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Randy Schekman to Leave eLife

The founding editor-in-chief will redirect his focus to a Parkinson’s organization.

Aug 19, 2018
Kerry Grens

ABOVE: FLICKR, 2014 ELIFE SCIENCES PUBLICATIONS LTD

Come next year, Randy Schekman will no longer be at the helm of eLife, the journal he launched six years ago, according to a statement. The Nobel laureate will instead devote his efforts to Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s, an organization that is developing research strategies for diagnostics, biomarkers, and therapies.

Schekman, a cell and molecular biologist at the University of California, Berkeley, has been a vocal critic of traditional science publishing for years, even vowing to boycott the high-profile journals where he had reported his Nobel-winning work on vesicle trafficking. Before starting eLife, he served as the editor-in-chief of PNAS. When the opportunity came in 2012 to start fresh with a new publication, Schekman decided to change the way the process was done—making peer reviewers collaborate, using working scientists as editors, shortening the time to publication, and presenting all papers open access. At the beginning, eLife was able to entice submissions by waiving the fees.

eLife has now become a popular online journal. In 2016, for instance, it published for the first time more than 1,000 papers in a year.

Most recently, Schekman and his colleagues at eLife introduced a trial of a new peer-review format in which the journal commits to publishing a paper once the editor has decided to send it out for peer review. Then, both the reviewers’ report and the authors’ response and revised article are published.

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