Association for Molecular Pathology


February 2011, Volume 17, Number 1


January 2011: A New Year and a New Mode of Publishing The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics

By Mark, E. Sobel, MD, PhD

As previously announced, in January we moved the publication The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics (JMD) to Elsevier. As I write this, we are in the final stages of implementation of the transition of the online Journal from HighWire to the Elsevier online platforms (HealthConnect and ScienceDirect), and the Journal Editorial Office in Bethesda is proofing galleys for the March issue of JMD to prepare articles for print and online publication. My editorials in the January issue of JMD explained the rationale for our decision to move post-production services from self-publishing to managed publishing by Elsevier (Sobel, ME: A New Approach to Publishing High-Quality Scientific Content in the JMD. J Mol Diagn 2011, 13:1-2.) The purpose of this article is to provide our members, authors, and readers with answers to Frequently Asked Questions about what this means, and how they can best interact with the Journal and AMP. Please see the companion article on the 2011 JMD CME Program for information about changes and increased flexibility in this popular educational program.

What does self-publishing mean and what control do AMP and ASIP lose, if any, by moving away from self-publishing to managed publishing? JMD has been self-published by AMP and ASIP in our joint Journal Editorial Office (for publication of ASIP's The American Journal of Pathology as well as JMD) since its inception in 1998. Under self-publishing, the Societies have been responsible for all aspects of publishing the Journal, from selection of the Editor-in-Chief and Editorial Board, manuscript submission and review, formatting and copy-editing of accepted articles, development and maintaining adherence to scientific integrity policies, to post-production services such as registering the copyright of all articles and granting copyright releases, maintaining an archive of print and online journals, printing and shipping journals, development and maintenance of the online journal website, and marketing, including advertising and subscriptions. Although we self-published, we contracted with various vendors to provide specific services. For example, we contracted with Cadmus (Cenveo) for our manuscript submission and review system (RapidReview). Cadmus also provided copy-editing and formatting, printing, and shipping of journals to our subscribers, and billed authors for page charges on our behalf. We contracted with HighWire as our online publisher. (In addition, for the past several years, our Journals have been affiliated with PubMed Central, which is a mirror online repository for articles after they have passed an embargo period of one year from publication.) We contracted with other vendors for managing institutional subscriptions, although we handled all member subscriptions in our own office. The contract with Elsevier maintains editorial control and all pre-production services with the Societies, which continue to maintain complete autonomy regarding editorial policy, peer review, and selection of the Editor-in-Chief and the Editorial Board. For the foreseeable future, we will continue to utilize Cadmus' RapidReview system (and not Elsevier's platform, based on Editorial Manager) for manuscript submission and review. However, after acceptance of an article most functions will now be the responsibility of Elsevier, including article composition, copy-editing and formatting (according to Society-dictated style guidelines), printing, online production on Elsevier online platforms (instead of HighWire), shipping of journals, billing authors for page charges (at Society-established rates) and marketing (advertising, institutional sales). Elsevier will also manage institutional subscriptions for us, as well as mailing of member copies. In summary, as our new publisher, Elsevier is taking over responsibility for post-production services that the Societies had been contracting out to other vendors in the past.

Who owns the journal? AMP and ASIP continue to be the co-owners of JMD. Elsevier, as the publisher, provides the published end-product but does not own our journals.

Who will hold the copyright on published articles? AMP and ASIP remain co-copyright holders for articles published in JMD. Elsevier will register copyrights on our behalf, and will administer permissions requests per Society copyright policy. Note that the Societies retain copyright policies regarding reuse that differ somewhat from Elsevier's 'standard' policies.

Will the direction and scope of the Journal change? No. The direction and scope of the Journal will continue to be molded by the journal editors. The Journal editors are selected by the Society owners and will continue to be consistent with the owner Society missions.

What does managed publishing mean? Managed publishing is an arrangement between the owner(s) of a journal (AMP and ASIP for JMD) and a commercial publisher to provide certain services. In our case, Elsevier will be our managed publisher and will provide post-production services according to specifications outlined in our contract with Elsevier.

How should I submit my manuscripts? There is no change in the manuscript submission process. We are continuing to use RapidReview for online submission of manuscripts. New and revised manuscripts should be submitted online at We have not changed the manuscript submission fee or the way in which it is collected. However, unrelated to the transition to Elsevier post-production publication services, RapidReview was upgraded in November to improve the author experience. Please note that submitting authors are now required to submit conflict of interest disclosure information for each co-author as part of the submission process.

Will the editorial review process change? No. The editorial decision process remains with the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal and Associate Editors. We will continue to seek expert review from experienced external reviewers to assist in this process. The editorial management and review process of the Journal will continue to be overseen through our centralized Editorial Office in Bethesda, MD.

Will author costs of publishing change? No. Author costs of publishing will remain the same as they were in 2010. The Societies have periodically revised the charges for various aspects of publishing articles, including page charges, black & white or color figures, tables, supplemental information, and we may do so in the future, but there will be no change in author costs in 2011.

Will corresponding authors of articles submitted to JMD who are ASIP members in good standing at the time of submission continue to receive a rebate on the cost of the first color figure? Yes. ASIP will continue to support a rebate of charges (value of $550) for the first color figure of an accepted article in JMD (or AJP) if the corresponding author is a member in good standing at the time of submission of the original article.

How will I review proofs of my accepted article? Proofs will be provided by Elsevier via Cadmus Communications (Cenveo) via email for download as in the past. The instructions will be slightly different than before since Elsevier uses a different department within Cadmus. Follow the instructions provided in the email for making corrections and returning your corrected pages.

After I return my author proofs, will my article be available online as "publish ahead of print"? Author-proofed galleys will continue to be published online ahead of print on the journal websites on the HealthConnect platform; however, they will no longer be designated as "JMDxpress."; the articles will simply be identified as Articles in Press. Please note that due to time pressures of the transition, prepublication of articles in the early issues of 2011 has been delayed, but we expect to be fully operational by May.

How will my article be published? The JMD will remain online and in print form at the same high quality you have come to expect. However, the online JMD ( will no longer be housed on HighWire and instead will be located within Elsevier's HealthConnect platform with a new website appearance and, over the next few months, enhanced capabilities.

Will the Journal continue to be compliant with the deposit requirements of governmental funding agencies such as NIH, HHMI, Wellcome Trust, and MRC? Yes. The Journal will continue to deposit final published articles funded by NIH, HHMI, Wellcome Trust, and MRC in PubMed Central in compliance with each funding agency's requirements.

Will each co-author continue to receive an electronic PDF after publication of their article? Yes. We will continue to provide an ePDF to each coauthor of a published article.