This meeting was held on January 14, 2021. See below for a summary, including recordings of the talks.

While misinformation and misinterpretation of research have been around for a long time, it is no understatement that this ‘Age of Misinformation’ has reached its height in 2020. It has never been so easy to misinterpret or be misinformed about what is going on in the world.

There has been plenty of anxiety about the potential for inadvertent and intentional misreporting of new research related to Covid-19 in the media and how that might be misused or cause harm. The anxiety has been particularly around the role that the explosion of research posted on preprints might be playing in this phenomenon. That said, the impact of Covid-19 on preprints has also provided a strong impetus to develop novel ways to address the problem. 

ASAPbio will be hosting an online event on January 14th that brings together a wide range of expertise to highlight issues around the media reporting of research with a special focus on preprints. There will be presentations of positive and practical steps that can be taken to improve how research is reported in the media to avoid its misinterpretation and misuse. Not least of these initiatives is ASAPbio’s own Preprints in the Public Eye project funded by Open Society Foundations. You can provide feedback on that project here.

For the first time, we will be running a live interactive experiment on Twitter during the event.

Provisional program
4pm GMT/ 11am EST/ 8am PSTWelcome and introduction.
Jigisha Patel, ASAPbio.
4.10pm GMT/ 11.10am EST/ 8.10am PSTCOVID-19: Covering Science at Dangerous Speeds.
Ivan Oransky, Retraction Watch, Association of Healthcare Journalists, Arthur Carter Journalism Institute, New York University.
4.20pm GMT/ 11.20 am EST/ 8.20am PST“Not peer-reviewed, but available to try”: Portrayals of COVID-19 preprints in online media stories.
Alice Fleerackers, PhD student, Scholarly Communications Lab, Simon Fraser University.
4.30pm GMT/ 11.30am EST/ 8.30am PST
Lightning talks
Preprints and the media: friends or foes?
A perspective from a university press office.
Elisa Nelissen, KU Leuven.
Opening the floodgates: Pandemic science communication in a large research hospital.
Roberto Buccione, IRCCS Ospedale San Raffaele & Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele.
A quick look at steps one preprint server (SSRN) has taken to address the problem of misinformation in the media.
Shirley Decker-Lucke, SSRN.
Preprint reviews and the media.
Emily Packer, eLife.
Rapid Reviews COVID-19: An experiment in peer reviewing preprints.
Nick Lindsay, MIT Press.
The year preprints met mass media: how preprints have impacted reporting and what the rest of us can do to help.
Tom Sheldon, Science Media Centre.
5pm GMT/ 12pm EST/ 9am PST 
Breakout session
An experiment in tweeting to a format.
6,15pm GMT/ 1.15pm EST/ 10.15am PSTCall for final feedback on the Preprints in the Public Eye project.
Concluding remarks.
Jigisha Patel, ASAPbio.
6.30pm GMT/1.30pm EST/10.30am PST