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The beginnings of The EMBO Journal


The EMBO Journal was started in 1982 when John Tooze was Executive Secretary of EMBO. In the foreword of the very first issue, Tooze and Klaus Weber, then Secretary General of EMBO, quote Francis Crick who wrote a few years earlier that "molecular biology can be defined as anything that interests molecular biologists." At the time, this was the essence of the journal. Tooze and Weber stated "If a paper interests an EMBO member sufficiently for her or him to communicate it and if it interests two members of the editorial board sufficiently for them to advise publication, then it will be published. In short the EMBO, in its journal as in its membership and other activities, will maintain a catholic definition of molecular biology."


Since 1982, The EMBO Journal has grown immeasurably. It now publishes papers describing original research of broad general interest in molecular and cell biology, with particular emphasis placed on molecular mechanism or physiological relevance.


Today, EMBO publishes four journals including EMBO reports, Molecular Systems Biology and EMBO Molecular Medicine. All four journals are now published as part of EMBO Press, a new publishing platform launched at the end of 2013 that delivers enhanced functionality, content and design, and a consistent set of constructive policies, editorial processes and quality standards across the four EMBO publications.


Listen to John Tooze talk about the early days of The EMBO Journal:



Read the foreword of the first issue of The EMBO Journal by John Tooze and Klaus Weber.


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