Blog post by Sarah Stryeck
The ASAPbio Community Action Group chaired by Marco Fumasoni (Harvard University, US) and Sarah Stryeck (University of Technology, Graz and Know-Center GmbH Austria), both 2020 ASAPbio Fellows kicked off in March 2021. As we approach the one-year mark, we wanted to celebrate the group’s accomplishments in its first year and share our plans for 2022.
Mission of the Community Action Group
The mission of the ASAPbio Community Action Group is to support our community members in spreading the word about preprints within their institutions and communities and inspire them to take steps locally in support of preprints. In order to do so, the group is working on the development of resources to support others in running their own actions, and to consolidate activities and success stories about preprints around the world.
The group launched with 12 participants from both Europe and North America with backgrounds in research, open science, education and outreach, and the publishing sector.
In 2021 the group focused on three areas:
(i) Raising awareness about preprints in different geographical regions
The Community Action Group explored collaborations with groups from diverse geographical regions to work together in outreach about preprints, run webinars in their languages, and develop activities tailored to their needs. As a result of these contacts, we have participated in events addressed to different audiences:
- A webinar with RINarxiv as part of their ‘Preprint month’ activities in August 2021
- A cycle of four preprint events in Spanish in October 2021, in collaboration with Red de Investigación de Conocimiento Libre and OpenLab, Ecuador (videos available here).
- An event with the Community of Biotechnology for the Bangladeshi community last January.
(ii) Maximising the visibility of the existing ASAPbio infographics
We shared the existing preprint infographics on social media to encourage their use.
Our Community members also contributed translations to new languages (e.g., Hindi, Urdu, Chinese, Swahili). Single pdf files are already available for translations to Spanish, French and Portuguese, we will continue to add translations to other languages and support their visibility via social media campaigns.
(iii) Engaging with skeptics including advocacy conversations
In order to engage with those who may have queries or concerns about preprints, the Community Action Group has discussed the option of a video sketch that provides information in a playful way. We are keen to hear from anyone who may be interested in contributing to a video, so if you have video skills and an interest in preprints, please do get in touch!
Our plans for 2022
At the end of 2021, we reviewed the work of the Community Action Group. The group enjoyed the meetings and were of one mind to further develop the community and the ongoing activities.
For 2022, group members raised a number of exciting ideas and in the coming months we will be focusing on the following areas:
- Promote preprint review activities
- Recognition for preprints as part of research assessment – develop a policy change toolkit, outreach in different countries
- Fact sheet of research evidence/meta-research on preprints – trends in use, stakeholder surveys
Within the next few weeks, we will develop plans for these activities.
We are very grateful about this community effort, the great interest and the enthusiasm that all the members brought to the program. We are always looking for more members who can help us build our list of ideas and goals, and contribute to resources and activities. We are also keen to collaborate with other groups with aligned interests. If you’d like to know more about the Community Action Group and get involved, feel free to contact us via Iratxe at firstname.lastname@example.org.