Sixty Years Of the SEBBM Journal

This year SEBBM celebrates its 60 year anniversary and is delivering a range of events and activities to celebrate the occasion. Here they review the history and current scope of the SEBBM Journal, one of its key outputs and an ongoing reflection of scientific activity in Spain.
Sixty Years Of the SEBBM Journal

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The SEBBM Journal is a channel for analysis, reflection and dissemination of scientific activity in Spain and of public and private research policies. Its origins date back to 1963, coinciding with the foundation of the SEB, the predecessor of the SEBBM. It has been published uninterruptedly since then. In 2023 we celebrate its sixtieth anniversary.

Growing with the Society

In 2023 the Spanish Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (SEBBM) turns sixty years old, and the SEBBM Journal stands out among the scientific dissemination activities from its origins. Initially, it was a communication channel of the Spanish Society of Biochemistry (SEB), SEBBM’s predecessor, and had a modest format. The first circulars, which lacked a fixed periodicity, were sheets printed with a cyclostyle, of which no copies have been preserved. These gave way to five-page typewritten circulars that reported on the national and international congresses and scientific meetings of the biochemical societies (e.g., SEB, SFBBM, FEBS, IUB, among others) and announced their grant and scholarship programs. SEB circulars were a means of communication between members from the early 1960s until 1993. They were edited by the SEB's president and secretary in those years.

The SEB Circulars were followed by the SEBBM Bulletins (1994-2006). In January 1994 the first SEBBM Bulletin was published with a change of format and a larger number of pages, ten to twelve. The bulletins incorporated new sections: initially, notes dedicated to the collaboration with other biochemical societies and to the sponsoring members, news of general interest of the Society (congresses and scientific meetings, advanced courses, calls for grants and fellowships, scientific awards), as well as opinions and reviews from the members.

The SEBBM Bulletin, with an edition in which blue and black stand out, renewed its format and design in September 1998 (No. 122) and in July 1999 (No. 125). It increased the number of pages to twenty and included new sections: "Opinion Tribune", "Scientific Dossier", "Science Policy", "Interview" and "Society". From issue 125 onwards, the bulletin includes color graphics on the cover and company advertisements and illustrations on the inside pages. The layout and printing was done by the publications service of the University of Barcelona and then by Ediciones Juventud, S.A. Between 1994 and 1999 it was published twice a year.  During its first stage, Carlos Gancedo, President of SEBBM (1992-1996) and María Antonia Günther, Secretary of SEBBM (1990-1994), were in charge of the edition. In 1996, Joan J. Guinovart, President of SEBBM (1996-2000), currently Honorary Editor, took over.

In 2006, coinciding with the publication of its 150th issue, the SEBBM Bulletin gives way to the SEBBM Journal, with a new, more attractive design and diverse content. It thus becomes an instrument of dissemination and opinion of wide recognition and social projection. It increases its circulation, is published quarterly, and is distributed beyond its members. It reaches institutions, official organizations and companies. The SEBBM Journal maintains the scientific dossier focused on topics of the highest quality and topicality. The articles are commissioned to the best specialists in the subject. In 2007 the editorial board instituted the figure of "guest editor", who coordinates the articles of each issue. It also includes articles and interviews on science policy and current issues, articles from collaborating companies on their developments and products, a selection of the best scientific articles from young research partners, book reviews, articles on university education and news from the Society. Joan J. Guinovart, President of SEBBM (1996-2000) and editor of the Journal (2006-2012) leads this renewal, which is continued by Miguel Ángel de la Rosa (2013-2020) and Antonio Ferrer (2020-now) as editors. Rubes Editorial S.L. (2004-2015), and ICM Comunicación S.L., since 2016, are in charge of layout and printing.

Collage of covers of the SEBBM Journal past and current issues
Covers of the SEBBM Journal past and current issues

History repeats itself

A review of the issues of the SEBBM Journal over the years shows us that the topics which have occupied its pages are not very different from those which occupy and concern us today. Some examples are: "More scientists are needed in governments" (No. 125, July 1999), "Women in science", "First Spanish biochemists", "Women scientists in industrial research", "The active waiting of women bioscientists" (No. 138, December 2003), "Electoral proposals" and "State Pact for Science" (No. 139, March 2004), "Challenges of science in the face of the crisis" (No. 162, December 2009).

At present, the SEBBM Journal, with fifty pages, is a channel for the analysis, reflection and dissemination of scientific activity in Spain and of public and private research policies. It publishes a dossier with monographic articles on current scientific issues and different sections which deal with topics of opinion and scientific policy of general interest, as well as scientific news, book reviews and internal affairs of the society. In addition, the "Research" section highlights the best papers published by its members in scientific journals. The "Education" section also reports on innovations and collaborative initiatives in university education.

Copies of the SEBBM Bulletin and the SEBBM Journal are kept in the SEBBM Historical Archive, which is deposited in the library of the Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas "Margarita Salas" (CSIC) for consultation. Since 2004 the SEBBM Journal has a digital edition available from the archive. Currently, we are working on a new portal for the digital SEBBM Journal to follow the pulse of time.

This is a translation of an article written in Spanish by Prof. Inmaculada Yruela Guerrero, from the Estación Experimental de Aula Dei (CSIC), and published on the SEBBM website on February 18, 2023.


SEBBM 60 year anniversary logo

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