ASAPbio newsletter volume 35

Webinar 'Preprints - Accelerating plant sciences and agriculture', Community Call recap, 2021 ASAPbio Fellows and more


Join us for a panel discussion on 'Preprints- Accelerating plant sciences and agriculture'

Thursday 29 April 2021 

10am New York | 3pm London | 4pm Berlin | 7:30pm Mumbai

After a slower start compared to other research fields, adoption of preprints in the plant sciences and agriculture is growing. Why are researchers in plant and agricultural sciences posting preprints?

In our joint ASAPbio-CABI webinar, we will discuss the outlook of preprints in plant sciences and agriculture, explore what can be learned from fields with a longer tradition of preprint use and hear from researchers who have successfully used preprints for the communication of their research.


Niklaus Grünwald – Research Plant Pathologist at the Horticultural Crops Research Laboratory, USDA Agricultural Research Service, courtesy Professor at Oregon State University, founding Editor-in-Chief for CABI Agriculture and Bioscience.

Sridhar Gutam – Senior Scientist at ICAR-Indian Institute of Horticultural Research. Convenor for Open Access India, founder of the Open Access Journal of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, agriRxiv and IndiaRxiv.

Samantha Hindle – Content Manager at bioRxiv and medRxiv, Co-founder of PREreview.

Stephanie van Wyk – Post-doctoral research fellow at the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute, University of Pretoria.

Register now

Why do some researchers have reservations about preprints? – ASAPbio March Community Call recap

In our March Community Call we hosted a conversation with two researchers who have reservations about preprints. Dr Seth Leopold and Dr Howard Browman provided an overview of their concerns about the use of preprints and engaged in a lively conversation with the audience, led by the ASAPbio Fellow Yamini Ravichandran. 

It was a thought-provoking session where we heard perspectives about preprints different from those we more commonly hear within our Community. Missed the Call? Read about the discussion at our blog post.

The ASAPbio Community Action Group is here

The ASAPbio Community Action Group kicked off its activities last month with an initial meeting where the group brainstormed areas to work on. The group has shortlisted an initial set of items to focus on in the next months: 

  • Raise awareness about preprints in the Global South 
  • Maximize the visibility of existing ASAPbio infographics 
  • Engage with skeptics including advocacy conversations
  • Develop a quickstart guide for advocacy actions

Find out more about the Community Action Group in the blog post by Sarah Stryeck and Sandra Franco Iborra.

Resources from 'Preprints in the Public Eye' project

We have released resources and guidelines emerging from our work on the representation of preprints to broad audiences within the 'Preprints in the Public Eye' project. Our set of four infographics summarize more detailed documents developed by working groups who considered how preprint servers, researchers, institutions, and journalists could most accurately describe work in preprints.

Project Coordinator Jigisha Patel's piece in The Scientist provides an overview of the project and the resources developed.

Chinese translation for Preprint FAQ now available

We are pleased to share that we now have a Chinese translation available for our Preprint FAQ. Our sincere thanks to Michele Avissar-Whiting and the AJE team for the translation.

This adds to our existing Spanish and French translations for the Preprint FAQ. You can find these and additional preprint resources at our 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.

Ankita Jha

I am a postdoc in Dr Clare Waterman's lab at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA. Currently, I am looking at how cancer cells migrate through very confined spaces and maintain polarity.

I think the last year or so (The pandemic!!) has really shown us the need and necessity for science communication especially the effective need of outreach to increase faith in science. I have only recently started dipping my toes in science communication by doing science outreach activities with school students and I am excited to learn more about it.

Osman Aldirdiri

I study medicine at the University of Khartoum and conduct research on general surgery and anesthesiology in Sudan. I also conduct research in the area of scholarly communications in East Africa. I am currently on the board of directors of FORCE11 and on the executive committee of SPARC Africa.

I am excited about the possibility of creating/improving science communication modes that facilitate knowledge sharing to enhance scientific discovery in medicine and health sciences. I am also excited about improving science communication infrastructure in Africa and encourage language diversity and endogenous knowledge sharing.

Ksenia Kuznetsova

I am a PhD student studying the sequence of events leading to the establishment of transcription in the nuclear space of the developing embryo.

I want to be a better advocate of preprints and emphasize how they can communicate science efficiently to both the interdisciplinary scientific community and the general public.

News roundup

'The evolving role of preprints in the dissemination of COVID-19 research and their impact on the science communication landscape' -  An analysis of preprints posted on bioRxiv and medRxiv finds that COVID-19 preprints were accessed, cited and shared more than non-COVID-19 preprints; the PLOS Biology article also reports that COVID-19 preprints were shorter and published faster than non-COVID-19 preprints.

'Opinion: The Rise of Preprints Is No Cause for Alarm’  - Jonny Coates discusses in The Scientist his and colleagues' work around COVID-19 preprints (article above and this preprint), and argues that preprints can be trusted as a mechanism to disseminate science during a pandemic, to the same extent as we trust peer-reviewed literature.

'Preprints: a passport to the widest possible reach for your cancer research' - In this piece in The Cancer Researcher, Iratxe and the ASAPbio Fellow Keti Zeka discuss preprints, their benefits and their use in cancer research. 

ASAPbio will participate in

Iratxe will participate in the session 'Managing Information from Preprints: The Scholarly Record and the Public Need for Information (Especially during a Pandemic)' on May 3, as part of the CSE annual meeting.

Other events

NISO is hosting a virtual conference around preprints on April 21.
Copyright © 2021 ASAPbio, Execept where noted, content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

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