I recently came across an open-access journal I had not heard of before – eLife (http://elife.elifesciences.org/), whose cause (as claimed in their “About” section) is to provide a scientifically reliable, transparent platform where researchers can publish their advances in the biomedical and life sciences. The concept of open-access is not new to me and it certainly won’t come as an astounding finding to anyone who might be reading this; however, clicking a link to a specific published paper caught my attention immediately. Besides the neat, all-internet-based formatting and layout of the article, I discovered to my great surprise that the paper came along with decision letters and author responses – all of this material is available for anyone to read, and what it takes is nothing but scrolling further down the web page. When it comes to praising accessibility of resources and transparency of research in science, such an unusual approach where behind-the-scenes information can be found alongside the main target of one’s search (in this case, a paper reporting on a given achievement) is, I believe, remarkable as well as effective. One should then hope that eLife will be the first of many online journals adopting this format in the near future!?
Note: It might just be that I am not aware that there are already other journals where the approach to the publication of scientific articles is similar, if not the same – in this case, I would be glad to know about them!
Later addition — An article in The Economist (dated May 2013) discusses the growth of open-access publishing – see http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21577035-open-access-scientific-publishing-gaining-ground-free-all.