The success of PLoS, and the political shift towards open access, is encouraging other new ventures, too. Seeing the writing on the wall, several commercial publishers are experimenting with gold-model publishing. Meanwhile, later this year, a coalition of the Wellcome Trust, the Max Planck Institute (which runs many of Germany’s leading laboratories) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute will publish the first edition of eLife, an open-access journal with ambitions to rival the most famous journal of the lot, Nature. The deep pockets of these organisations mean that, for the first few years at least, this journal will not even require a publication fee. Read on.