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Writing Microbiology Resource Announcements (MRA)

Author(s): Arturo Diaz1, Julia Lee-Soety2, Shima Chaudhary3, Denise Monti4, Viknesh Sivanathan5, Richard Pollenz6, Alison Kanak7, Amy B Sprenkle8, Andrea R. Beyer9, Bridgette Kirkpatrick, Carole Twichell10, Christine A. Byrum11, Deborah Tobiason12, Dustin Edwards13, Elizabeth Godin14, Emily Savage, Heather Lindberg15, Holly Nance16, Jessica Rocheleau17, Julie Torruellas Garcia18, Kathryn E Dye19, Kristen Butela20, Lisa Bono21, Matthew David Mastropaolo22, Megan Dennis, Naomi Rowland23, Quinn Vega24, Regina V Alvarez25, Rocky Ng, Ruth Plymale26, Sergei A Markov27, Steven M Caruso28, Tara Turley Stoulig, Tiara Perez29, Vassie Ware30, Veronique Delesalle, Adam D Rudner, Beth Wilkes31, Christa Bancroft, Christine Fleischacker32, Eric Michael Engstrom33, Frederick N Baliraine34, Hari Kotturi35, Jacqueline Washington36, James Shanks37, Lee E Hughes38, Matthew Fisher39, Pamela Lucas Connerly40, Patricia Waikel41, Sarah Reardon, Sean Coleman42, Shallee Page43, Swati Agrawal44, Tamarah Adair, Thomas Ndolo3, Alexandra Jerby45, Amanda Freise46, Amaya Maria Garcia Costas47, Christy Fillman48, Dane Bowder49, Daniel Eric Westholm, Daniel Williams, Ellen Wisner50, Jennifer Guerrero51, Joseph Stukey52, Karen Klyczek53, Kari Clase54, Maria Gainey55, MARY ASI-TIM AYUK56, Mauricio Antunes38, Rebecca Bortz57, Steven Cresawn58, Suparna Bhalla59, Victoria Jane Frost60, C. Nicole Sunnen61, Mitchell Balish62, Brett Pickett63, Claire Rinehart23, Luis Actis62, Megan Valentine64, Alyssa Gleichsner64, Melissa Harrison65, Jennifer Broderick66, Sally Molloy67, Gerry Zegers68, Jared Stees69, Kara Thoemke70, Rodney King23, Liz Williams71, Jon Mitchell72, John Rombold73, Kissaou Tchedre74, Edwin Vazquez75, Sharon Gusky76, Elvira Eivazova77, Dominique Dotson78, Alejandra Mussi79, Jacob Kagey80, Randy DeJong81, Catherine Ward82, Rebekah Hare83, Kathryn Kohl60, Imade Nsa84, Tejas Bouklas46, Sarah Tolsma85, Charlotte Berkes86, Melody Neely67, Aimee Danley20

1. La Sierra University 2. Saint Joseph’s University 3. South Texas College 4. University of North Florida 5. Howard Hughes Medical Institute 6. University of South Florida 7. University of North Georgia 8. Salem State University 9. Virginia State University 10. Collin College 11. College of Charleston 12. Carthage College 13. Tarleton State University 14. Marist College 15. Virginia Western Community College 16. College of Coastal Georgia 17. University of Massachusetts, Amherst 18. Nova Southeastern University 19. Mount St. Mary's University 20. University of Pittsburgh 21. Texas Tech University 22. Neumann University 23. Western Kentucky University 24. Montclair State University 25. Dominican University New York 26. Ouachita Baptist University 27. Austin Peay State University 28. University of Maryland, Baltimore County 29. Benedictine University 30. Lehigh University 31. NHTI- Concord's Community College 32. University of Mary 33. Monmouth College 34. LeTourneau University 35. University of Central Oklahoma 36. Nyack College 37. University of California Santa Cruz 38. University of North Texas 39. Oregon Coast Community College 40. Indiana University Southeast 41. Florida International University 42. Wartburg College 43. Franklin Pierce University 44. University of Mary Washington 45. Wingate 46. University of California, Los Angeles 47. Colorado State University-Pueblo 48. University of Colorado, Boulder 49. Doane University 50. University of North Carolina Charlotte 51. University of Texas at San Antonio 52. Hope College 53. University of Wisconsin-River Falls 54. Purdue University 55. Western Carolina University 56. Bates College 57. 207580856 58. James Madison University 59. Mount Saint Mary College 60. Winthrop University 61. Saint Joseph's University 62. Miami University 63. Brigham Young University 64. State University of New York-Plattsburgh 65. Cabrini University 66. Thiel College 67. University of Maine, Honors College 68. University of Maine, Machias 69. Santa Fe College 70. College of St. Scholastica 71. University of Ottawa 72. Northern State University 73. Northwest Indian College 74. Austin Community College 75. University of Puerto Rico at Cayey 76. Northwestern Connecticut Community Colleges 77. Columbia State Community College 78. Coppin State University 79. Universidad Nacional de Rosario 80. University of Detroit Mercy 81. Calvin University 82. Durham Technical Community College 83. Gonzaga University 84. University of Lagos 85. Northwestern College 86. Merrimack College

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After annotating their phage genomes, students will write a manuscript describing the phage(s) they discovered. The manuscript will be published on the pre-print repository BioRxiv, where it will be indexed and searchable via PubMed and can be readily referenced. Faculty and students can then submit the same manuscript for peer review and consideration for publication in the journal Microbial Resource Announcements (MRA).  The resource includes a validated rubric for meaningful assessment of student learning.  


Learning objectives  
After completing this module, students should be able to:

  • Write drafts of a manuscript describing characteristics of their phage, including isolation parameters, morphological characteristics, and genetic content. 
  • Collaborate with their peers to write a final draft of the manuscript ready for submission to BioRxiv and/or MRA.

  • Understand that scientific writing is an ongoing process from drafting, finalizing, peer review, and final publication.

  • Be proficient in locating suitable resources and using appropriate citations for the publication.


How is the module structured to promote student development as a scientist?  

One of the most important aspects of being a scientist is becoming an excellent writer to communicate the results of projects. Quality writing exemplifies the basic skills expected of a trained scientist: organization, attention to detail, and critical analysis. After annotating their phage genomes, students will initially write a manuscript draft before working collaboratively as a class to develop a final draft. This module will promote peer collaboration, encourage engagement and independence, model scientific thinking, and produce scientific output.


Intended Teaching Setting

  • Course level:  majors, first-year students, upper-level students, honors students

  • Instructional Setting:  In-person classroom or online

  • Implementation Time Frame:  4-5 hours from writing preliminary draft to final draft ready for submission


Project Documents

Facilitator document:
0 - Genome Announcement Facilitator Guide

Learning activity document(s): 

1- Genome Announcement Data Collection Template

2- Genome Announcement Template

3- Genome Announcement Faculty Checklist

4- Writing a Genome Announcement Validated Rubric

5- Writing a Genome Announcement Grading Rubric


Acknowledgments:  HHMI



Version 1.1 updates the change from using Genome Announcement to Microbiology Resource Announcement. The Guide also provides clarity on the process to work with the University of Pittsburgh to assure that Genbank Accession numbers and SRA information is submitted.

Version 2.1.  This version, uploaded in January 2022, reflects substantial updates to the original QUBES resource.  Version 2.1 is intended to serve as a resource for faculty and students writing a Microbiology Resource Announcement.  The templates included in this version of the QUBES resource are designed to ensure that all information needed for MRA submission is included in the final written document.  The resource also includes an updated grading rubric that reflects the information necessary for MRA submission.  

Version 3.1.  This version, uploaded in January 2023 includes a new General Template that could be used to generate a genome announcement with a published format.  The General Template might be appropriate for bioRxiv, or similar publications.    The updated General template is a result of feedback from faculty using Version 2.1.  

Version 4.1.  This version, uploaded in November 2023, includes a SEA community-validated rubric.  An original version of the rubric that included expert steps for writing an MRA was presented to the SEA community in June 2023, and the rubric was subsequently validated in two rounds of community checking; the first round of validation occurred at the June faculty meeting, and the second round of validation occurred in fall 2023 by a volunteer group of SEA faculty.  All faculty participating in the validation of the rubric are included as authors on the resource (108 members of the SEA community).  

Version 5.1.  This version, updated in February 2024, reflects a change in language from Microbial Resource Announcement to Genome Announcement.  The Genome Announcement Template format was revised from the previous 2-column format to a 1-column format.  The validated rubric was also revised from a portrait page view to a landscape page view, which allows for easier reading of the rubric.  A few minor language edits were also made to the validated rubric.  A grading rubric was added that is based on the features of the validated rubric but is better formatted for scoring student work.  

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Arturo Diaz, Julia Lee-Soety, Shima Chaudhary, Denise Monti, Viknesh Sivanathan, Richard Pollenz, Alison Kanak, Amy B Sprenkle, Andrea R. Beyer, Bridgette Kirkpatrick, Carole Twichell, Christine A. Byrum, Deborah Tobiason, Dustin Edwards, Elizabeth Godin, Emily Savage, Heather Lindberg, Holly Nance, Jessica Rocheleau, Julie Torruellas Garcia, Kathryn E Dye, Kristen Butela, Lisa Bono, Matthew David Mastropaolo, Megan Dennis, Naomi Rowland, Quinn Vega, Regina V Alvarez, Rocky Ng, Ruth Plymale, Sergei A Markov, Steven M Caruso, Tara Turley Stoulig, Tiara Perez, Vassie Ware, Veronique Delesalle, Adam D Rudner, Beth Wilkes, Christa Bancroft, Christine Fleischacker, Eric Michael Engstrom, Frederick N Baliraine, Hari Kotturi, Jacqueline Washington, James Shanks, Lee E Hughes, Matthew Fisher, Pamela Lucas Connerly, Patricia Waikel, Sarah Reardon, Sean Coleman, Shallee Page, Swati Agrawal, Tamarah Adair, Thomas Ndolo, Alexandra Jerby, Amanda Freise, Amaya Maria Garcia Costas, Christy Fillman, Dane Bowder, Daniel Eric Westholm, Daniel Williams, Ellen Wisner, Jennifer Guerrero, Joseph Stukey, Karen Klyczek, Kari Clase, Maria Gainey, MARY ASI-TIM AYUK, Mauricio Antunes, Rebecca Bortz, Steven Cresawn, Suparna Bhalla, Victoria Jane Frost, C. Nicole Sunnen, Mitchell Balish, Brett Pickett, Claire Rinehart, Luis Actis, Megan Valentine, Alyssa Gleichsner, Melissa Harrison, Jennifer Broderick, Sally Molloy, Gerry Zegers, Jared Stees, Kara Thoemke, Rodney King, Liz Williams, Jon Mitchell, John Rombold, Kissaou Tchedre, Edwin Vazquez, Sharon Gusky, Elvira Eivazova, Dominique Dotson, Alejandra Mussi, Jacob Kagey, Randy DeJong, Catherine Ward, Rebekah Hare, Kathryn Kohl, Imade Nsa, Tejas Bouklas, Sarah Tolsma, Charlotte Berkes, Melody Neely, Aimee Danley (2024). Writing Microbiology Resource Announcements (MRA). HHMI Science Education Alliance (SEA) Faculty Group, (Version 5.1). QUBES Educational Resources. doi:10.25334/B5BS-F125

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