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Media policy

eLife's media policy is designed to encourage high-quality, informed and widespread discussion of research that we peer-review and publish.

Media outreach for eLife papers

eLife only peer-reviews and publishes articles that are made publicly available as preprints. In January 2023, we switched to a new model of publishing that ends the accept–reject decision after peer review. Instead, papers invited for review are published as Reviewed Preprints that contain public peer reviews and an eLife assessment. We also continue to publish research that is accepted after peer review as part of our traditional process.

As articles under review at eLife are already available as preprints, authors are free to present their findings to their peers, including at meetings and conferences, and to blog about their work. They are also welcome to speak to the media about their study at any time and may share their preprint with journalists as they prefer. They may also wish to ask eLife and/or their institutional press office to help with promoting the peer-reviewed version of their preprint when it is published. eLife pitches studies widely at the time of publication only, so that as many journalists as possible receive the story and have access to the peer-reviewed eLife paper at the same time, and we encourage external press officers to do the same.

Our policy not to embargo eLife papers

Because eLife only peer-reviews articles that are already available as preprints, we do not release our content under embargo. This means that journalists can write and publish articles about preprints under review at eLife at any time without breaking an embargo. However, we strongly recommend that their stories are published at the time of or after publication, so that readers have access to the peer-reviewed version of the paper. As a result of our policy not to embargo, both eLife and press officers from external organisations are unable to submit press releases under embargo to news websites such as EurekAlert! and AlphaGalileo.

Making research content widely accessible

eLife has always supported the rapid and open sharing of new research through publication on preprint servers. As part of our new publishing model, Reviewed Preprints are published alongside the public reviews and an eLife assessment that reflects the significance of the findings and the strength of the evidence reported in the preprint. Author responses are also included where available. In our traditional model, many eLife papers are published with a plain-language summary (called an eLife digest) to explain the background and central findings of the work to a broad readership. We also publish the most substantive parts of the decision letter that is sent to authors after peer review (and which is based on the referees' reports on the paper), along with the authors' response to this letter, to provide greater context for the work. Where eLife considers papers to be of potential interest to a broad audience, we will also promote these widely to the media and to interested readers either on the day of publication or post publication.

Corporate news and announcements

In addition to research content published in eLife, we distribute press releases relating to developments within our organisation. As this is non-research content, we may issue it in advance with an embargo if we feel it necessary to do so.