eLife introduces new process to simplify publication fee payments for authors

The new system removes the burden of handling fee invoices for Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators who publish their work as eLife Reviewed Preprints, and will be rolled out to more authors in the coming months.
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eLife has introduced a system that aims to simplify the payment process for authors who submit their preprints to its new model for publishing.

The system will mean that authors can focus on the submission of their work to eLife without having to worry about handling fee invoices as part of the process. While it is currently in place for authors with a major contribution from a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) laboratory, eLife plans to open it up to those from other research institutions over the coming months.

This process builds on one that eLife has had in place with the Max Planck Society since January 2017. For authors, the systems will work in the same way, but the invoices are handled differently between eLife and the two organisations.

As one of eLife’s founding funders, HHMI has long supported the organisation’s mission to innovate in open-access publishing. In January 2023, eLife launched its new model of publishing, where preprints that are sent for review are published on the eLife website as Reviewed Preprints, alongside the public reviews and an eLife assessment. The model is designed to make the publication process faster, fairer and more transparent for researchers.

In support of this goal, HHMI has collaborated with eLife to make the payment process more efficient for its lab heads who publish their work as Reviewed Preprints. When eligible authors send their work to eLife, they can simply declare their affiliation during the submission process, and HHMI will handle the invoice on their behalf through a centralised account if the paper is sent for review.

Fiona Hutton, eLife Head of Publishing, says: “Receiving and processing publication fee invoices can be a major pain point for authors, so we’re pleased to have a system in place that will take care of this for them. Our process means that they will not receive an invoice at all. The payment will instead be arranged by their institution directly, taking some of the administrative burden away from the authors.”

“We would like to make it easier for our scientists to participate in innovative models of publishing that prioritise transparency and integrity,” says Michele Avissar-Whiting, Program Officer, Open Science Strategy at HHMI. “This new system simplifies the submission process for scientists and allows them to focus their energy on their science.”

eLife plans to extend the process to its other funder-partners and additional institutions once it is more established. We encourage any interested institutions to please contact us at the details below.

“We hope that many others will sign up for our payment system in the future and help us make the research publication process as efficient as possible for a wider community of authors,” Hutton concludes.

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eLife transforms research communication to create a future where a diverse, global community of scientists and researchers produces open and trusted results for the benefit of all. Independent, not-for-profit and supported by funders, we improve the way science is practised and shared. From the research we publish, to the tools we build, to the people we work with, we’ve earned a reputation for quality, integrity and the flexibility to bring about real change. eLife receives financial support and strategic guidance from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, the Max Planck Society and Wellcome. Learn more at https://elifesciences.org/about.