The journal eLife recently announced a new scientific publishing model. Starting in January 2023, eLife will no longer make accept/reject decisions after peer review. Instead, every preprint that eLife sends for peer review will be published on eLife’s website as a “Reviewed Preprint” together with an eLife assessment, public reviews, and a response from the authors. This means that eLife authors – not editors – will decide whether and with what revisions an eLife article will be published.
HHMI enthusiastically supports eLife’s new model. As one of the founding members of eLife that continues to provide financial support, we stand with scientific leaders who recognize that publishing must change, and that now is the time. If we’re to fulfill the public promise of science – new knowledge to benefit all – we need to share research, including scholarly peer reviews, openly. We need to innovate in ways that prioritize research progress and quality of peer review over journal selectivity and prestige. We need to create systems that reward scientists for making choices for the greater good.
Since 2017, HHMI has welcomed preprints into our process of assessing the work of our scientists. Today, we affirm that a preprint peer-reviewed by eLife is a valid and improved form of peer-reviewed article. HHMI considers a review process that shares the full peer review history superior to a process that merely shares journal endorsements or peer reviews of accepted papers.
We anticipate taking future steps to support a preprint-based publishing system. In addition, we seek to move away from relying on journal names in the assessment of our scientists.
We believe that eLife and bioRxiv, along with the growing number of other organizations dedicated to publishing research openly, represent the future. Science belongs to all of us.
Erin K. O’Shea, PhD
Ron Vale, PhD
Vice President and Executive Director, Janelia Research Campus
Leslie B. Vosshall, PhD
Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer