ASAPbio newsletter volume 43

 2021 ASAPbio Fellows, preprint outreach in Bangladesh and more

Celebrating the 2021 cohort of ASAPbio Fellows

As we approach the end of 2021, we want to take an opportunity to celebrate the fantastic group of 2021 ASAPbio Fellows. This year we had 33 Fellows from 5 continents and backgrounds in 22 scientific disciplines. During the six-month program we discussed different aspects of preprints in the life sciences, exchanged tips and ideas, and had stimulating discussions about both successes and challenges ahead to ensure full and equitable preprint participation.

The Fellows worked on projects including an online webinar, a preprint providing a guide to preprinting for early career researchers, training modules addressing myths about preprints and more; we highlight a couple of their initiatives below, and you can read more about the 2021 ASAPbio Fellows on this blog post.

We'll run the Fellows program again next year, so stay tuned for updates about the 2022 cohort!

Winners of the ASAPbio preprint communication competition

Over the summer we ran a competition aiming to encourage and reward novel and creative ways to engage with the public about preprints - this was an initiative by the ASAPbio Fellows Tomas Aparicio, Ksenia Kuznetsova, Allan Ochola, Indre Piragyte-Langa and Claudia Vasquez. We recently announced the winners of the competition:

  • Poetry - “Imagine” by Supriya Vartak, a take on John Lennon’s song from the perspective of a scientist supporting preprints, open science and transparent peer review. 
  • Visual art - An infographic about the benefits of preprints by Alexandra Tichy.
Congratulations to the winners, and many thanks to the Fellows, the competition judges (Joanna Carvalho, Liam Holt and Dasapta Erwin Irawan) and all the participants.
New preprint infographics

We are pleased to share that we have three new preprint infographics available via our Preprint resource center and zenodo. These infographics have been created by the ASAPbio Fellows Sumeet Pal Singh, Christine Ferguson and Umar Ahmad, and they cover:

The prospects of preprints in Bangladesh
18 January 2022, 7pm Dhaka |1pm London | 8am New York

We are pleased to host a joint event on January 18 with Community of Biotechnology (Bangladesh) to raise awareness of preprints among the Bangladeshi research community. We'll discuss the benefits that preprints bring to researchers and readers, and explore what the next years may hold for adoption of preprints in Bangladesh.

Register for the event

Meet the 2021 ASAPbio Fellows
Over the last months, we have featured the participants in this year's ASAPbio Fellows program, we wrap up the series with the last set of Fellow profiles. More about the 2021 ASAPbio Fellows here.

Sónia Gomes Pereira

I am a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Geneva (Switzerland).

Our global knowledge will advance much faster if everyone contributes and collaborates in an open environment. Yet, scientists still do not share/communicate enough… Although preprints have introduced considerable changes to the way science can be shared (making it free to publish and to access), more work is still needed to change the well-established “pay-to-publish” and “pay-to-read” systems.

James Mc Keown

Most recently I worked as a postdoctoral research and development scientist for Solvotrin Therapeutics based in Trinity College Dublin. My job concentrated on small molecule drug design and development for T-cell lymphomas but involved a broad spectrum of disciplines including medicinal chemistry, cell biology and computer-aided drug design. 

Promoting and enabling dialogue on scientific innovations, breakthroughs and developments as they happen not only benefits us in terms of scientific progress but also goes a long way to break down academic barriers which can hinder productive collaboration and teamwork.

Shriyaa Mittal

I am a postdoctoral fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. I am broadly interested in the molecular mechanisms of RNA in a prebiotic environment. In my research, I use computational simulations to understand the structural aspects of RNA during non-enzymatic copying. 

I am excited about communication among scientists who come from different research fields and from diverse cultural and social backgrounds. I believe that with research teams becoming more interdisciplinary, as scientists we need to be aware of research in many different areas and the societal implications of our research.

Yulia Sevryugina

I am a Chemistry Librarian at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. I teach courses in information literacy and design online educational materials for Chemistry students. My education is in Chemistry. As a Chemistry Professor, I led a research group in the development of dopamine targeting drugs using boron clusters as pharmacophores.

I would like to bring awareness of preprints to young researchers at our university and beyond so that they would be able to take advantage of using them while advancing in their careers. 

Andrzej Szewczak-Harris

I am a Research Associate at the Department of Biochemistry and a Fellow of St Catharine's College, University of Cambridge. My research work is in structural biology of bacteria and I specialise in electron cryo-microscopy. I also teach biochemistry and genetics to first-year medical and veterinary students. 

Scientists have a duty to communicate with the public about our work, and to do so effectively, responsibly and constructively. I am particularly interested in the socio-political dimension of this dialogue. 

Lorena Santamaria Covarrubias

I am a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Cambridge (UK). My current research project is about understanding how the brain is able to learn in very noisy environments and create interventions to facilitate this learning process.

I am an open science advocate and I see a clear need to communicate science in a more suitable manner to a lay audience. Also, I think the publication system as it is now is not fair nor transparent and needs to be changed.

Madhumala K. Sadanandappa 

I am a postdoctoral fellow at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, NH. My research interest primarily focuses on ‘how various behavior arises?’ using Drosophila as a model organism, my study aims to discover the novel, conserved biological underpinnings of various behaviors. I hold a PhD in neuroscience from National Center for Biological Sciences, Bangalore. 

Science communication is a tool for disseminating ones’ research and an important skill to develop for an early-career researcher. In addition to developing communication skills, I am excited about promoting FAIR data principles.

News roundup

We are proud to be part of the Incentivizing Collaborative and Open Research (ICOR) initiative, which brings together stakeholders around a group of projects aiming to build a body of evidence for open research and scientific collaboration. ASAPbio is championing the Preprints in Progress project and we'll be sharing more about this project in 2022, in the meantime if you'd like to know more or get involved, please contact us!

Winners of the Ben Barres Spotlight Awards - eLife has announced the ten winners for this year’s Ben Barres awards, which provide funds and visibility to researchers from underrepresented groups or from countries with limited research funding.

'Scholarly communication in times of crisis: The response of the scholarly communication system to the COVID-19 pandemic' - The Research on Research Institute has issued a report looking into how the scholarly communication system responded to the COVID-19 crisis and the commitments outlined in the Wellcome-coordinated COVID-19 statement and the COVID-19 Rapid Review Initiative. The report notes that a large proportion of COVID-19 journal publications was made freely available, COVID-19 research data sharing remained low, and preprinting was lower than expected.

We contributed a post for FEBS Network discussing ASAPbio's mission, the ASAPbio Community, and our activities to drive innovation in science communication.

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

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