eLife’s New Model: A statement from our board

eLife’s Board of Directors has issued a public letter of support for our new publishing model.

In response to a Nature News Feature published March 17, eLife’s Board of Directors has issued the following letter of support for our new publishing model and leadership:

As a board, we are deeply grateful to eLife’s editorial community – past and present – for their contributions. We recognize and welcome that our community has divergent perspectives. There are challenges in change, and we acknowledge that adapting to new processes is time-consuming for those supporting the journal. We approach these challenges in the spirit of a shared mission: innovative science, driven by effective communication and review.

The decision to evolve eLife to the new publishing model was made by eLife’s board. It was not a decision made by any individual employee of eLife. At the board’s behest, the staff of eLife and members of the editorial team have worked hard over several years – and continue to do so today – to make this transition possible.

eLife was founded in 2012 with the mission to innovate in scholarly publishing. Following its initial success in establishing itself as an open access publisher of high-quality science, the board decided in 2020 to take action in order to remain on the leading edge of publishing as the landscape shifts. We aim to leverage early author-driven research sharing via preprints, encourage public review to benefit readers and authors alike, eliminate accept/reject decisions to reduce dependency on journal name, and explore a more sustainable business model.

A key decision was to evolve eLife itself, rather than experiment with a new journal. The current approach to running two publishing processes is temporary. Reviewed Preprints, not regular submissions, are the long-term future for eLife. The Reviewed Preprints and Versions of Record contain concise indicators that evaluate contributions to eLife on the dimensions of significance and strength of support. The risks associated with these decisions are acknowledged and owned by the board. As part of our commitment to transparency in data at eLife, we will be making submission and publication data public.

As a board we are committed to delivering the mission of eLife, and we have full confidence in the ability of eLife’s staff and the editorial team to achieve this.


The eLife Board of Directors


Questions and comments are welcome. Please annotate publicly on the article or contact us at hello [at] elifesciences [dot] org.

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