Research funders renew commitment to transforming science publishing

Non-profit eLife receives a second round of funding.
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eLife has announced that its three founders, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the Max Planck Society and the Wellcome Trust are extending their support for the non-profit initiative. The significant new investment affirms eLife successes to date and will boost the organisation’s ambition to help scientists accelerate discovery.

“We’re thrilled by this show of faith from our founders,” says Toby Coppel, Chair of the eLife Board of Directors and Partner at Mosaic Ventures in London. “We count on research funders not just for support, but inspiration on how eLife can create enduring improvements for science. Their renewed commitment is a sign that we’re on the right track.”

eLife aims to make the communication of results more beneficial for the scientific community as a whole, by operating a platform for presenting research that encourages and recognises the most responsible behaviours in science.

The high-profile, open-access eLife journal was the first, essential step in this initiative. It’s now home to over 1,700 original research articles spanning the life sciences and biomedicine and is a venue for experimenting with new approaches to presenting results of scientific research.

Robert Tjian, President of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, says: “eLife has established itself as a progressive source of excellent science, and that’s an important first step. We believe that eLife is well positioned to continue breaking through the usual constraints in publishing, ultimately improving the conduct and communication of science.”

While eLife has made its name largely through its consultative approach to peer review and the papers it has published, the organisation seeks to improve all aspects of research communication in support of excellent science – from technology and infrastructure to the ways individuals receive recognition.

“Features such as the open-source publishing platform, Continuum, and eLife Research Advances are only the first exciting new developments we expect to see,” adds Kevin Moses, Director of Science at the Wellcome Trust. “We are very pleased with what eLife has achieved so far, and look forward to working with eLife to drive innovation in open-access publishing.”

"The Max Planck Society strives towards making scientific results available to as broad an audience as possible, both inside and outside the scientific community,” adds Bill Hansson, Vice President of the Max Planck Society. “eLife is an integral and important part of this strategy."

eLife’s Editor-in-Chief Randy Schekman also expressed his delight at having the founders recommit their support. He says: “Our relationship with these prestigious organisations has helped put eLife on the map, and the hard work of leading scientists worldwide has made us a success. The fact that these three organisations have decided to invest in us again is an affirmation that changing how high-profile journals operate remains a critical challenge, as does speeding up how important results are made available. These are challenges that we are prepared to take on.”

For details on eLife’s progress from 2012 to 2014, please read our annual reports.

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eLife is a unique collaboration between the funders and practitioners of research to improve the way important research is selected, presented and shared. eLife publishes outstanding works across the life sciences and biomedicine — from basic biological research to applied, translational, and clinical studies. All papers are selected by active scientists in the research community. Decisions and responses are agreed by the reviewers and consolidated by the Reviewing Editor into a single, clear set of instructions for authors, removing the need for laborious cycles of revision and allowing authors to publish their findings quickly. eLife is supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society and the Wellcome Trust. Learn more at

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