eLife is a peer-reviewed open access scientific journal for the biomedical and life sciences. It was established at the end of 2012 by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Max Planck Society, and Wellcome Trust, following a workshop held in 2010 at the Janelia Farm Research Campus. Together, these organizations provided the initial funding to support the business and publishing operations. In 2016, the organizations committed USD$26 million to continue publication of the journal.
|Discipline||Biomedicine, life sciences|
|Edited by||Michael Eisen|
eLife Sciences Publications
|License||CC-BY 3.0, CC-BY 4.0, and CC0|
The current editor-in-chief is Michael Eisen (University of California, Berkeley), succeeding Randy Schekman who stepped down in January 2019. Editorial decisions are made largely by senior editors and members of the board of reviewing editors, all of whom are active scientists working in fields ranging from human genetics and neuroscience to biophysics and epidemiology.
Abstracting and indexingEdit
The journal is abstracted and indexed in Medline, BIOSIS Previews, Chemical Abstracts Service, Science Citation Index Expanded, and Scopus. According to the Journal Citation Reports, the journal has a 2016 impact factor of 7.725 (compared to 8.52 in 2013, 9.32 in 2014, 8.28 in 2015). The journal claims that it will not promote its impact factor. In an interview, Howard Hughes Medical Institute then President Robert Tjian reflected on eLife and noted, "The other big thing is, we want to kill the journal impact factor. We tried to prevent people who do the impact factors from giving us one. They gave us one anyway a year earlier than they should have. Don't ask me what it is because I truly don't want to know and don't care."
Most research articles published in the journal include an "eLife digest", a non-technical summary of the research findings aimed at a lay audience. Since December 2014, the journal has been sharing a selection of the digests on the blog publishing platform Medium.
Trying innovative rules of reviewEdit
During peer review process, eLife encourages the reviewers to discuss a manuscript and agree on a common recommendation. In June 2018, eLife announced that it would try innovative peer review model (for some 300 submissions) where the editorial decision to send a manuscript out for review is tantamount to offering publication to that manuscript, thereby putting the authors in control of publication  after editorial screening has been passed.
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