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A group of internationally recognized scientists was named to the editorial team of eLife, the new open-access journal to be launched by HHMI, Wellcome Trust and Max Planck Society.
A group of internationally recognized scientists was named to the editorial team of eLife, the new open-access journal to be launched by HHMI, Wellcome Trust and Max Planck Society.

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.

“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


About the Howard Hughes Medical Institute

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute plays a powerful role in advancing scientific research and education in the United States. Its scientists, located across the United States and around the world, have made important discoveries that advance both human health and our fundamental understanding of biology. The Institute also aims to transform science education into a creative, interdisciplinary endeavor that reflects the excitement of real research.

About the Max Planck Society

The Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science is an independent, non-profit research organization. The primary goal of the Max Planck Society is to promote research at its own institutes. The Max Planck institutes perform basic research in the interest of the general public in the natural sciences, life sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. Currently, the Max Planck Society operates 80 institutes, four of which are in Italy, the Netherlands and the USA. link, opens in a new tab

About the Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. It supports the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. The Trust’s breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health. It is independent of both political and commercial interests. link, opens in a new tab