The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, Sweden, has added its weight to the funder-backed effort to reform science publishing, eLife. Established 100 years ago, the Foundation has awarded 24bn Swedish Krona (nearly £224m) in research and education grants, making it one of the largest private research funders in Europe.
eLife was founded in 2011 in an unprecedented collaboration between the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (US), the Max Planck Society (Germany) and the Wellcome Trust (UK). To date, the organisations have promised over £40m to eLife, which aims to help scientists accelerate discovery by operating a platform for research communication that encourages and recognises the most responsible behaviours in science.
Having first distinguished itself through a consultative approach to peer review of the most promising new results, eLife now increasingly contributes to the development of new, open-source tools and technology that enhance the communication, discovery and interrogation of published findings. The organisation has released a modular open-source publishing system, eLife Continuum, and is now collaborating in the development of an open annotation platform for scholarly discussion online and an open-source solution for submission and peer review.
It is eLife's vision of a complete, open-source infrastructure - and alternative for publishing and building on new research - that inspired the Wallenberg Foundation to support the initiative.
"The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation is a long-term supporter of life science research in Sweden, and the country has a distinguished track record in this field," says Professor Göran Sandberg, the Foundation's Executive Director. "Unfortunately, the current system for science publishing limits the ability of Swedish and other research institutions to focus on discovery, innovation and the translation of research into public benefit. The Foundation has decided to support eLife as an alternative that will hopefully make the publishing process easier and more transparent for scientists in this country and beyond."
Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust, adds: "We warmly welcome the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation as a partner in the eLife initiative. Now in its 100th year, the Foundation is one of the world's most respected research organisations, supporting truly excellent science. Their commitment to eLife, and their desire to bring technological advances to the publishing landscape, represents another important step in transforming how research is communicated and used."
The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation has committed SEK 29m (about £2.72m) to eLife for a four-year period beginning in 2018. Long-term support from research funders is one aspect of eLife's strategy for sustainability, and further organisations will be welcomed to the initiative in future.
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About the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation
The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation was established in 1917. The Foundation's aim is to benefit Sweden by supporting Swedish basic research and education, mainly in medicine, technology and the natural sciences. This is achieved through grants to excellent researchers and to projects. Learn more at https://kaw.wallenberg.org/en.
eLife aims to help scientists accelerate discovery by operating a platform for research communication that encourages and recognises the most responsible behaviours in science. We publish important research in all areas of the life and biomedical sciences, which is selected and evaluated by working scientists and made freely available online without delay. eLife also invests in innovation through open-source tool development to accelerate research communication and discovery. Our work is guided by the communities we serve. eLife is supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society and the Wellcome Trust. Learn more at https://elifesciences.org.