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

Contents

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 2022, the program will run from April to November, participants will engage in a schedule of activities including:

  • Orientation week 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
  • Fellows will be invited to help develop one of the ASAPbio initiatives below, or can choose and develop their own preprint project

You can find more information at our ASAPbio Fellow program page and on the program Handbook.

Community guidelines

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.

Community Calls

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.

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

8 June 2022 Community Call – Preprints in Progress

At our next Community call in June, we will explore 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 will:

  • Present our vision and plans for our ‘Preprints in progress’ project that seeks to expand the use of preprints.
  • Welcome Alexandra Navarro from the Whitehead Institute (MIT, US) as a guest speaker. Alexandra will speak 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.

Past ASAPbio Community Calls

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.

Speakers:

  • 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

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 iratxe.puebla@asapbio.org.