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ASM Press Committee

Caroline S. Harwood

Chair, ASM Press Committee


ASM Press is the book publishing division of the American Society for Microbiology. Every purchase of ASM Press products supports the society that supports the science of microbiology. ASM Press publishing models are fully focused on creation, distribution, and monetization of print and ebook content.


Showcasing the Breadth, Depth, and Relevance of Microbiology  

  • ASMscience launched in late September with >240 ASM Press books and 2 periodicals. This new site was designed for both individual and institutional users and was designed to increase the discoverability of microbiology content by the “slice.” Abstracts and previews for every book chapter can be found by all visitors.
  • Individual and institutional users’ access was successfully migrated to the new platform for products they had bought, or were accustomed to accessing, elsewhere. The old sites went dark in November.
  • The new EcoSal Plus serial debuted on ASMscience in September. The Editorial Board met three times and has commissioned 20 new articles. We launched a dedicated online submission and review site and applied for indexing in PubMed. EcoSal Plus has 50 institutional subscribers and 230 individual subscribers (90% ASM members).
  • The new bimonthly periodical Microbiology Spectrum launched on ASMscience in October and, guided by a large, international Editorial Board, published 23 articles across 5 topic areas in 2013. Fifteen institutional subscribers are taking advantage of the free access for 2014.


  • Eleven institutions around the world have purchased perpetual access to ASM’s eBooks Collections. Patrons have unlimited reading, printing, and use of hundreds of ASM Press titles.


Titles Published in 2013



Cross-Departmental Collaboration 

  • Chapters from two ASM Press books were adapted for publication in Microbe magazine: a two-part article by Cheese and Microbes author Paul Kinstedt was published in September and October, and a two-part article by Polar Microbiology: Life in a Deep Freeze authors Helen A. Vrionis, Robert V. Miller, and Lyle G. Whyte was published in November and December.
  • ASM International purchased ~$140,000 in print books used to establish BioResource Centers in Botswana, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Guyana, Haiti, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Ukraine, Vietnam, and Yemen.
  • As authors prepare the next edition of best-selling textbook Microbe, they are consulting with ASM Education’s Committee on Undergraduate Education and incorporating their new microbiology curriculum guidelines.
  • ASM Press exhibited and sold books at several ASM Conferences and Meetings as well as at gatherings of other scientific societies: European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID), Clinical Virology Symposium, ASM Conference on Undergraduate Education (ASMCUE), ASM’s General Meeting 2013, American Association for the History of Medicine (AAHM), Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) meeting on Microbial Pathogenesis, Frankfurt Book Fair, Charleston Librarians’ Conference, IDWeek, Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC), and American Society for Tropical Medical and Hygiene (ASTMH).
  • ASM Press presented ASM Membership materials at exhibits and provided flyers, catalogs, and books for many ASM Branch meetings. Most ASM Press products have a standard 20% discount for members.


Operations Management 

  • Nearly 700 chapters have been submitted to our online chapter submission and review system, which centralizes these tasks for ASM Press books and makes those processes shorter and more efficient.
  • We continued to fight unauthorized use of ASM Press content. Nearly 700 notices were sent to web sites that posted unauthorized copies of our books for sharing, demanding take down of the content. Three quarters of the offending sites are “cyberlockers,” online file hosting sites that require user authentication for access to posted content. Compliance with take-down notices is about 75% in 2 weeks. About 20% of the offenders are “peer-to-peer” file sharing networks; take-down compliance is about 40%. The 3 most pirated titles were Bacterial Pathogenesis (126 notices sent), Molecular Biotechnology (111 notices sent), and Molecular Genetics of Bacteria (59 notices sent), all textbooks.
  • We finished the process of securing outstanding digital rights for borrowed content appearing in front list and backlist books. This led us to examine how permissions are being requested by authors (unevenly, sometimes not obtaining the rights needed) and to begin a new procedure of requesting rights ourselves.
  • We streamlined the distribution of ASM Press products:
    • Storefront for all products: ASMscience.org
      • Print (ship) and digital (download) sales to individuals
      • Digital delivery to institutions
      • Institutional sales (eBook Collections, periodicals): Publishers Communications Group
    • Print sales to institutions and resellers:
      • North, Central, and South America: ASM
      • Rest of world: Taylor & Francis
    • eTextbook sales to individuals: Vital Source, CourseSmart
    • eBook sales (single titles, partial uses) to institutions: ebrary, MyiLibrary, R2, Knovel (engineering), StatRef (medical)


2013 Sales

  • Sales by format:
    • Print: $1,550,280—78% of revenue, down from 86% of revenue in 2012
    • Digital: $435,339—55% increase over 2012
  • Sales by book type:
    • References: $734,593
    • Textbooks: $664,995
    • Monographs: $259,822
    • Trade titles: $119,012
  • Sales by top products:
    • Molecular Genetics of Bacteria 4e: $271,844
    • eBooks Collections: $215,584
    • Manual of Clinical Microbiology 10e: $140,261
    • Principles of Virology 3e: $118,933
    • EcoSal Plus: $85,718
    • Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers 4e: $78,069
    • Molecular Biotechnology 4e: $66,082
    • Color Atlas of Medical Bacteriology 2e: $64,429


ASM Press Leadership

Strategic planning and content acquisitions are guided by the following groups.


ASM Press Committee: Carrie Harwood, Chair

Members: Joseph Campos, James B. Kaper, Kalmia E. Kniel, Nathan A. Ledeboer, Joseph E. Peters, Michael Sadowsky, and Joan L. Slonczewski


EcoSal Plus Editorial Board: Editor in Chief: James B. Kaper

Associate Editors: Michael S. Donnenberg, David Gordon, Peter Karp, Susan Lovett, David Rasko, James Slauch, and Valley Stewart

Section Editors: Andreas Bäumler, Tadhg P. Begley, Harris Bernstein, Sherwood Casjens, Andrei Kuzminov, and Gregory Phillips


Microbiology Spectrum Editorial Board: Editor in Chief: Michael Sadowsky

Associate Editors:

Bacterial Genetics, Cell Biology, Physiology: Tyrrell Conway, Andrew Darwin, Gary M. Dunny, Gisela Storz, and Alan J. Wolfe

Clinical Microbiology: James Johnson

Environmental Microbiology: Satoshi Ishii, John Lisle, and Suresh Pillai

Eukaryotes: Fungi and Parasitology: Joan Bennett, Joseph Heitman, Peter Hotez, and John Taylor

Food Microbiology: Arvind Bhagwat, Byron Brehm-Stecher, Francisco Diez-Gonzalez, Michael Doyle, and Hua Wang

Genomes, Computational, Informatics, Synthetic Microbiology: Janet Jansson, Emmanuel Mongodin, and Claudia Schmidt-Dannert

Immunology: Stefan Kaufmann

Pathogenesis: Vincent Fischetti, Joanna Goldberg, and Harry Mobley

Virology: Leslie Schiff and Ken Stedman