Moving research forward: eLife announces the Research Advance

Cambridge, UK - August 13th, 2014

eLife has introduced an innovative new type of article – the Research Advance – that invites the authors of any eLife paper to present significant additions to their original research.

eLife is committed to finding new ways of getting important, original research into scientists’ hands as quickly as possible. eLife achieves this through an efficient peer-review process and by publishing papers just a few days after acceptance. But research does not stop with the publication of a paper; often experimental designs are rapidly refined and new techniques are developed that can affect the original conclusions.

The eLife Research Advance now enables eLife authors to publish significant additions to their published article. In these short contributions, authors can report new developments and explain the implications they may have on the original research.

eLife has published two Research Advances today, including one about how an electron cryo-microscopy technique -- first reported in eLife by Bai et al. -- is useful in studying the structure of smaller macromolecules. An accompanying editorial says, “The work of the Scheres lab is a fine example of what we are trying to achieve with Research Advances. To build this work into a full article might well have taken a great deal more time and delayed the communication of an improvement that many researchers might benefit from. With the publication of the Research Advance, the Scheres lab have efficiently communicated their new finding, can keep track of the utility of the new work, and can move on with their other projects.” The editorial also describes ways in which the Research Advance concept might be developed in the future.

The Research Advance will generally be a short contribution of about 1,500 words, excluding methods, and may include up to four main figures, tables, or videos. The editors and reviewers who assessed the original manuscript will typically review the Research Advances and, when published, they will be clearly linked to the original research paper, whilst remaining indexed and citable in their own right.

The eLife editorial, “Advancing Research,” is available at

eLife’s first Research Advances are online at and

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About eLife Sciences

eLife Sciences is a unique collaboration between the funders and practitioners of research to communicate ground-breaking discoveries in the life and biomedical sciences in the most effective way. The eLife journal is a platform for maximising the reach and influence of new discoveries and showcasing new approaches to the presentation, use, and assessment of research. eLife is supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society, and the Wellcome Trust. Learn more at