Post by Ehssan Moglad
On July 19, the Medicinal and Aromatics and Traditional Medicine Research Institute, National Center for Research, in Khartoum (Sudan), hosted a workshop about preprints and open science. The event was sponsored by ASAPbio and aimed to raise awareness around preprints among the local community of researchers, help them build skills about a productive use of preprints, and learn more about their place within open science.
The workshop was attended by around 50 attendees, which included PhD students and postgraduate researchers at the institute, university professors, and researchers in different roles. The audience also included attendees from various universities and institutes in Sudan with diverse academic backgrounds.
In this one-day workshop, three lectures were presented. The first lecture was presented by Dr Ehssan Moglad, associate professor at the institute and one of the 2022 ASAPbio Fellows. In this lecture, Dr Moglad provided an introduction to ASAPbio, as well as the organization’s mission and roadmap. The presentation also provided an overview of what preprints are, how preprints have developed since the initial experiments in the 1960s, and the increase in the use of preprints across disciplines in the last few years.
The second and third sessions in the workshop covered virtual lectures recorded over zoom and presented by Iratxe Puebla, ASAPbio’s Director of Strategic Initiatives & Community. These lectures explored the benefits of preprints for accelerating science communication, the landscape of preprint server, the value of preprints for individual researchers, and things to consider when choosing a preprint server. In her presentations, Iratxe delved deeper into different preprint-related topics and mentioned the benefits that preprints bring to individual researchers, and the workflow involved in posting to a preprint server. She rounded up the final lecture by providing “A 5-step guide to posting a preprint”.
After the lectures, a discussion session was opened to answer questions raised by attendees and to encourage them to share their experience or comments on the topic. One of the topics raised during the discussion was whether journals would reject manuscripts that had been preprinted, and what they could do if that happened.
The workshop participants were positive about the event and were pleased to have the chance to attend this first workshop in Sudan about preprint and open science. The workshop provided an opportunity to raise awareness about preprints in the region, providing researchers with information about the benefits of preprints and things to bear in mind to ensure a positive experience when posting a preprint of their own work.
ASAPbio is happy to support members of our community in raising awareness and fostering discussion about preprints. If you would like support for a local event at your institution, you can submit your application for support for the event here. Note that applicants must be ASAPbio Community members, you can join our Community for free at asapbio.org/asapbio-community.