To drive ASAPbio’s mission to raise awareness of preprints and encourage their productive use in the life sciences, we work closely with the ASAPbio Community, a group of researchers and others involved in research communication who interact and exchange information and feedback around the use of preprints.
The ASAPbio Community members:
• Interact via Slack and community calls
• Receive monthly newsletters
• Contribute to projects to promote the use of preprints
The ASAPbio Fellows program
We are keen to support those seeking to learn more about preprints and to develop skills that equip them to become a resource for their communities. We run the ASAPbio Fellows program to provide participants with information about the preprint landscape, as well as support to develop their own preprint initiative
In 2024, the program will run from April to November, participants will engage in a schedule of activities including:
- Orientation sessions that will cover an overview of the program and the preprint landscape, and the selection of projects
- Monthly sessions covering different preprint-related topics such as preprint review activities, preprints in the broader publishing context, handling conversations about preprints, and more
- Creating a slide deck and delivering a local talk about preprints
- Fellows will be additionally invited to choose and execute an optional preprint project based around an ASAPbio initiative, such as Preprints in Progress, Crowd preprint review, support an ASAPbio Local Hub in Lisbon (Portugal), São Paulo (Brazil) or Pretoria (South Africa), and more.
The Community endorses the following values and good practice guidelines:
- Show respect for other members of the ASAPbio community, as well as the larger research community
- Use collegial, professional and inclusive language
- Value and respect different viewpoints and experiences, including constructive feedback
- Encourage diversity
- Share information, resources, requests or experiences that are of relevance to the broader ASAPbio Community and align to the goals of ASAPbio
More information on the ASAPbio Community guidelines and Code of Conduct is available on the ASAPbio Code of Conduct page.
We hold bimonthly calls with the ASAPbio Community, hosted via zoom. The calls are an opportunity for the Community to get updates about initiatives related to preprints, and provide or request input on ongoing projects. Planned community calls for 2024 can be found here.
Why attend an ASAPbio Community Call?
- Get updates on what’s going on in the preprints space
- Opportunity to exchange with other members of the ASAPbio Community and to get involved in upcoming activities
- Get sneak previews of projects and activities ASAPbio is running
- Get input or feedback on preprint-related projects you are involved with
19 March 2024 Community Call – Preprints across the globe; landscapes, perceptions and challenges with Ludo Waltman
19 March 2024 at noon EST/9am PST/5pm GMT/6pm CET
At our next Community call, on 19 March 2024, we will discuss the globalization of preprints. The adoption of preprints varies greatly across geographical regions, with many of the efforts to drive adoption originating from the US and Western EU. However, this approach often neglects the opinions and needs of others. In this community call we will hear from Ludo Waltman about the perceptions of preprints across different regions and discuss how to better approach the uptake of preprints with a global mindset.
- Ludo Waltman, Deputy director at the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) at Leiden University.
Past ASAPbio Community Calls
20 November 2023 – The trials and tribulations of post publication peer review
At our Community call on 20 November 2023, we hosted a discussion on the recent high-profile examples of the dangers to preprint commenting and highlighting of research misconduct. As preprint reviewing and commenting increasingly drives the push towards transparency, these topics become ever more important. We heard from Lonni Besancon who has conducted multiple meta-research projects and written opinion pieces focussed on unreliable science or fraudulent data. In response to his rigorous and scientific approaches, Lonni has faced lawsuits and attacks from senior scientists. This session involved a short talk from Lonni about his experiences followed by a longer discussion with all attendees around the theme of post publication review and how, as a community, we should engage with fraudulent or unreliable science and protect those who identify such work.
- Lonni Besancon
18 September 2023 Community Call: Perspectives on preprint peer review models
Preprint peer review services have substantially increased in recent years. Each service operates in a different way, with some partnering with journals, some focussed on providing authors with reviews and some like a traditional journal. In January 2023, eLife became the first journal to shift it’s model toward providing reviews of preprints. PLOS Biology has partnered with a number of preprint peer review services to expedite the peer review process at their journals. In this call, we will hear about how these two journals have interacted with preprint peer review and how the editors and research community have adapted. There will be a Q&A session followed by an interactive whiteboard activity to collate the perspectives of attendees towards preprint peer review.
Fiona Hutton, Head of Publishing, eLife
Nonia Pariente, Editor in Chief, PLOS Biology
26 July 2023 community call: Driving recognition of preprints in research assessment
Wednesday, 26 July, 9am San Francisco / 12pm New York / 4pm UTC / 5pm London / 6pm Berlin / 9:30pm Mumbai
The recognition of preprints by publishers has been a significant step in preprints becoming common usage in the life sciences. In more recent years, funding bodies and hiring committees have implemented policies recognising preprints as valid research outputs and as evidence in grant or job applications. We will hear from Hannah Hope (Open research lead, Wellcome Trust) and Needhi Bhalla (Professor, UCSC) about how funders are recognising preprints in research and researcher assessment and why this is such an important step for equity and diversity efforts.
- Hannah Hope, Open research lead, Wellcome Trust
- Needhi Bhalla, Professor, University of California Santa Cruz
30 May 2023 community call: Learning from community preprint adoption in the social sciences
Tuesday, May 30, 9am San Francisco / 12pm New York / 4pm UTC / 5pm London / 6pm Berlin / 9:30pm Mumbai
Compared to other disciplines, biologists are preprint novices. For example, social scientists have been posting working papers to SSRN since 1994. But much has changed in the social sciences publishing landscape since that time, and a new wave of community preprint servers have launched over the last decade. In this interactive session, we heard from preprint advocates in the social sciences about their community’s perceptions of the benefits and potential pitfalls of preprints. In discussing the strategies they’ve used to build communities of preprint users, we identified areas of common ground with the life sciences and learned from their unique experiences in driving a more open publishing culture.
- Grace Binion, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Furman University, and Scientific Advisory Board Member of PsyArXiv
- Philip Cohen, Sociologist and demographer, University of Maryland, and Director of SocArXiv
22 March 2023 Community Call – Spotlight on preprint community projects
The passion and ingenuity of the ASAPbio Community members has been critical in driving awareness and adoption of preprints across the life sciences. ASAPbio wants to support those in our community who want to spread the word about preprints and to this end, we started the ASAPbio Community Projects initiative, a mechanism to cover supplies, equipment, or fees for preprint projects driven by community members. At this Community Call, we provided an overview for this initiative and heard about a couple of projects we have supported:
- Jonny Coates spoke about the Preprints in Motion podcast
- Richa Arya talked about a workshop on scientific communication & preprints she organized as part of the All India Cell Biology conference
25 January 2023 Community Call – Preprints in Japan and China: perspectives from Jxiv and Sciencepaper Online
The popularity and acceptance of preprints vary among scientific disciplines and geographical regions. Some environments (e.g. research disciplines, funder and institution policies) are more supportive of researchers preprinting their manuscripts, while others may discourage it. During this Community Call, we engaged in conversation about perceptions of preprints among research communities in East Asia. Ritsuko Nakajima (Jxiv, Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)) and Min Li (Sciencepaper Online, The Center for Science and Technology Development of the Ministry of Education, People’s Republic of China) discussed how the environments in their regions, institutions, and different scientific disciplines influences the popularity, acceptance, and perception of preprints among researchers in East Asia.
25 August 2022 ASAPbio Community Call – Promoting equity in visibility, curation and evaluation of preprints
Preprints are freely accessible, but there are persistent disparities in the visibility and attention paid to preprints according to the authors’ institutions, geographical area, language and other backgrounds. In this Community Call, we discussed how to promote equity in making preprints visible. Bianca Kramer (Sesame Open Science) spoke about how different databases index preprints and whether this may impact how researchers engage with preprints. Maurine Neiman (University of Iowa), Preprint Editor for Proceedings B, shared strategies and risks around scouting preprints, and steps editors can take to ensure a more equitable approach to identifying preprints of interest. You can read a summary of the Community Call at our blog post.
8 June 2022 Community Call – Preprints in Progress
At our Community call in June, we explored how we can expand the use of preprints beyond the deposition of papers ready for journal submission. Preprints are increasingly used for the dissemination of research, however, most preprints still take the form of traditional research papers posted shortly before submission to a journal. ASAPbio believes that we can accelerate research by substantially expanding the use of preprints to report a wide range of outputs: early-stage results from a small set of experiments, negative or inconclusive findings , confirmatory results, and much more. At the Community Call, we covered:
- ASAPbio’s vision and plans for our ‘Preprints in progress’ project that seeks to expand the use of preprints.
- Alexandra Navarro from the Whitehead Institute (MIT, US) spoke about her experience with the preprint she posted to share early results from her project, and which she has been shaping over the last year based on community feedback.
3 March 2022 Community Call – Data sharing with preprints – where do we stand and where next?
At our March Community call , we discussed data sharing with preprints. Many journals now have data sharing policies but in the context of preprints different communities are still developing their own data-sharing practices. At the call we heard the perspectives from a researcher and a data repository about the importance of sharing data with preprints and we discussed with attendees what steps can support data sharing at the time of preprint deposition.
- James Fraser, Professor, Dept of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, University of California San Francisco
- Daniella Lowenberg, Product Manager for Dryad
17 November 2021 Community Call – Posting journal-solicited reviews on preprints
Publish Your Reviews is an initiative emerging from the July 2021 #FeedbackASAP meeting that encourages researchers to post journal-commissioned reviews publicly as comments on preprints whenever the reviewed article is available as a preprint. In this ASAPbio Community Call, we learned about the motivations and specifics of Publish Your Reviews rom the speakers below, and solicited input on how the initiative can address any implications for authors and the confidentiality of journal peer review.
- James Fraser, ASAPbio Vice President and Professor, UCSF
- Ludo Waltman, Professor of Quantitative Science Studies and Deputy Director at the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) at Leiden University
1 September 2021 Community Call – Understanding geographical disparities in preprint trends
While the use of preprints in the life sciences is increasing, disparities in adoption remain. One of the main disparities relates to differences in preprint posting across countries, a large proportion of preprints are posted by authors based in North America and Europe. In our Community Call on September 1, we heard how the use of preprints is developing in different geographical regions, and discussed drivers and barriers around preprint use for researchers in different regions with the speakers:
- Alex Mendonça, Online Submission & Preprints Coordinator, SciELO Brazil
- Thabiso Motaung, Lecturer at the University of Pretoria, South Africa
24 May 2021 Community Call – Bringing culture change to science communication
Preprints are often discussed in the context of broader culture change in science communication. Culture change can be a complex process that requires time and multiple approaches to facilitate a transition into new norms and practices. In our Community Call on May 24, we hosted a roundtable discussion with three speakers involved in changing scientific culture. We explored the approaches they have taken and what they have learned about what works (and does not) in supporting sustainable and scalable shifts in research practices.
- Clarissa Carneiro, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and the Brazilian Reproducibility Initiative, ReproducibiliTea Brazil.
- Brian Nosek, Executive Director at Center for Open Science.
- Malvika Sharan, Community Manager and Research Associate at The Alan Turing Institute (UK) and co-Founder of The Open Life Science program.
25 March 2021 Community Call – ‘Why do some researchers have reservations about preprints? Let’s ask them’
While the use of preprints in the life sciences is increasing, some researchers have concerns about posting their own work to a preprint server or more generally about the use of preprints for research dissemination. This can be due to the lack of peer review for preprints, the approach to research communication in specific disciplines or other reasons. In our Community Call on March 25, Iratxe and the ASAPbio Fellow Yamini Ravichandran chaired a conversation with two speakers who shared their reservations about preprints:
- Howard Browman, Principal Research Scientist at the Institute of Marine Research in Bergen (Norway), Editor-in-Chief of ICES Journal of Marine Science, Member of Council, Committee on Publication Ethics, Member, Editorial Policy Committee, Council of Science Editors
- Seth Leopold, Professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine (US), Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research
26 January 2021 Community Call – ASAPbio strategic direction & plans for 2021
At our January 2021 Community Call , we will provide an overview of our vision and strategic goals which will guide our work towards more openness and transparency in life sciences communication. We covered:
- ASAPbio President Prachee Avasthi shared her vision for the organization and life sciences communication
- ASAPbio Executive Director Jessica Polka and Associate Director Iratxe Puebla gave an overview of ASAPbio’s strategic goals and associated initiatives
- Group discussion and feedback on the goals and projects
5 November 2020 – ‘Preprint journal clubs – the nuts and bolts’
27 August 2020 – ‘Preprints in the media’
18 June 2020 – #biopreprints2020 workshop and recommendations
Join the ASAPbio Community
By joining the ASAPbio Community, you will have an opportunity to get updates around preprints use, connect with others with an interest in preprints and help spark conversations about the benefits and challenges of preprint posting.
We look forward to working with you! We always welcome ideas and feedback, if you have any queries or comments about the ASAPbio Community, please do get in touch by emailing Iratxe at email@example.com.