eLife and PREreview are pleased to announce their continued partnership to engage more diverse communities of researchers in peer review.
eLife and PREreview formally teamed up last year following their collaborations on a number of initiatives. Now, as eLife moves towards a new ‘publish, review, curate’ model that puts preprints first, the organisations will increase their efforts to involve more early-career researchers, and researchers from communities that are traditionally marginalised within the peer-review process, in the public review of preprints. Their work will involve further integrating PREreview into Sciety – an application developed by a team within eLife to bring open evaluation and curation together in one place – and opening up new opportunities for more researchers to participate in public review.
“On April 12, 2022, our eLife Community Ambassadors and Open Science Champions heard and discussed strategies to sustainably advocate for open science (OS), as well as greater integrity and equity in research.
The aim of the webinar was to introduce OS to this global group of more than 300 early-career researchers (ECRs), as well as to discuss different ways of practising OS and how to overcome the barriers to adopting these – all under the guidance of our experienced panel of open science advocates. With our Community Ambassadors programme, we want to enable each researcher to consider their role in creating a more open and inclusive global research environment, and to facilitate a space and community for all those interested to voice any questions about or ideas for promoting OS practices in their local research communities….”
eLife is pleased to announce Fiona Hutton as its new Head of Publishing.
Originally a life scientist specialising in cancer virology, Hutton brings 20 years of STM publishing experience to eLife, including her most recent positions as Head of STM Open Access Publishing and Executive Publisher at Cambridge University Press, UK. She formally begins her role with eLife today, taking over from Interim Head of Publishing Peter Rodgers.
“In the 10 years since eLife’s inception, we have made significant progress in improving how research in the life and biomedical sciences is communicated. Here we share our vision for a future where a diverse, global community of scientists produces trusted and open results for the benefit of all.
This vision has evolved in response to the changing publishing landscape – namely the increasing popularity of preprints among the life science community, including eLife authors. We are working to achieve our vision in three ways – with the eLife journal, open-source technology development, and our community engagement activities – all of which feed into our overarching ‘publish, review, curate’ mission that puts preprints first.
To succeed in realising our vision, we will:
Continue to develop the ‘publish, review, curate’ model, and encourage its adoption among authors, funders and content curators such as societies;
Build a platform for the ‘publish, review, curate’ model that is open-source, readily adaptable and addresses community needs;
Work with the community of scientists and content curators on new ways to improve the whole research communication process in the ‘publish, review, curate’ world;
And operate a journal for biology and medicine that maintains the highest standards, carries influence in the community and covers its costs….”
eLife has announced that its four funders, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, the Max Planck Society and Wellcome, are extending their support for the non-profit organisation. The new investment will boost eLife’s efforts to openly review and curate research published as preprints.
eLife and PREreview are working with AfricArXiv, Eider Africa and the Training Centre in Communication (TCC Africa) on a new peer-review training programme for early to mid-career researchers in Africa. The course aims to raise awareness around preprints and foster the participation of African researchers in peer review, especially the open review of preprints.
“Speculating about the implications of data and results, both your own and that of other researchers is an essential part of the scientific process, and one of the joys of being a scientist. However, while not completely outlawed, pure speculation has been discouraged in all but its mildest forms.
There are, of course, good reasons to regulate how speculation enters the literature. The primary role of a scientific paper is to describe a set of experiments or observations – how they were conducted and what were their results – along with conclusions that the authors believe are well supported by these data. And one of the primary tasks assigned to reviewers and editors is to decide whether the conclusions reported by the authors are actually justified by their results.
As a result, the “Discussion” section of papers, which was once the home to much speculation, has over the years become a repository of only the most obvious and strongest conclusions, along with any accompanying caveats. And when authors try to include ideas that arise from, but which are not yet well supported by, the data, it is common for reviewers to demand that such speculation be removed.
While we agree that it makes sense to differentiate conclusions, we also feel something important is lost for both readers and authors by denying the people most familiar with the data the chance to freely speculate about its meaning and implications. Indeed it is one of the more common complaints of authors that current norms in peer review largely deny them this opportunity.
After discussing this matter with our editorial board, where opinions about the need for and wisdom of intervention were highly varied, we have decided to offer authors the opportunity to include an “Ideas and Speculation” subsection within their Discussion….”
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.
“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….”
“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….”
“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 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 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 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….”