Editorial team announced for ‘eLife’, the new open access journal to be launched next year

The senior editorial team was today announced for ‘eLife’, the new top-tier, open access research journal to be launched next year with the support of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society and the Wellcome Trust.

November 07, 2011

The senior editorial team will comprise internationally renowned, active researchers from Europe, North America and Asia. They will operate entirely independently of the founding organisations and will ensure fair, swift and high-quality editorial decisions.

Editor-in-Chief Dr Randy Schekman and Managing Executive Editor Dr Mark Patterson will be joined by two Deputy Editors, Professor Fiona Watt (currently at the University of Cambridge, UK) and Professor Detlef Weigel from the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Tübingen, Germany. They will be supported by approximately 15 to 20 additional Senior Editors - researchers who represent a broad range of biomedical and life science research fields.

Dr Schekman says: "Our aim is to make 'eLife' a journal that serves the best interests of science - a journal for scientists, edited by scientists. This exceptionally talented editorial team brings enormous experience and achievement in research and publishing as well as seasoned judgement in the identification of the most important discoveries."

Professor Watt adds: "As active investigators engaged in research, the editorial team we have assembled will solicit and consider the finest contributions from all sources in the life sciences and biomedical community."

Explaining the rationale behind the journal's name, Professor Weigel explains: "The name 'eLife' reflects the online and open access nature of our new journal, and that it will cover the full range of life and biomedical sciences. Our ambition is to make this a unique journal that will serve as a catalyst for broader reinvention of research communication."

The announcement to support the new journal was made in June by the three scientific organisations. The initial goals of the journal are: open access publication of highly significant research; high-quality editorial decision-making by an independent team of active, practising scientists; and a rapid and cutting-edge publishing process.

Over the next few months, the senior editorial team will identify approximately 150 experts to serve as members of a Board of Reviewing Editors. One of the specific goals of the editorial process is to provide authors with a decision letter that integrates the reviewers' comments and clearly identifies points that need to be addressed for successful acceptance. The overall aims are to speed up the review process, provide explicit and coherent advice to authors and reduce the often unnecessary and burdensome requests that come from multiple disparate critiques.

'eLife' will seek to publish all research considered to be highly influential in its potential to advance our understanding or to drive a field forward, or in its real-world outcomes. The editorial team will assess submissions efficiently and fairly on the basis of their intrinsic merits.

For an initial period, to help establish the journal, no fees will be charged to authors. In time, it is anticipated that authors will be charged an article processing fee to cover some of the ongoing costs of publication.

The first issue of 'eLife' is expected late next year. The journal will utilise the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license (CC BY 3.0) so that the content can be shared and used without restriction.

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