Ben Barres Spotlight Awards: Applications open for 2021 | Inside eLife | eLife

eLife has today opened applications for the 2021 Ben Barres Spotlight Awards – an initiative to support the work of researchers from underrepresented backgrounds and from countries with limited funding.

This year’s awards are our most inclusive to date, with researchers of all career stages eligible to apply based on their country of work, disability, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or socioeconomic background. To show our support for researchers who have embraced new ways of publishing and reviewing research, the awards are, for the first time, also open to authors of refereed preprints with publicly available reviews in addition to eLife authors.

eLife authors relay their experiences with Executable Research Articles | Labs | eLife

“We are grateful to these authors for taking their time to share their feedback with us, and for helping us showcase how Executable Research Articles can help improve the transparency, reproducibility and discoverability of research content across a variety of research subjects. Executable Research Articles are an open-source technology available to all, and we encourage any authors or publishers interested in the format to [get in touch] for more information….”

eLife and Medicine: Rigorous review and editorial oversight of clinical preprints | eLife

“In all, eLife’s ambitions in medicine are broader than just becoming a new open-access medical journal. This is a larger effort underscoring a cultural change to emphasize the importance of preprints and reviewing preprints; to focus on transparency, not just on open access but also on open data and open methods; and to encourage responsible behaviors in medical publishing – elements that are necessary for the translation of meaningful scientific investigation to the betterment of human health. Towards this aspiration, eLife’s reinvigorated Medicine section will cherish the support of the physician–scientist community around the globe….”

Announcing eLife and Dryad’s seamless data publishing integration | Inside eLife | eLife

“eLife and Dryad have long supported making research publicly accessible and reusable. Over the last nine years, Dryad has increasingly curated and published datasets supporting eLife publications. As the open science landscape continues to evolve, with a growing emphasis on best practices and making all research components openly available, both organisations acknowledge that the workflows need to be simplified. Working with eJournalPress, eLife and Dryad are pleased to announce Dryad’s first platform-based integration, allowing authors to submit datasets to Dryad seamlessly through eLife’s submission process.

As authors submit research to eLife, they will be prompted about data availability during the full submission. Authors are welcome to deposit their data to any suitable disciplinary repository and, if data do not yet have a home, authors will have the opportunity to upload their data to Dryad….”

eLife announces new approach to publishing in medicine | For the press | eLife

eLife is excited to announce a new approach to peer review and publishing in medicine, including public health and health policy.

One of the most notable impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the desire to share important results and discoveries quickly, widely and openly, leading to rapid growth of the preprint server medRxiv. Despite the benefits of rapid, author-driven publication in accelerating research and democratising access to results, the growing number of clinical preprints means that individuals and institutions may act quickly on new information before it is adequately scrutinised.

To address this challenge, eLife is bringing its system of editorial oversight by practicing clinicians and clinician-investigators, and rigorous, consultative peer review to preprints. The journal’s goal is to produce ‘refereed preprints’ on medRxiv that provide readers and potential users with a detailed assessment of the research, comments on its potential impact, and perspectives on its use. By providing this rich and rapid evaluation of new results, eLife hopes peer-reviewed preprints will become a reliable indicator of quality in medical research, rather than journal impact factor.

eLife extends support for Coko’s work on open-source publishing solutions | For the press | eLife

eLife is pleased to announce today its ongoing support for Coko to develop open-source software solutions for publishing, including Kotahi – a new journal platform that can also help facilitate the publication and review of preprints.

eLife and PREreview partner to promote greater diversity in peer review | For the press | eLife

“eLife is pleased to announce today a new partnership with PREreview to engage more researchers from diverse backgrounds in peer review.

eLife and PREreview – an open project aimed at bringing more equity and diversity to the scholarly peer-review system – collaborated on a number of new initiatives last year. These included live-streamed preprint journal clubs, which brought together scientists globally for a series of virtual discussions around research posted as preprints. eLife also supported the pilot of PREreview Open Reviewers, an online peer review mentoring program that empowers early-career researchers to contribute to scholarly review.

With eLife at the cusp of exclusively reviewing manuscripts deposited as preprints, the two organisations are now continuing their joint efforts to involve more early-career researchers, and researchers from communities that are traditionally underrepresented within the peer-review process, in the public review of preprints. PREreview will work with eLife to extend the series of preprint journal clubs and develop a framework for scaling the PREreview Open Reviewers program to reach more research communities globally. They will also help create new ways to increase the engagement and use of eLife’s early-career reviewer pool….”

Sciety: where research is evaluated and curated by the communities you trust

“The Publish, Review, Curate (PRC) model has been advocated by funders and researchers as a way of improving the quality and availability of published research. Stern BM, O’Shea EK (2019) recommend several changes over three areas:

To drive scientific publishing forward, we propose several long-term changes. Although these changes could be implemented independently, together they promise to significantly increase transparency and efficiency.

Change peer review to better recognize its scholarly contribution.
Shift the publishing decision from editors to authors.
Shift curation from before to after publication.

This community-driven technology effort is to produce an application that can support the changes in behaviour required to effect this change. The approach to building the software is to keep the cost of change low so that the application can quickly adapt to feedback and barriers to adoption, helping the researcher drive the technology to meet their needs….”

Open-source Community Call: The latest developments in open publishing and research communication | Events | eLife

“Please join us for the next Open-source Community Call, hosted in partnership by FORCE11, Dryad and eLife. These calls are an informal way to share and discuss efforts that promote open approaches to research communication, from dissemination of new results (as datasets, code or text) to discovery and evaluation. The focus is on emerging projects and significant updates for ongoing ones. Sign up and get the latest developments….”

Everything Hertz: 122: Reoptimizing scientific publishing for the internet age (with Michael Eisen)

“The internet should have transformed science publishing, but it didn’t. We chat with Michael Eisen (Editor-in-Chief of eLife) about reoptimizing scientific publishing and peer review for the internet age.

Here what we cover and some links:

How Michael co-founded PLOS
The book Dan mentioned on the history of the scientific journal
Why did eLife launch? What did it offer that other journals didn’t?
Nature’s recently proposed $11k article processing fee proposal
eLife’s new “author-driven publishing” approach, in which all submitted papers have to be posted as preprints
Part two of our conversation will be released on January 4, 2021 …”

Open-access journal eLife announces ‘preprint first’ publishing model

“The open-access journal eLife has unveiled plans to introduce a new publishing model. Starting next July, the journal will adopt a “publish, then review” policy, and will make all of its peer-review reports publicly available.

Under the policy, which the journal announced1 on 1 December, eLife will only review and publish papers that have already been posted on a preprint server, such as bioRxiv, medRxiv or arXiv. Submitted papers that aren’t already on preprint servers will be posted on bioRxiv or medRxiv….”

Gobsmacked

“You have to hand it to Springer Nature: they really are trying. Beset, as are all publishers with traditional business models, with challenges concerning open access (OA) from libraries, funders, and authors, SN is attempting to win the prize for Most Cooperative Publisher. This is not purely a recent development; Springer acquired OA pioneer BioMed Central way back in 2008 (it did not merge with the Nature Publishing Group until 2015). It has negotiated numerous “transformative” agreements with various national consortia and funding bodies and appears to have even come to terms with cOAlition S, a populist, authoritarian organization that is attempting to foment a worldwide revolution. (We note in passing that we are always a bit skeptical about organizations that fail to capitalize the first letter of a proper noun.) Until now, however, SN was not working to transform the models of its top-tier journals, usually holding the journals in its Nature portfolio out of comprehensive OA agreements. But that has started to change as evidenced by the announcements of both a new transformative deal with Max Planck and a new OA program whereby authors (or the funders of their work) can now pay to publish (Gold OA) in Nature and certain other journals in the Nature-branded portfolio. Whether this program proves to be successful (and whether the transformative deal with Max Planck proves extensible to other organizations) or not is a critical test of the ability of the company, and the industry at large, to accommodate the growing demands of funders and (mostly European) consortia with the prestige economy of academic research, where Nature sits at the very apex….

It is not only cOAlition S that SN must make happy, alas. Of primary concern to the management, not to mention the owners, is liquidity: how can some portion of the SN asset be converted into cash? SN has tried and failed, tried and failed again to go public. Part of the reason is that the OA business looks to investors like a model that is not ultimately as remunerative as the subscription model it is replacing. Convincing investors that they have figured out an OA long game is therefore essential. If investors do not believe in the strategy, SN may never fetch the price its current owners hope for (and that their creditors demand). What makes this complicated is that investors in Frankfurt and on Wall Street sit on one side of SN’s aspirations and on the other sits a community-anchored movement, many of whose members are characteristically suspicious of capitalism. …”

Nature’s New Open Access Option: A Dinosaur Lurches Toward the Future

“Nature has introduced a new Open Access Options. It is suggested that this strategy will be ineffective. Rather, it is suggested that the strategy of post publication review proposed by eLife is a better route to a open future for scholarly communication.”

In biology publishing shakeup, eLife will require submissions to be posted as preprints | Science | AAAS

“When major biomedical research funders launched the open-access journal eLife in 2012, they hoped it would push biomedical publishing to take full advantage of the internet’s power to share results freely and instantly. In the ensuing years, the open-access model has caught on. And more and more biologists have shared work in online preprint servers such as bioRxiv and medRxiv before undergoing peer review.

But those changes are not enough for Michael Eisen, a biologist at the University of California, Berkeley, and the journal’s editor-in-chief since 2019. This week, eLife announced it will only review manuscripts that have been posted as preprints. And all peer reviews will be made public, including those for manuscripts the journal rejects. Eisen sees the changes as the next logical step in the evolution of the preprint, he told ScienceInsider….”

eLife shifting to exclusively reviewing preprints | For the press | eLife

“eLife has announced that it is transitioning to a new ‘publish, then review’ model for science publishing, in which the journal will exclusively review preprints and its editors and reviewers will focus on producing high-quality peer reviews that will be made public alongside the preprints.

These steps advance eLife’s mission of transforming the communication of new biology and medicine research, and come amid increasing support for preprints within the life science community, including eLife authors. A recent internal analysis showed that around 70% of papers under review at eLife were already available as preprints. The organisation began trialing this system with Preprint Review – an opt-in service for reviewing preprints posted on bioRxiv, which has seen more than 250 papers reviewed since its launch in May….”