Open-access journal eLife is to receive an infusion of £25 million (US$36 million) between 2017 and 2022, Nature News reports.
The Wellcome Trust, the Max Planck Society, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute founded eLife four years ago as an elite, open-access answer to traditional top biomedical journals of Nature, Science, and Cell. The funders provided the journal with £18 million (US$26 million) over five years so authors wouldn't have to pay to publish there. Nature News notes that some 1,800 papers have since been published in eLife.
And now the backers say they will continue their support of the journal through 2022.
"eLife's status in the field is rising quite quickly," Sjors Scheres, a structural biologist at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology and eLife editor, tells Nature News. "I liked the idea behind it — to make a high-impact journal completely driven by scientists, and open."
But whether the journal will achieve its goal of transforming elite publishing is unclear, Nature News says, as it has shown that its model is expensive. Nature News estimates that the journal's per-article cost in 2014 was an estimated £6,300. The journal, though, notes that its costs dropped to £3,522 per article in 2015 and that it has invested in technology development to create open-source publishing tools as well.