ASAPbio newsletter volume 40

Preprints for ECRs webinar, Peer Review Workshops and more

Join us for a panel discussion on 'The impact of preprints for early career researchers'

Wednesday 6 October 2021 
5pm London | noon New York | 1pm Sao Paulo | 6pm Berlin 

Preprints help researchers worldwide to accelerate dissemination of research findings to the scientific community, but how exactly can preprints be a vehicle for career advancement? In this webinar, we will discuss the benefits of preprints for early career researchers, and the role of preprints in research dissemination, assessment, and recognition.


  • João Victor Cabral Costa, University of São Paulo, Brazil
  • Iain Cheeseman, Whitehead Institute, US
  • Hannah Hope, Open Research Lead at Wellcome, UK
  • Nafisa Jadavji, Midwestern University, US & Carleton University, Canada
Register for the webinar now

‘How to peer review’ workshops for the Preprint Reviewer Recruitment Network

September 22 & November 1
noon New York | 9am San Francisco | 5pm London | 6pm Berlin 

Our Preprint Reviewer Recruitment Network is a pilot to share researchers’ preprint reviewing experience with journals looking for reviewers or editorial board members. 

To assist researchers in the Network in developing their expertise with writing preprint reviews, we’re offering a 90-minute workshop that will introduce the how & why of preprint review, best practices for writing reviews that will help authors and editors, and personalized feedback from an editor on your own review. To participate, please sign up for the network and we’ll email you a link to register.

Sign up for the Network

First public reviews from the crowd preprint review trial 

Our crowd preprint review trial is underway and we are pleased to share that we have posted the public reviews for the first couple of preprints, the public evaluations are available on bioRxiv and Sciety.

  • Interested in joining the crowd? You can still sign up here.
  • We are seeking preprints for the trial - if you would like feedback on your latest cell biology preprint, please contact us (

Tackling information overload: identifying relevant preprints and reviewers 

In the last post summarizing the breakout sessions at the #FeedbackASAP meeting, we cover Christine Ferguson and Martin Fenner’s proposal to allow researchers to find preprints relevant to their research immediately after the preprints appear by leveraging Twitter attention preprints are receiving. In the same session, Daniel Mietchen outlined the differences between preprint and journal review and several recommendations for how to attract reviews on preprints.

Christine and Martin have developed a prototype newsletter where researchers can receive weekly lists of preprints in specific subject areas that received a minimal number of tweets, you can sign up to the newsletter at:

Preprints and Publishing in the Life and Biomedical Sciences: a course on preprints and the journal publication process 

While the communication of researchers’ work to the scientific community is a key step in the research process, how the publication process works is often not discussed or formally taught during scientific training. To support the training of early career researchers, the 2020 ASAPbio Fellows Tara Fischer, Gautam Dey, Jonny Coates, Aleksandra Petelski, Vanessa Bortoluzzi and Gilbert Kibet-Rono have developed a training course covering the publishing pipeline with an emphasis on the role of preprints at each stage.

You can read more about their project at this blog post, and access the course materials on GitHub or via ASAPbio’s Preprint resource center.

Meet the 2021 ASAPbio Fellows
The ASAPbio Fellows have been selected to participate in a six-month program that provides them with tools and skills to drive discussions about the productive use of preprints in the life sciences, and to become ASAPbio representatives for their communities. Each month, we feature a few of the 2021 ASAPbio Fellows so you can get to know them better. Read more about the program participants here.

Gabriela Nogueira Viçosa

I am currently a postoc in lab Alerta at Paulista school of Medicine/Federal University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, working on antimicrobial resistance and bacterial infections.

Communication plays a vital role in science: it is what enables establishing collaborations, sharing discoveries, and building communities. I believe that doing science involves not only creating new knowledge but also disseminating it, especially beyond the confines of academia.

Sumeet Pal Singh

I am a group leader at IRIBHM, ULB in Brussels, Belgium. I lead a group of three amazing PhD students and one irreplaceable technician. our group uses zebrafish as a model system and works on understanding how cells within a tissue multi-task.

The aim of making scientific discovery accessible to all is the need of the hour. There are many people, including researchers, that are disenfranchised from science as the manuscripts are locked behind paywalls. Without access, science cannot be equitable and inclusive.

Eider Valle Encinas

I am an early career researcher and inventor interested in how external inputs shape the behaviour of epithelial cells and how this knowledge can be used to improve human health. I have recently joined the Hubrecht Organoid Technology, a non-profit organization based in Utrecht (The Netherlands) where I will continue driving innovation and technology using organoids. 

I am excited about the use of preprints as channels to speed up the dissemination of discoveries and their potential as tools to promote collaboration, cooperation and enhance the cohesion of the scientific community.

News roundup

'Australian Research Council abandons preprints ban' - The Australian Research Council (ARC) has updated its policies to allow preprints to be cited in future rounds of grant applications. The announcement in August that the ARC had deemed more than 20 fellowship applications ineligible because they mentioned preprints and other non-peer-reviewed materials had met strong criticism from the research community. ASAPbio issued a letter to the ARC, supported by 123 signatories, urging this funder to revise its preprint policies.

Ben Barres Spotlight Awards 2021 - eLife is inviting applications for the 2021 Ben Barres Spotlight Awards, a funding scheme to support researchers from underrepresented backgrounds and countries with limited funding. This year the awards are also open to authors of life sciences preprints with public evaluations, including authors of preprints evaluated in the crowd preprint review trial.

'No revolution: COVID-19 boosted open access, but preprints are only a fraction of pandemic papers’ - Jeffrey Brainard discusses preprints and peer review in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and questions whether this has actually resulted in a lasting shake-up to the scientific publishing system.

If you missed the DORA-ASAPbio webinar about 'Preprints in Academic Assessment’, you can now catch up on the discussion via this blog post.


On September 23 Europe PMC is hosting the webinar ‘The future of preprint peer review’ as part of Peer Review Week 2021. The event that will explore what the future may hold in store for preprint peer review with speakers Maria Levchenko (Europe PMC Community Manager), Tatiana Giraud (University Paris Saclay and Peer Community In), Nonia Pariente (Editor-in-Chief of PLOS Biology), Thomas Lemberger (Deputy Head of Scientific Publications at EMBO and Review Commons) and Paul Shannon (Head of Technology at eLife and Sciety).

On September 22, also as part of Peer Review Week, PREreview, AfricArXiv, TCC Africa and Eider Africa will host roundtable discussion around identities in peer review, from an African Perspective.

Iratxe will speak at the panel discussion ‘Does Recognition Strengthen Peer Reviewer Identity?’ hosted by Reviewer Credits and Edanz.

ASAPbio in collaboration with Red de Investigación de Conocimiento Libre and Openlab Ecuador will be hosting a cycle of events about preprints in October (in Spanish). This is an initiative led by the ASAPbio Fellows Sandra Franco Iborra and Pablo Ranea-Robles. More information about the events soon to be available here.

Copyright © 2021 ASAPbio, Execept where noted, content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

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