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Tuesday, December 13, 2011


HHMI Announced for eLife, New Open Access Journal

The senior editorial team is today announced for eLife, the new top-tier, open-access research journal to be launched next year with the support of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society and the Wellcome Trust.

The senior editorial team is comprised of internationally-renowned, active researchers from Europe, North America and Asia. They will operate independently of the founding organizations and will ensure fair, swift and high-quality editorial decisions.

Editor-in-chief Randy Schekman and managing executive editor Mark Patterson will be joined by deputy editors, Fiona Watt, currently at the University of Cambridge, UK, and Detlef Weigel from the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Tubingen, Germany. They will be supported by around 15-20 senior editors – researchers who represent a broad range of biomedical and life science research fields.

“This exceptionally talented editorial team brings enormous experience and achievement in research and publishing as well as seasoned judgment in the identification of the most important discoveries.”
Randy W. Schekman

“Our aim is to make eLife a journal that serves the best interests of science – a journal for scientists, edited by scientists,” said Schekman. “This exceptionally talented editorial team brings enormous experience and achievement in research and publishing as well as seasoned judgment in the identification of the most important discoveries.”

“As active investigators engaged in research, the editorial team we have assembled will solicit and consider the finest contributions from all sources in the life sciences and biomedical community,” said Watt.

Explaining the rationale behind the journal’s name, Weigel said: “The name ‘eLife’ reflects the online and open-access nature of our new journal, and that it will cover the full range of life and biomedical sciences. Our ambition is to make this a unique journal that will serve as a catalyst for broader reinvention of research communication.”

The announcement to support the new journal was made in June by the three scientific organizations. The initial goals of the journal are open-access publication of highly significant research; high-quality editorial decision-making by an independent team of active, practicing scientists; and a rapid and cutting-edge publishing process.

Over the next few months, the senior editorial team will identify around 150 experts to serve as members of a board of reviewing editors. One of the specific goals of the editorial process is to provide authors with a decision letter that integrates the reviewers’ comments and clearly identifies points that need to be addressed for successful acceptance. The overall aims are to speed up the review process, provide explicit and coherent advice to authors and reduce the often unnecessary and burdensome requests that come from multiple disparate critiques.

eLife will seek to publish all research considered to be highly influential in its potential to advance our understanding, to drive a field forward, or in its real-world outcomes. The editorial team will assess submissions efficiently and fairly on the basis of their intrinsic merits.

For an initial period, to help establish the journal, no fees will be charged to authors. In time, it is anticipated that authors will be charged an article-processing fee to cover some of the on-going costs of publication.

The first issue of eLife is expected late next year. The journal will utilise the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license (CC BY 3.0) so that the content can be shared and used without restriction.

The current list of the Editorial Team (with additional appointments anticipated) is as follows:

Senior Editorial Team

Randy Schekman

HHMI Investigator, University of California, Berkeley


Fiona Watt

King’s College London (from 2012)

Deputy Editor

Detlef Weigel

Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Tubingen

Deputy Editor

Editorial Board

Ian Baldwin

Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Jena

Evolutionary Biology

Catherine Dulac

HHMI Investigator, Harvard University

Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Joseph Goldstein

University of Texas Southwestern Medical School

Medical Genetics / Medical Physiology and Metabolism

Tony Hunter

Salk Institute

Cell signalling and basic cancer biology

John Kuriyan

HHMI Investigator, University of California, Berkeley

Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology

Richard Losick

HHMI Professor, Harvard University

Microbiology and Pathogens

James Manley

Columbia University

Chromosomes and Gene Expression

Eve Marder

Brandeis University

Systems Neuroscience

Michael Marletta

The Scripps Research Institute

Chemical Biology

Janet Rossant

University of Toronto

Developmental Biology

Charles Sawyers

HHMI Investigator, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Research Institute

Oncology and Translational Medicine

Tadatsugu Taniguchi

University of Tokyo


K VijayRaghavan

National Center for Biological Sciences, Bangalore

Genetics & Genomics

Xiaodong Wang

National Institute of Biological Sciences, Beijing

Cell Biology / Medical Physiology and Metabolism

Huda Zoghbi

HHMI Investigator, Baylor College of Medicine

Animal Models of Human Disease and Behavioral Sciences

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