Welcome to eLife

Inside eLife
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Dear colleagues,

Welcome to the online home of eLife, the new researcher-driven collaborative for the very best in science and science communication.

Over the past year, you’ve no doubt heard that the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Max Planck Society, and Wellcome Trust will launch an open-access journal into the top tier of life science and biomedical publishing. With this site, we are pleased to share several more details about what we aim to do, beyond the fact that we have the support of these prestigious research funders.

First, who are “we?” The founding organizations have established eLife as a wholly independent, non-profit organization. eLife is led by me as editor-in-chief, along with deputy editors Fiona Watt and Detlef Weigel. We are supported by a small executive staff in Cambridge, UK, who bring their own rich and deep experience in science communication.

We are setting editorial policy in consultation with the board of senior editors, which includes some of the world’s most outstanding scientists. The senior editors, Fiona, Detlef, and I, will work with our 150-member board of reviewing editors to realize the fast, fair, and constructive review process we have in mind.

As you scroll around, you’ll learn about our distinctive plans for the journal. Our initiative has four aims:

  • To make publishing more efficient, by providing outstanding service to authors through a swift, constructive, and fair editorial process.
  • To exploit digital media in the presentation of results, by increasing their utility for further research and broadening participation to the widest possible audience.
  • To drive open access, by providing an outstanding new publishing option for authors with ground-breaking research.
  • To catalyse innovation in research communication, by experimentation, collaboration, and continuous improvement.

Now, consider how – by publishing in a journal designed to meet each of these aims – your very best works could gain even more traction, and achieve greater influence.

At eLife, publishing your article with a top journal is just the beginning; we want to see what can happen after that to advance science.

Join us in exploring eLife’s commitment to improving research communication. We’re sure you have many questions and we are eager to hear them. Please share them here in eLife Labs, our space for online community discussion.

Enjoy the site, and consider how eLife has the potential to transform science – beginning with the next big research story you have to tell.


Randy Schekman


Dept. of Mol. and Cell Biology

U. C. Berkeley

Berkeley, CA 94720-3202