Under the policy, which the journal announce 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.
This model “amplifies the value of preprints”, says Peter Suber, director of the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Harvard Open Access Project. “eLife is showing that the benefits of a preprint can be conjoined with the benefits of peer review.”
The “publish, then review” model has already been adopted by others. The London-based publisher F1000 Research, for example, provides platforms in which academics post their manuscripts before receiving public reviews; only those that pass review are indexed in databases such as PubMed. But eLife’s policy combines this idea with the conventional journal system: the journal will publish only the manuscripts that pass its review process.
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