Share your views about preprints – take the surveyASAPbio and the attendees of the #biopreprints2020 workshop are looking to get community feedback on the perceived benefits and concerns around preprints. We are seeking perspectives from a wide range of stakeholders involved in research communication to better understand how preprinting is perceived across stakeholder groups and research disciplines. Complete this brief surveyto share your views (less than 5 minutes to complete).
Responses will be shared publicly, aggregated across geographic, disciplinary, or professional categories. We will be using the results to inform future steps toward community engagement around preprints and to guide the development of preprint-related resources for different stakeholders.
Guest blog post: Trends in Open Peer Review
There has been rapid growth in the adoption of open peer review modalities among journals over the last decade and this trend has accelerated since 2017. This is one of the findings from a recent study by Peiling Wang (University of Tennessee-Knoxville), Dietmar Wolfram (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) and their colleagues. In their blog post, Professors Wang and Wolfram present salient findings from their study, discuss their broader research into how authors and reviewers engage with transparent review models and present lines of future research to gain a better understanding into open peer review.
Readings on racial inequities in academia and publishing
During #ShutDownSTEM, we reflected on how we can work to support a more equitable world as we pursue our mission, for example, by upholding the commitment to encourage diversity stated in our community guidelines, seeking diverse representation, evaluating open science interventions in light of their potential effects on equity and inclusion, and promoting the development of interventions that address inequality. We also worked to educate ourselves about the state of race and ethnicity in science and publishing. Read more to see resources we found helpful.
June Community call roundup
Our first ASAPbio Community call took place on 18 June 2020, we discussed the #biopreprints2020 workshop and the areas of preprint practice that different working groups have been focusing on. The working groups have developed recommendations for: engaging stakeholders, metadata requirements, data availability, version management, surfacing review events and handling of withdrawal and removal of preprints.
At the call attendees discussed the recommendations and provided feedback on the feasibility of different approaches and additional areas of consideration.
We will be finalising a report summarising the workshop and the recommendations in the coming weeks so stay tuned.
Meet the ASAPbio Fellows
The ASAPbio Fellows have been selected to participate in a six-month program structured to provide participants with the tools and skills they need to drive discussions about the productive use of preprints in the life sciences, and to become ASAPbio representatives at their institutions or scientific conferences. Each month, we’ll feature a few of the 26 Fellows so you can get to know them better. Read more about the program here.
What is your current role? Tell us a bit about your line of research. I obtained a PhD in Biotechnology from Free State University in 2015 and subsequently completed postdoctoral studies with the Agricultural Research Council and South African Sugarcane Research Institute, respectively. I joined the academic staff at the University of Pretoria (Department of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology) in September 2019, as a lecturer and a supervisor for postgraduate research projects.I am part of a diverse research team based in the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute, located on the University of Pretoria campus. My primary research interest lies in understanding the molecular basis of microbial pathogen interaction with plants. I am leveraging a molecular genetic approach in addressing this research area, particularly focusing on how small RNA molecules and extracellular membrane vesicles influence the virulence of forest pathogens.
What are you excited about in science communication? Evolving technology (and partly the COVID-19 pandemic) have radically reshaped the way we think about communicating science, making it relatively simple for crucial scientific data to be shared globally and made public. These are certainly exciting times for me to be a scientist as they demand capacity to discriminate between science information and misinformation, the varying and weird interpretations of it, and matching or contrasting these with reality or wider relevance to society.
Why did you choose to participate in the ASAPbio Fellows program? I chose to participate in the ASAPbio Fellows program to further improve my knowledge about the preprint landscape, to stay well-informed with latest developments around preprints and, ultimately, to raise awareness around the productive use and potential benefits of preprints in my country.
Ask me about…Professional responsibilities outside of my job description, I serve in the advisory subcommittee conducting risk assessments of biotechnologies for the National Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries; as an ethics division coordinator for the University of Pretoria; as an invited peer reviewer at various science journals and Competitive Programme for Rated Researchers for the National Research Foundation of South Africa; and now as a Fellow and community member for ASAPbio.
What is your current role? Tell us a bit about your line of research. During my PhD in Biochemistry at Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, I studied oxidative stress and energy metabolism, namely phosphoryl transference enzymes, in animal models of inborn errors of metabolism (IEM), focusing on the brain, and a possible interplay between redox and energy balance, also testing antioxidant interventions as adjuvant therapies for IEMs such as phenylketonuria. I am currently managing the publishing of papers related to my thesis and collaborations and working as copyeditor.
What are you excited about in science communication? What interests me the most in science communication are initiatives toward open science to promote collaborative, reproducible, and transparent science, fostering a healthy environment to share and discuss research findings.
Why did you choose to participate in the ASAPbio Fellows program? I chose to participate in the ASAPbio Fellows program to learn tools and skills to communicate with peers and a broader, diverse audience to promote the use of preprints with the support and guidance of an organized community.
Ask me about…Theories of knowledge (I am nowhere near being an expert, but this laid the foundation of my interest in science communication).
What is your current role? Tell us a bit about your line of research. Currently I am a postdoctoral fellow in Seattle WA, USA at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Toshi Tsukiyama’s lab. My work aims to uncover mechanisms of rapid and broad scale chromatin and transcription activation as cells exit from dormancy.
What are you excited about in science communication? I am most excited about increasing inclusion and a sense of belonging in science through open science communication. I think if we can improve the way we talk about science and give access to all, science will move forward in a new and fantastic direction.
Why did you choose to participate in the ASAPbio Fellows program? I chose to participate in the ASAPbio Fellows program because the way science is communicated needs to be changed. And ASAPbio has done tremendous work in opening the doors for better scientific communication. Preprints break away gatekeeping barriers to scientific careers that for-profit journals have held for so long. I believe that rapid access to scientific discovery is the best way to improve our scientific endeavors as a global society.
Ask me about…… art, animals, and video games.
Springer Nature expands its partnership with In Review to the Nature Research titles Nature Communications and Nature Biomedical Engineering:
Simine Vazire reflects on the shortcomings of journal peer review and the opportunities offered by peer review on preprints:
MITPressand the Berkeley School of Public Health have launched Rapid Reviews: COVID-19 (RR:C19), an open access, overlay journal that will select and rapidly review COVID-19 preprints: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/06/29/new-mit-press-journal-debunk-bad-covid-19-research