HHMI, the Max Planck Society, and the Wellcome Trust intend to launch an open-access journal for biomedical and life sciences research that breaks the mold set by traditional scientific journals. The three organizations announced the journal in June and the first issue is expected to be published in the summer of 2012. The journal’s tenets include a fast review process, online publishing, and an editorial team made up of active scientists.
The plans for the yet-to-be-named journal were developed after a workshop in 2010 at HHMI’s Janelia Farm Research Campus attended by a number of leading scientists. The participants concluded that there was a need for a model of academic publishing that better suits the needs of researchers.
“The message from the research community was clear,” says HHMI president Robert Tjian. “We are fortunate to have many excellent journals, but there is need for a different, more appropriate, and efficient publishing model.”
Editorial decisions for the planned journal will be made by a team of highly regarded, experienced, and practicing scientists who will ensure a transparent peer-review process aimed at limited revision and rapid publication. Accepted articles will be published online along with anonymous reviewers’ comments.
“This will be a journal for scientists edited by scientists,” says Sir Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust. “The ethos of the journal will be to avoid asking authors to make extensive modifications or perform endless additional experiments before a paper can be published.”
As the journal will exist only in digital form, it offers an opportunity to exploit the potential of new technologies to present data, share content, and directly engage the reader.
Randy Schekman, currently editor of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has been named founding editor in chief. Schekman is an HHMI investigator and a distinguished cell biologist at the University of California, Berkeley.