(20 Oct 2022) Open access publisher eLife has announced it will no longer make accept or reject decisions following peer review.
From the end of January, eLife will instead publish every paper it reviews as a “reviewed preprint”, which it describes as “a new type of research output that combines the manuscript with eLife’s detailed peer reviews and a concise assessment of the significance of the findings and quality of the evidence”.
The move by the biomedical and life sciences publisher, which was founded in 2012 by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Max Planck Society and the Wellcome Trust as a not-for-profit enterprise, follows its shift last year to only reviewing papers already published as a preprint.
Michael Eisen, eLife’s editor-in-chief, said the latest move was designed to focus reviewers’ attention on the content of research rather than a yes-no decision.
In the new process, eLife editors will invite expert reviewers to carry out peer reviews. The reviewers will produce constructive public peer reviews highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the work, eLife explained. They will also work together to produce an eLife “assessment” that captures their view of the significance of the findings and evaluates the strength of the evidence for them in language accessible to a non-expert reader, it added.
Authors will have the option to submit a revised preprint that responds to the public reviews and private suggestions made by the reviewers. eLife will then publish a new reviewed preprint with updated reviews and assessment, with its publication fee falling from $3,000 (£2,662) to $2,000, it said.
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The original announcement from eLife is here.