Reviews for "Elife"

Journal title Average duration Review reports (1st review rnd.)
(click to go to journal page) 1st rev. rnd Tot. handling Im. rejection Number Quality Overall rating Outcome Year
Elife 6.3 wks 14.0 wks n/a 3 5 (excellent) 5 (excellent) Accepted 2017
Motivation: The first round of review was quick, but they even apologized for the delay compared to their policy, which is impressive. The reviewing editor who disclosed her/his name spotted the interesting point that significantly improved the manuscript. Overall review quality was high.
Elife n/a n/a 8.0 days n/a n/a n/a Rejected (im.) 2016
Motivation: At least it's quick, and reasonable decisions has been made by expert scientists, thus no frustration.
Elife n/a n/a 6.0 days n/a n/a n/a Rejected (im.) 2017
Elife n/a n/a 2.0 days n/a n/a n/a Rejected (im.) 2017
Elife n/a n/a 11.0 days n/a n/a n/a Rejected (im.) 2016
Elife 6.4 wks 6.4 wks n/a 3 1 (bad) 1 (bad) Rejected 2016
Motivation: All comments from the reviewrers were so superficial. One of the reviewers preteded to check the literatures which we cited to compare with our data and mentioned that the reviewer could not find any direct statements while they were obviously in the sentence!! I am so disappointed that eLife editors trust their superficial comments from the low quality reviewers.
Elife n/a n/a 30.0 days n/a n/a n/a Rejected (im.) 2016
Motivation: eLife promises to work on initial submissions within a week. It took a month. They also adversitse their Journal with a 'painless' review process. Then the paper was rejected with the following (very dismissive) )sentence:

"While perhaps for specialists (modelers) this study may have particular value, for us it lacks impact as it does not fundamentally change current thinking. We did not see anything unexpected or anything that would lead to a dramatic shift in thinking about pathways, inhibitors, etc. Certainly you provide some interesting insight, but nothing that feel is impactful enough to be reviewed favorably."

And now the fun thing comes: There was no modeling in the paper at all! So it looks either the paper was never read, or the handling Editor knows so little about Computational Biology that he even confuses its most basic principles. In both cases (not reading or being completely outside the topic) - I doubt he is really in the position to use such strong language.
Elife n/a n/a 3.0 days n/a n/a n/a Rejected (im.) 2015
Motivation: Not enough novelty for the editor. Fast and well justified though.
Elife n/a n/a 7.0 days n/a n/a n/a Rejected (im.) 2016
Motivation: Rejected for lack of novelty. Comments and suggestions to improve the manuscript. Fast enough, with excuses for being a bit longer than usual. I recommend sending to ELife, as at least, explanations are given for immediate rejection, in a more than reasonable timeframe.
Elife n/a n/a 11.0 days n/a n/a n/a Rejected (im.) 2016
Motivation: Firstly, their submission process has issues. Although I followed their submission guidelines very carefully, they requested that I reformat the references a particular way which was not indicated in their guidelines. Of course, by the time that I was notified of this I was out of town at a conference and could not tend to it until I returned. 4 days lost. I will not bore you with the details, but suffice it to say that their were issues with their submission engine and confusion amongst their staff that required me sending several emails to clear up. They were apologetic and professional but I could not help but feel that I was dealing with amateurs.

In my experience, what they claim to stand for and what they actually do are not in alignment. For one, they claim to want to support early career scientists. One of the ways they say they do this is by giving special consideration to early career scientists when determining whether or not in-depth peer-review is merited. I'm an early career scientist and my manuscript was desk rejected. While I am aware that this happens all the time, this is a manuscript which has the support of, and benefited from the feedback from, arguably the most respected scientist in my field (he stated that my manuscript was "very important" and must to be published) as well as another top scientist from a closely related field.

It was clear from the decision letter that they spent very little effort in assessing the merits of the manuscript (or writing the decision letter itself for that matter). I don't believe that this reflects on their competency, only the fact that they simply did not care. You see, I'm not at a tier one university and my name is not known in the field (outside of to my long-distance mentors who are well known). I would suggest that anyone not from a 1st tier university or research institute browse the eLife website and note the affiliations of the authors of the articles. While it is not surprising that 1st tiers are represented disproportionately there are very, very few non-1st tier author affiliations (considerably fewer than you find in Nature/Science/Cell). I could not find a single manuscript with an author from the same State that I live in.

On the other hand, if you ARE from a tier one university and have a manuscript that doesn't meet the expectations of Nature/Science/Cell then eLife may just be the ticket!
Elife 6.1 wks 8.7 wks n/a 3 4 (very good) 5 (excellent) Accepted 2013
Motivation: Review of the manuscript was handled professionally. The editor summarized the reviewers' comments into 7 experiments/concerns that were to be addressed. This made our work a lot easier, and clarified the goals.
Elife n/a n/a 1.0 days n/a n/a n/a Rejected (im.) 2016
Motivation: Immediate reject decision in only one day!
Elife n/a n/a 0.0 days n/a n/a n/a Rejected (im.) 2013
Elife n/a n/a 13.0 days n/a n/a n/a Rejected (im.) 2014
Motivation: We sent another manuscript and the immediate rejection time was 11 days.
Every time after 7 days I was sent an email where they apologised for a delay to the initial evaluation of our article and that they were working with the editors to ensure further delays to be minimised.
For me 11-13 days for an immediate rejection is an unnecessary time loss.
Elife n/a n/a 25.0 days n/a n/a n/a Rejected (im.) 2016
Motivation: eLife took 25 days to first decision, although they advertise 7 days with no mention of the variance. The reason they gave for the delay was that the paper "was not easy to judge". If that is the case, I would have greatly appreciated that they either state that the 7 day figure applies to papers that are "easy to judge" or make the variance in first decision times public. That could have saved me (and them) 25 valuable days.
Elife 4.9 wks 4.9 wks n/a 1 5 (excellent) 5 (excellent) Accepted 2015
Motivation: The whole process was very smooth and professional. The editors were very willing to work with you to get the manuscript accepted. They were also very good at keeping me up-to-date with where the manuscript was at in the review process. Everything was very transparent.
Elife n/a n/a 7.0 days n/a n/a n/a Rejected (im.) 2014
Elife 7.3 wks 12.4 wks n/a 3 5 (excellent) 5 (excellent) Accepted 2014
Motivation: At the time eLife was billing a fast turnaround time and I didn't get that. The office were good about communicating with me about the delays in reviewing the paper. Overall the review process was great. The reports were synthesized into a sensible decision letter, moreover the reviews are published online at this journal.
Elife 6.1 wks 6.1 wks n/a 3 3 (good) 4 (very good) Rejected 2015
Motivation: Elife manuscript sumbissoin system was relatively painless, although office staff requested reformatting of supplemental files before review, which was unnecessary. Review process was fast and fair, but quality of reviews was not as high as I hoped.
Elife 5.9 wks 6.9 wks n/a 1 5 (excellent) 5 (excellent) Accepted 2012
Motivation: Although this a new journal my feel is that this will be become a high profile one. I say this from the overall quality of the papers, the projection in the general media and the new sub-jounals that have been recently generated. The website is also very well made.
In terms of the review process, the first round took a wile, but i think this is not the trend (i think they disclose the time it takes somewhere).
The big thing in terms of the review process that I really like and that I think is a major step forwards in the review process is that the reviewers and the editor discuss between themselves the paper before making a decision. They decide the value of the discovery and what additional exps need to be done in order to prove your point. As opposed to grumpy reviewers that send you a huje list of (mostly) stupid exps and issues that you spend a ton of time trying to address. I really think this is an example to other journals.
Overall I really recommended it. Even if your paper is rejected I think you should be able to get a relatively fast and fare evaluation of you manuscript.
Elife 3.0 wks 4.0 wks n/a 2 5 (excellent) 5 (excellent) Accepted 2013
Motivation: Unlike promises made by other new journals, eLife stood by their promises. The review process was fast, fair and transparent. This was by far the best review experience I have ever had, and that for a journal that has ambitions to rival the best. If you have a great paper, forget about PNAS or Nature Comm, send it to eLife!