Peer review

eLife aims to improve the speed, visibility and usefulness of peer review.

eLife works to improve the process of peer review so that it more effectively conveys the assessment of expert reviewers to authors, readers and other interested parties. This ambition is reflected in the transparency of our current process, where anyone can read the peer review reports and editors' assessment for all published eLife papers. In the future we envision a system in which the outputs of peer review are the primary way research is assessed, rather than journal title.

The main features of the current eLife peer-review process are:

  • all decisions are made by editors who are active researchers in the life and biomedical sciences.
  • we do not artificially limit the number of articles we publish or have a set acceptance rate.
  • editors and reviewers discuss their reviews with each other before reaching a decision on a manuscript; extra experiments are only requested if they are essential and can be completed within about two months.
  • the decision letter sent to the author after peer review, and the authors' response to this letter, are published with accepted manuscripts.

The overall aim is to make peer review faster (by reducing rounds of revision and only requesting extra experiments when they are essential), fairer and more open. eLife does not support the Impact Factor and is a co-founder of the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). Regularly updated metrics relating to the eLife editorial process are available in our Author Guide.

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