Post by Iratxe Puebla, Associate Director, ASAPbio
We are at the end of 2021, a good time to reflect on the accomplishments and lessons of the year. One of the highlights for me has been, without a doubt, our fantastic group of 2021 ASAPbio Fellows.
Following the success of the Fellows program last year, we coordinated a second cohort of ASAPbio Fellows in 2021. In addition to our goal to provide participants with skills and support to drive discussions about the productive use of preprints, this year we also wanted to expand the geographical and discipline representation in the program, and I am pleased to say that the 2021 cohort includes 33 Fellows from 5 continents and with backgrounds in 22 scientific disciplines.
Over six months, we had monthly group sessions where we discussed the current landscape of preprints in the life sciences, preprint commenting and review initiatives, exchanged tips and ideas to handle conversations about preprints and to drive preprint initiatives, and explored challenges ahead to ensure full and equitable preprint participation for all communities. These were stimulating discussions where the Fellows shared their own experiences, challenges and success stories.
The Fellows also worked on six preprint projects aimed to raise awareness of preprints and to provide resources to others interested in learning more about preprints. This year the Fellows have worked on:
- The online webinar ‘The impact of preprints for early-career researchers’
- A competition to encourage communication about preprints with the broader public – you can read about the competition winners here
- Three preprint infographics, which have been added to our Preprint resource center and zenodo
- Three videos with preprint author testimonials which you can find on ASAPbio’s YouTube channel: Gautam Dey’s experience with preprints, Maria Sobczyk’s experience with preprints, Sónia Gomes Pereira’s experience with preprints
- Preprint “A guide to preprinting for early career researchers” – to be posted shortly
- Seven training modules addressing myths about preprints – to be hosted soon on the ASAPbio website
- A survey of perceptions on preprint use and preprint review – in preparation
In addition, the Fellows have also contributed to many ASAPbio activities in 2021, including the Community Action Group, the discussions at our #FeedbackASAP meeting and our crowd preprint review trial.
I want to thank all of the 2021 ASAPbio Fellows for their many contributions this year, and for the way in which they have supported each other and ASAPbio over the last months. They have provided valuable insights into how preprints can bring benefits to early career researchers, and on how perspectives and publication culture differ across geographical locations and communities. I thank them for being a continuous source of inspiration to bring positive change in scholarly communication. I look forward to continuing to interact with the Fellows about some of their ongoing projects and our initiatives for 2022, and I hope that next year will also bring opportunities to meet with some of them in person.
We will be running the Fellows program again in 2022, so stay tuned for announcements on the launch of the next cohort, and the additions we are planning for next year’s program. If you have questions about the Fellows program, feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or join our ASAPbio Community to keep up to date with our latest updates.