Research in Microbiology


Indexed in Medline, Excerpta Medica / EMbase, Science Citation Index, Current Contents (Life Sciences)  

1887—The beginnings of the journal

Research in Microbiology is the direct descendant of the original Pasteur periodical entitled Annales de l’Institut Pasteur, created in 1887 by Emile Duclaux under the patronage of Louis Pasteur. The Editorial Committee included Chamberland, Grancher, Nocard, Roux and Straus, and the first issue began with Louis Pasteur’s “Lettre sur la Rage” which clearly defines the spirit of the journal:
“You have informed me, my dear Duclaux, that you intend to start a monthly collection of articles entitled “Annales de l’Institut Pasteur”. You will be rendering a service that will be appreciated by the ever increasing number of young scientists who are attracted to microbiological studies. In your Annales, our laboratory research will of course occupy a central position, but the work from outside groups that you intend to publish will be a source of competitive stimulation for all of us.”
That first volume included 53 articles as well as critical reviews and book reviews. From that time on, the Annales appeared regularly every month, without interruption, even during the two world wars. Although the journal has undergone many changes over the past 100 years (in the title, the format, the language) reflecting the evolution in scientific publishing, it has consistently maintained the Pasteur tradition by publishing original reports on all aspects of microbiology.

Originally founded as the « Annales de l’Institut Pasteur », Research in Microbiology has been a leading source of up-to-date information in the field of microbiology for more than a century. It publishes papers based on original research in fundamental and applied biology of bacteria, archaea and lower eukaryotes. It covers all aspects of microbial taxonomy, phylogeny, ecology, physiology and metabolism, molecular genetics and genomics, as well as interactions between microbes and interactions of microbes with their environment. Research in Microbiology currently publishes 10 issues a year, including an annual Forum issue, and contains original articles, reviews and letters to the Editor.

On-line services:
For online submission:
For full-text articles, abstracts, contents, references:
For the journal homepage at Elsevier:


Instructions for authors



Papers published in the journal include, but are not limited to, the following topics: Evolution, phylogeny, ecology and population dynamics, physiology and metabolism, regulation, genomics, mobile elements, viruses of prokaryotes, interactions between microbes, and beneficial or pathogenic interactions with other organisms.

The overriding criteria for publication are originality, high scientific quality, depth of analysis and up-to-date relevance. Papers should be written with a wide audience of microbiologists in mind. Purely descriptive papers, as well as those which do not report on significant advances in scientific research, are discouraged and may be rejected without review. Incomplete characterization of new bacterial strains, bacterial communities, enzymes or antimicrobial compounds, for instance, will not be considered. Papers dealing with methods and theoretical microbiology may be published if they are associated with significant novel approaches and/or results. Papers on host-pathogen interactions, virulence and disease fall within the scope of the journal only if they cover the biology of the microbes.



Currently, Research in Microbiology publishes the following types of papers:

  • Original articles: which can be in two formats: full-length research papers or brief notes
  • Reviews: generally they are commissioned, but unsolicited reviews may also be considered. In this case, authors should contact any of the review editors or the desk editor.
  • Meeting reports: brief descriptions of results and conclusions presented at conferences of interest to the readership. They are written by young researchers attending the conference, with a more senior coordinating author.
  • MicroScope: short, unconventional contributions by experienced scientists wishing to share their thoughts and express their opinions on matters related to their work, current “hot” topics, a bit of history, or future trends in Microbiology. Submissions are by invitation only.
  • Microprofile and MicroScope Focus: these sections are intended to introduce our editors (Microprofile) and to present the members and work of those groups that publish an article in the journal considered by the editors to be of particular relevance.
  • Letters to the Editor: although most of the contributions in this category are now covered by the MicroScope section, letters may be considered when a researcher wishes to comment on or respond to a published article. The Editor-in-chief should be contacted for these or other types of contributions (news, book reviews, obituaries, etc.).



Electronic submission of papers using on-line manuscript submission instructions is available at:
Submission implies that the paper reports original research, has not been published previously, is not under consideration for publication elsewhere and will not be published in whole or in part elsewhere (in the same or in another language). All submitted manuscripts are pre-screened at the Editorial desk for compliance with these guidelines and to assess their suitability for the journal. Manuscripts may be rejected at this stage, or sent back to authors for amendments.
Papers that pass this first screen are assigned to an editor, who is responsible for their acceptance, rejection or request for modification, after peer-review by experts and direct evaluation by the editor. Details on the areas of expertise of each editor are available on the journal website.
To expedite the process, reviewers are requested to send their comments within 15 days after accepting the task. The average time between submission and first decision is 35 days.

English grammar, syntax and spelling must be carefully prepared and checked before submission of the paper. The authors are encouraged to include a cover letter for the Editor and to provide the names and e-mail addresses of 3 potential referees. A PDF version of the paper containing figures and tables is needed for the reviewing process. The authors should also provide their paper as a Word document and submit figures separately according to on- line submission instructions. In addition, if the submitted manuscript contains a reference to other related papers in press or considered for publication, PDFs of these papers should be added to the submission as supplementary information.



  • Research paper: abstract 200 words, main text (Introduction, Materials and methods, Results and Discussion) in the range of 4000-6000 words, about 40 references, and a combination of a total of 6 to  8   figures and tables.
  • Brief note: abstract 100 words, main text 2000 words (may be divided into sections, each with a title), references up to 20, and a combination of a total of 3 figures and tables.
  • Review: abstract 100 words, main text 4000-5000 words, with subheadings, references up to 70.
  • MicroScope: no abstract, continuous text (up to 4000 words) that may be divided into sections. Up to 30 references. Figures and tables are welcome when appropriate but should be kept to a minimum.

Contact the editors for specific instructions for other types of contributions.



  • Double-space (32 lines per page maximum) throughout (including references, figure legends and table footnotes).
  • 2.5-cm (1 inch) margins on all four sides.
  • Font size of at least 12 points.
  • Each page numbered top right (title page is 1).
  • Lines numbered.
  • Each new paragraph indented.
  • Either American or English spelling, but not both.
  • Do not use capital letters (except for first letter) in titles, author names, section headings.
  • When referring to figures in the main text, figure is abbreviated to Fig., i.e., Fig. 1.
  • When referring to tables, Arabic numerals are used, i.e., Table 2.



Manuscript should be arranged in the following order (each item on a separate page):
a) Title page; b) Abstract + keywords; c) Introduction; d) Materials and methods; e) Results; f) Discussion; g) Acknowledgements; h) References; i) Legends to figures; j) Tables; k) Figures; l) Supplementary material for on-line submission
Abbreviations: A list of unusual abbreviations may appear below the keywords. In general, however, they must be defined in the text the first time they are used, followed by the abbreviation in parentheses. Thereafter, they are to be used throughout the paper.
Chapters for Introduction, Materials and methods, Results and Discussion are numbered in bold; subheadings are in italics; e.g.: 3. Results; then 3.1 Subheading. Results and Discussion may be grouped together.

a) Title page

  • Title: it should be informative and concise and not exceed 25 words. It should not contain non-standard acronyms or abbreviations nor be in capital letters.
  • Authors’ names: full first name of each author is followed by last name. Do not use capital letters; use commas to separate names; do not use “and” before name of last author. Each name should be followed by a superscript letter a, b, etc. to designate the affiliation. The name of the author responsible for correspondence and proof correction should be followed by an asterisk (*) after the superscript letter.
  • Affiliations: give complete address (department and/or laboratory, college, university, and full postal address) of each institute at which the work was carried out, preceded by the appropriate superscript letter (a, b, etc.). Affiliations should follow the list of names, and each address should be given in a separate paragraph.
  • The e-mail address of each author is given at the bottom of the title page. The e-mail address of the corresponding author is followed by the note “*Correspondence and reprints”.


b) Abstract and keywords

The abstract is on page 2; it is accessible to a wide audience, summarizing the objectives and major conclusions and indicating the relevance of the work. Do not use references, footnotes or abbreviations in the abstract. The word “Abstract” is in bold.
Keywords: place them below the abstract; provide a list of at least three keywords (max 6 keywords) existing in the MeSH thesaurus. They are in lower case letters, separated by semi-colons. They are used for indexing your paper and should express the precise content. Avoid repeating words from the title.

c) Introduction
The Introduction outlines the background of the study; it should not summarize results nor be an extensive review of the literature. Do not use subheadings in the Introduction.

d) Materials and methods
Avoid detailed description of standard procedures, procedures performed using commercial kits or procedures fully described in a former paper, unless the publication is not readily available (e.g., a PhD thesis or papers not published in English).

e) Results

f) Discussion
Discuss major findings. Avoid repeating parts of the Introduction and Results. Do not defend the main conclusions with unpublished data or with data from manuscripts in preparation.

g) Conflict of interest
All authors are requested to disclose any actual or potential conflict of interest including any financial, personal or other relationships with other people or organizations within three years of beginning the submitted work that could inappropriately influence, or be perceived to influence, their work. See also
if you have no conflict of interest, please state it.

h) Acknowledgements
Personal acknowledgements precede those of agencies and institutions; use only a single paragraph.

i) References
In main text
Numbered references appear in the main text between square brackets ([1], [2, 3], [4–7], etc.), in the order of appearance in the text, from 1 to n.
In reference list
Numbering corresponds to the references in the text; the list is not in alphabetical order. Journal titles are abbreviated according to Index Medicus and Biosis. Only published work and manuscripts in press (indicate the journal which has accepted them) appear in the list. Manuscripts in the submitted stage, or in preparation, and personal communications are designated "unpublished" in the text but are not numbered and do not appear in the list at the end.
Please use the order/style given in the following examples, as well as the exact punctuation. Use square brackets for the numbering.If there are more than 6 authors, the first 6 authors names should be listed followed by et al.

[1]  Wu XB, Tian LH, Zou HJ, Wang CY, Yu ZQ, Tang CH, et al. Outer membrane protein OmpW of Escherichia coli* is required for resistance to phagocytosis. Res Microbiol 2014;164:848-55.
*Genus and species names in italics

An entire volume:
[2] Strunk W Jr,  White EB, The Elements of Style, third ed., Macmillan, New York, 1979.

A chapter in a book:
[3] Mettam GR, Adams LB, How to prepare an electronic version of your article, in Jones BS., Smith RZ (Eds), Introduction to the electronic age, E- Publishing Inc., New York, 1999, pp 281-304.
To obtain the Endnote Style of our journal please visit:

j) Legends to figures
The text for figure titles and their corresponding legends starts on a separate page following the reference list.

k) Tables
Tables are consecutively numbered according to their order of appearance in the main text. Each table carries a short title at the top (Table 2, etc.) describing its content in relation to the main text. Except for the heading and bottom of the table, avoid horizontal dividing lines; vertical lines between columns are completely omitted from any table. Instead, the first column is left-aligned and other columns are generally centered. Only the first letter of each heading is capitalized, and any units (Roman characters) appear in parentheses after or under the corresponding heading. Footnotes are collected under the table and referred to in the table by superscript letters (a, b, etc.).

l) Figures
Figures are numbered (Arabic numerals) consecutively by order of appearance in the main text (Fig. 1) and should be provided in a TIFF format. The lettering and the graph symbols (squares, triangles, circles, etc.) should have a finished printed size of at least 9 pt. Line art should have a resolution of approximately 1 000 dpi. Half-tone graphics (photographs or graphics with shades of gray) should have a resolution of 300 dpi. A figure that is a combination of both a half-tone and line art should have a resolution of at least 500 dpi. When necessary, indicate magnification by a scale bar. Visit

There is no charge for reproduction of black and white illustrations. Color figures are acceptable but will normally be charged to the author (except for commissioned papers). Consult with the publisher for current costs. It should be clearly stated when a figure must be published in color.
Make sure that all figures and tables are included at the end of the manuscript, even if originals are also submitted separately.

m) Supplementary material for on-line submission
Supplementary material in the form of tables or figures can be accepted for publication on line at the Editor’s discretion.


Follow the above instructions for the general format, references and figures. The main text may be divided into sections with subheadings; it is recommended to end with a concluding section. The use of tables, charts, pictures and maps is strongly encouraged. Style used for Title, Abstract page, Tables, Figures and References follows the instructions above.
The Publications Office will forward instructions to invited authors for other types of contributions.



Microorganisms: follow guidelines of the Nomenclature Committees, ICSP  and ICTV. Genus and species are written in full the first time the name appears in the text; subsequently, use only the first letter of the genus, followed by the species (e.g. Escherichia coli, then E. coli). When proposing new names or a new combination of names for the organisms they describe, authors are invited to apply guidelines ICSP and IJSEM (Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 50, 2239-44 and 2247-49 and Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 52 1043-47 for new rules for species definition, or visit, and to provide evidence that type strains are deposited in two recognized culture collections in two different countries. For genetic nomenclature of IS and transposons, visit and

Nucleotide sequences: they should be deposited in the NCBI or EMBL databases prior to submission. Their accession number should be provided in the submitted manuscript and the sequences should be made public prior to publication.

Microarray data: it is strongly recommended that data from microarray experiments be deposited in a public database such as GEO ( or ArrayExpress ( Otherwise, authors must ensure that all raw and processed data are available to the reviewers for evaluation.

Units of measurement: follow the Système International (SI). Always respect the space between the number and the units (e.g. 100 °C, 25 mg). Use small l for liter).

Genetic loci are italicized; protein products of the loci are not italicized. Latin words in current use, such as in vitro/vivo/situ, via, as well as abbreviations for expressions such as cf., e.g., i.e., et al., appear in Roman type.



A paper sent back to the authors for revision should be returned to us within 2 months, together with a letter describing all modifications performed as well as answers to the reviewers’ and editor’s remarks, item by item; otherwise, it will be considered as a new submission. Authors requiring additional time should contact the editor. The Publications Office may request additional modifications after acceptance of a paper if the length is excessive or if the format does not conform to instructions.



Proofs are sent to the author responsible for correspondence. After careful correction, return them to the publisher within 48 h. If there is no response the article will be published as it appeared in the first proofs. Aside from typographical errors, no changes can be made in the references.

Elsevier provides either 25 free reprints of each article or the PDF version. To purchase additional reprints, fill in the order form, which accompanies the proofs and return it to the publisher together with the corrected proofs.



As soon as the article is published, the author is considered to have transferred his or her rights to the publisher. Requests for reproduction should be sent to the Publisher:



This journal offers authors a choice in publishing their research:

Open access 
• Articles are freely available to both subscribers and the wider public with permitted reuse
• An open access publication fee is payable by authors or their research funder

• Articles are made available to subscribers as well as developing countries and patient groups through our access programs (
• No open access publication fee

All articles published open access will be immediately and permanently free for everyone to read and download. Permitted reuse is defined by your choice of one of the following Creative Commons user licenses:

Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY): lets others distribute and copy the article, to create extracts, abstracts, and other revised versions, adaptations or derivative works of or from an article (such as a translation), to include in a collective work (such as an anthology), to text or data mine the article, even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit the author(s), do not represent the author as endorsing their adaptation of the article, and do not modify the article in such a way as to damage the author's honor or reputation.
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA): for non-commercial purposes, lets others distribute and copy the article, to create extracts, abstracts and other revised versions, adaptations or derivative works of or from an article (such as a translation), to include in a collective work (such as an anthology), to text and data mine the article, as long as they credit the author(s), do not represent the author as endorsing their adaptation of the article, do not modify the article in such a way as to damage the author's honor or reputation, and license their new adaptations or creations under identical terms (CC BY-NC-SA).
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND): for non-commercial purposes, lets others distribute and copy the article, and to include in a collective work (such as an anthology), as long as they credit the author(s) and provided they do not alter or modify the article.

To provide open access, this journal has a publication fee which needs to be met by the authors or their research funders for each article published open access. 
Your publication choice will have no effect on the peer review process or acceptance of submitted articles.

The publication fee for this journal is $1950, excluding taxes. Learn more about Elsevier's pricing policy:


For further information concerning our journal, please contact:

Editorial Office:
Institut Pasteur
Publications Office
28 rue du Dr Roux
75724 Paris cedex 15, France
fax: 33 1 4568 8184

Géraldine Legras
Editorial Coordinator

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