Using digital technology to enhance the story, broaden the audience, and increase use
One of eLife’s goals is to exploit digital media in the presentation of research. Some stories may be best told with further illustration, explanation, or video accompaniment, and eLife is aiming to use the right medium to help that story reach all who could benefit from its telling.
eLife will take full advantage of being a born-digital publication. In addition to eschewing unnecessary limits to the length of articles and the number of articles that can be accepted, we encourage authors to use rich media and to include links to underlying data in the body of the article. We avoid the publication of substantial supplementary PDFs providing additional experimental details, results and discussion. Instead, all article components (figures, tables, video, and any additional data files) will be presented at the appropriate points in the article, and will be treated as individual items and given a unique identifier (DOI), so that they can be hyperlinked, discovered easily, and used.
We will also use the power of open access to make our content as widely available as possible, posting research articles to PubMed Central and Europe PMC, but also sites such as Mendeley, scribd, and Github, and making article data openly available through an eLife API.
Explore how eLife is taking advantage of digital media on our journal website. Presentation of content is clean and distraction-free, allowing authors to present the results of their research in full, and inviting readers to delve deeply into the work by exploring figures and their supplements, watching videos, reading editor decision letters and author responses, downloading data sets, viewing article-level metrics, and more.
Each Research article also includes a plain-language summary (called the eLife Digest) that describes the background to the results being reported and explains the central findings of the article. Please click here to read a sample Digest.
Insights are commissioned by eLife staff and are always related to a Research article published in the journal. Insights are written by experts in the field of the Research article: they explain why the results reported are significant and outline some of the challenges that remain in the field.
Feature articles cover topics of broad interest (such as careers, women in science and funding) and are published in a number of formats including Point of View articles, Book reviews, Tutorials and regular columns (such as Living Science). Feature articles are mostly commissioned by eLife staff, but ideas for Feature articles are welcome at staff [at] elifesciences [dot] org. Feature articles are peer reviewed at the discretion of the eLife editors and staff.
We also use new and emerging metrics and indicators (as pioneered by PLOS) to track and display the influence of articles across the Web and the research community.
All of this is a starting point, as eLife will continue to solicit feedback from the community in making the presentation as accessible and usable as possible. Your comments and questions are welcome to staff [at] elifesciences [dot] org.