Biomedical research funders The Wellcome Trust, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Max Planck Society have announced plans to launch a free online journal dedicated to publishing the best in biology papers within 3 to 4 weeks of submission. The journal would differ from others not only in its dedication to timeliness and quality, but also in its editorial process, as ScienceInsider reports today:
Another difference is that unlike top journals such as Science, Nature, and Cell, the new journal won't employ professional editors to filter submissions. Instead it will be run by by an editor-in-chief and a board of about 12 editors who will all be working scientists. (Most mid-tier journals published by professional societies follow this model.) The journal will also publish, albeit anonymously, the comments made by each paper's reviewer, which few journals now do.
The project reflects a push for sustainable and universally accessible medical publishing. In the words of UC Berkeley biologist Michael Eisen, PhD, "The instinct here is that peer review needs to be shaken up."