Bioengineered: Editor Q&A
We caught up with Mohammad Taherzadeh, Editor-in-Chief of 'Bioengineered', to discuss the development of the journal, current challenges within the research community and what the journal has to offer to authors.
What is Bioengineered about?
Bioengineered is a journal devoted to developing various aspects of biotechnology and how it can be used to improve the environment and quality of our health and lives. Some examples of this in practice include tackling global warming through the use of biofuels; adapting biological processes to produce new materials, such as anaerobic digestion for the production of hydrogen or volatile fatty acids for green synthesis of 2,5-furan dicarboxylic acid; and medical developments, such the diagnosis and treatment of cancers. The journal aims to integrate bioengineering into other disciplines, which stands us apart from other journals.
As the Editor for Bioengineered, what are your plans for the next year?
My main goal is to develop the journal quality using a reliable and constructive review process from submission to publication. We also aim to publish several review articles within the field written by prominent authors. I am also interested in expanding the journal to reach new audiences, particularity those working on environmental biotechnology
What are the current challenges facing the research community?
There are many challenges posing a threat to society that the research community needs to be addressing. The increasing population globally combined with longer life expediencies and higher welfare standards means that current rates of consumption are not sustainable. In the environment and health aspects of biotechnology, there is currently not enough research or resource to face these challenges and take results and research into society. Bioengineering is an advanced tool to help meet these challenges, and so we need to work as a research community to encourage and develop new food sources, new energy sources, and encourage policy makers towards a bio-economy. By developing new ideas and publishing new achievements carried out by prominent research groups. the journal can contribute to a wider conversation in society.
Which topics are you most interested to cover in the journal?
The journal covers various aspects of biotechnology and bioengineering that could be important for health and the environment, and we welcome submissions in various relevant topics (see our aims and scope for a full list of topics). However, I would like to see more submissions on research that deals with a particular challenge in the world, such as how bioengineering can provide food for future generations with low environmental impacts, or how we can treat cancer, or even papers that introduce a new method in biotechnology. For another example, biofuels was a 'hot topic' last year, but I'd like to see the conversation move more towards biomaterials and materials with particular functions that could be beneficial to the environment, health, food production, and so on.
How do authors benefit from publication in the journal?
Bioengineered provides an excellent platform to achieve high impact with your research by reaching the scientific community all over the world across a broad range of topics. As a fully open access journal, authors increase the possibility of visibility and citation of their work. Bioengineered provides a reliable platform with a concrete and constructive review process and rapid publication platform. We also offer the possibility to have personal communications with the editors, for example we are open to suggestions for special issues based on up-and-coming areas of research.
Is there a benefit to being open access and if so, how does that help authors?
Two aspects are important for open access publications. The first one is that the publications get a wider audience that do not have to pay to read the research work, which increases the visibility of the research (and therefore the possibility of citation goes up).
The second effect is that authors keep the copyright for their research, meaning no limitations on further publication and also commercialization of their results.
What would your advice be to early career researchers?
Join an active research group and try to publish several papers with open access to improve the visibility of your research. Also, review others manuscripts if you get a chance to keep on top of what is happening in your field. The key is to build up your research network - don't be afraid to get in touch with other like-minded researchers to share ideas and collaborate if appropriate.
What support can you give authors and researchers who are hoping to publish in your journal?
We offer personal communication with the editors if needed, and have a rapid, reliable, and constructive review process. Anyone who is interested in publishing in the journal can get in touch with me or or the associate editor to see if your research will be a good fit for publication in Bioengineered.
How can someone who would like to publish in Bioengineered go about doing so?
Mohammed has chosen a selection of popular recent articles from the journal below on the theme of RNAs.
The majority of RNA species in eukaryotic cells is comprised of non-coding RNA (ncRNA) rather than messenger RNA (mRNA), and studies have shown that these ncRNAs play a vital role in physiological and developmental processes. Previously, scientists mainly focused on linear ncRNAs, such as long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) and micro-RNAs (miRNAs), indicating that these linear ncRNAs have multiple functions in physiological and pathological processes. As a kind of unique circular ncRNA, circular RNAs (circRNAs) have been considered accidental by-products or ‘splicing noise’ with low abundance and little functional potential, resulting from errors during post-transcriptional processing. Now, circRNAs have been recognized and taken seriously in various biological fields. Recent studies have experimentally confirmed the significant biological functions of circRNAs, especially in the field of cancer.
Source: Shang Q et al. The novel roles of circRNAs in human cancer. Mol Cancer. 2019 Jan 9;18(1):6. doi: 10.1186/s12943-018-0934-6