anticipation surrounding the launch of a new journal. But why all the buzz?! Sure, we’ve got a cracker jack marketing team, but in this case, the whole crew of them could sit on their hands and this journal would be still be the talk of the town. So why is that?
I think we could start with the obvious: it’s a cool science, genetic editing. I might not have my jetpack as promised in all those futuristic novels I read as a kid, but we do have genetic editing. It’s real, it’s happening, and it’s called CRISPR.
Plus, who doesn’t just love saying “CRISPR”? It’s a fun word (short for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) and knowing what it’s about makes you feel very hip and cool. I’m a 50-year-old New Englander with a degree in English and I’ll tell you, this is my supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Hip and cool is tough for someone like me to achieve, but my newfound fascination of all things CRISPR has catapulted me into …never mind, my teenagers may read this. While the word is definitely fun and intriguing, the science is even more so, and it’s a science that everyone can understand (even an English major!). When we decided to launch this journal last spring and our Executive Editor, Dr. Kevin Davies, started recruiting the Editorial Board members, he was ecstatic when Jennifer Doudna, considered to be the leading “Hero of CRISPR,” accepted. He told me she had written an incredible book that told her story in a way that made it possible for the general public to understand the science. Challenge accepted! I Primed myself a copy (hardcover, of course) of A Crack in Creation by Jennifer Doudna and Samuel Sternberg, and I curled up in my reading chair to delve into the great unknown. You know what? It’s a great book! This story, and the science, made a lot of sense to me. And if you can't tell, I’m now a CRISPR groupie!
Further justification for the hoopla is the first-class Editorial Board. You’ve already read about them in the News above, and even non-scientists suck in their breath a little when we start to roll down the list of luminaries from around the globe who are enthusiastically on-board for the launch and ongoing publication of a journal dedicated to their science. What’s more, the journal is not only going to cover scientific research and application with peer-reviewed original research, however, it is also going to include in-depth commentary on the legal and ethical issues of this emerging technology. In fact, Jacob Sherkow of New York Law School is included on the Editorial Board.
And that leads to another reason why this journal is so exciting: CRISPR science touches literally every realm of bioscience — human, animal, plant, food — everything. I was talking about The CRISPR Journal to my sister-in-law, an Assistant Professor of Molecular and Human Genetics at Baylor College of Medicine, and she said that she modified her curriculum to include CRISPR because this science is destined to make it to clinical application faster than any other in history. It's that big a deal. “This is a very momentous time for the CRISPR field, and The CRISPR Journal provides a voice and unifying common denominator to the various scientific disciplines that constitute the CRISPR community. I am very excited to be part of the Mary Ann Liebert team and have the opportunity to cover all aspects of the CRISPR field,” says Dr. Barrangou.
And I'm not the only one champing at the bit — the day we issued the press release announcing the launch, I personally received emails and phone calls from corporations and institutions requesting subscriptions — we weren’t even scheduled to publish a paper for another 8 months! That is one of the major assets we have here at Mary Ann Liebert; not only do we continue to publish incredibly important papers in our core journals (Journal of Neurotrauma, Thyroid, Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics, Tissue Engineering, Human Gene Therapy, etc.) but we have incredible foresight and the ability to launch journals focusing on critical emerging science, such as CRISPR, and our recently announced for 2019, Bioelectricity. This is a key differentiator that has contributed to our ongoing success.
So, bookmark this page — The CRISPR Journal is coming!
In fact, you can take a look at the first release of articles, now available online ahead-of-print!