The Conversation, a news and commentary website based in Australia, is due to be launched in Britain in May.
Set up two years ago by former Observer editor Andrew Jaspan, the content of the website is a collaboration between academics and journalists.
Drawing on the latest university research, journalists work with academic authors to produce news items and commentaries.
As it prepares to launch in Britain, 13 universities have announced their involvement in the pilot phase of the website.
City University London is currently housing The Conversation's development team, while the universities of Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow Caledonian, Liverpool, Salford, Sheffield, Surrey, Warwick, University College London and the Open University have also got involved.
Jaspan commented: "We are delighted to see The Conversation launch into the UK. The success in Australia has shown there is huge public demand for independent, high-quality, authenticated and trusted content.
"I am confident The Conversation will very quickly establish a similar reputation and audience in the UK."
Professor Paul Curran, City University's vice-chancellor, told the Guardian that the website will provide "a new and innovative way of [academics] communicating directly with the public."