Ducks and Dragons – the development of a new Nature Research journal

As npj Biofilms and Microbiomes reaches some significant markers - 3 years of publishing, first impact factor and over 200 submissions - it is also time for us to say goodbye to our first Editor in Chief, Professor Staffan Normark.
Ducks and Dragons – the development of a new Nature Research journal

Staffan joined the journal when it was just a twinkle in the eye of the then Nature Publishing Group (now Nature Research) and our partners, Nanyang Technological University and SCELSE. As we on the journal say goodbye and a big thank you for the incredible contribution he has made to the success of this new title, I would like to highlight a couple of the perhaps more entertaining articles that have been published during his tenure.

The first was the article that took inspiration from a peptide produced by the Komodo Dragon to help in wound healing. The results from this article were used to inspire the next generation of STEM researchers in London as part of a feature at the Science Museum – nothing to do with dragons and Game of Thrones and everything to do with an enthusiasm for biofilms, I am sure!

The second I don’t think that anyone in this community could have missed, and this was the fate of the rubber ducky, and the undeniably disgusting gunk (yep, a biofilm again) that collects in these innocent-looking critters. This article was featured in the press worldwide, and certainly made me look again at some of the residents of my bathroom.

More seriously, Staffan has applied his great knowledge of microbiology to the development of this journal, and has worked hard with a team of dedicated Associate Editors. Some of those Editors are also stepping down this year, one to pursue more time training for triathlons (Roberto Kolter) and another to go on sabbatical (Willem de Vos). We really appreciate the care and thoughtful insight that they have all given to the editorial assessment of the manuscripts that have passed through their hands.

The Nature Partner Journals are unique in Nature Research titles in that we collaborate closely with our partners on the development of the journal. In this instance, Professor Yehuda Cohen was instrumental in this relationship, and now that he has stepped down from his role on the journal I would like to personally thank him for a constructive and valued working relationship.

Many people and many many hours go into making a successful journal. I want to thank all of our editors, and the authors and reviewers that they have worked with in the last three years.

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