ASAPbio Fellows program: driving change in science communication

On this post, researchers can find out about the ASAPbio Fellows program and the ASAPbio Community, and how these initiatives are supporting researchers who want to learn about the productive way to use preprints in the life sciences.
ASAPbio Fellows program: driving change in science communication

There has been much discussion about preprints in recent years, but the most meaningful conversations for scientists are those they have with other scientists. Are others in their community posting preprints? What is the opinion of their collaborators? Would they like to preprint their next paper?

ASAPbio started in 2015 with a mission to bring innovation and transparency to research communication, and to work toward this mission, we promote the productive use of preprints in the life sciences. Since ASAPbio’s beginnings, community support has been central to our work. We aim to represent and elevate researchers’ voices in conversations about science communication, and to do this, we must understand how researchers’ views and needs are evolving. With that in mind, we seek to nurture a thriving community of researchers with an interest in preprints. The ASAPbio Community provides a forum for those interested in preprints to keep up-to-date with the latest developments in science communication and to provide input and feedback on ongoing initiatives. Our Community members engage via Community Calls and events, and are active contributors in ASAPbio’s working groups and projects.

In addition, we want to empower Community members to have conversations with others in their communities about preprints and the communication of their science. It was with this goal that we started our Fellows program in 2020.

The ASAPbio Fellows program

The ASAPbio Fellows program brings together participants from different disciplines and geographical regions to exchange information about preprints and the broader science communication space, and to share experiences, tools, and tips for driving conversations about preprints with others.

The 2022 program will be our third cohort and it will run for eight months, from April to November. As part of the program we will host monthly calls with the Fellows to explore different aspects of preprints in the life sciences: What are the latest trends? How are scientists engaging with preprints? How can you discuss preprinting your work with your colleagues if they have not yet used preprints?

Importantly, we want to provide tangible ways for Fellows to apply what they learn, and so the program also involves collaborative work on a preprint-related project. The Fellows work in small groups to develop a project of interest to them and over the last couple of years our Fellows have delivered a wide range of fantastic initiatives, including:





This is just a set of examples: you can read more about the participants and all the accomplishments of the 2020 Fellows and the 2021 Fellows on our website.

Have your say – become a 2022 ASAPbio Fellow

This year, we will invite the Fellows to either develop a project of their own interest, or choose to help us shape one of ASAPbio’s strategic initiatives for 2022. We have plans to develop a campaign to encourage an expanded use of preprints beyond the traditional journal article format, for example, to share early or ongoing work where authors seek community feedback. To inform our plans, we are running a survey to collect information on the motivations, potential concerns, and the type of feedback authors wish to receive when they post their preprint well in advance of an eventual journal submission – we would very much appreciate your input, please take the 5-minute survey. Having Fellows involved in driving this campaign will be essential as we look for community support and examples of how the expanded use of preprints has benefited researchers. We will also be running additional crowd preprint review activities and would love to have Fellows involved in coordinating and posting group reviews, and help us learn how we can make this preprint review modality as engaging as possible.  These are a few of the initiatives we’ll offer but we very much want to hear ideas from the Fellows as well, so anyone interested is welcome to put forward their own proposal for a project.

Interested? You can find additional information on the Fellows program Handbook and you can also contact me if you have any questions ( Applications for the 2022 cohort are open until March 25.

Culture change cannot happen without the community. Be the change you’d like to see - apply now to be one of the 2022 ASAPbio Fellows and be a force for positive change in science communication.

Screengrab of an ASAPbio Fellows online meeting

Top photo by Sigmund on Unsplash. All other images credited to ASAPbio.