Mentoring, promoting women in research and more updates from eLife Ambassadors

A round-up of discussions and articles shared by eLife Ambassadors in early February

A new group for discussion of mentoring has been established by Hammad Khan, there was lots of interesting discussion around (1) the effect of a lack of training for PIs in management on postdocs and PhDs (2) new PIs mentoring needs to understand the requirements for career progression. The EMBO leadership courses were highlighted as a great experience for new PIs.

In diversity, Ulrike Boehm shared about the platforms “Women in Research” she set up to promote women 11836632_1007040992660087_1973302538860497275_n.jpgin science on facebook and Twitter, with a request to get in touch if you have related articles to promote, and Karina Bravo posted her article about the importance of improving education for girls in STEM disciplines.

This week (Feb 8) has seen the ASAPBio meeting on Transparency, Recognition and Innovation in the Life Sciences at the HHMI. There has been lots of fantastic discussion around how to improve peer review and use of preprints on social media (#bioPeerReview) and a whole suite of articles published on their website. It will be really exciting to see what comes out of this meeting over the next few months.

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Relating to peer review, Romain Franconville highlighted J Neurosciences new mentoring scheme for ECRs, and there was the 5 year launch of 

In funding and careers Julia Steinberg raised the question of “What are the requirements we believe are necessary for fair funding that will change science for the better?” with a call to collate resources to draft into a position piece. Related to this topic Elisa Floriddia, Giulia Bertolin and Lotte de Winde discussed the effect of fixed term postdocs in different countries. Jerome Robert shared the PRIMA and PROMYS initiatives for funding women in science, and last but not least there was the massive popularity of the searchable list for postdoc funding opportunities being progressed by Aziz Khan and Juan Quintana among others.

In transparency Tracey Weissgerber proposed a meta-research initiative. Meta-research, or the science-of-science, applies scientific methodology to systematically evaluate the scientific literature. She provided the fantastic article on bar graphs as an example (this is a must read if you haven’t already – I used it many times in the past to try and convince colleagues of why barcharts are a bad choice).

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Tracey L. Weissgerber et al. (2015) Beyond Bar and Line Graphs: Time for a New Data Presentation Paradigm. PLOS Biol https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.1002128

In open science David Eccles and Jared Mamrot have started sharing resources about free and open-source software (FOSS) for use in research, and set up a group on Riot as an open-source alternative to Slack for instant messaging. Bradley Alecia raised the question of how to maintain distributed community involvement in open science projects, with resources exploring this issue.

In science communication Venkat Ramaswamy shared insights into the ongoing debate on social media about whether scientists should be allowed to review articles they have been interviewed for, before publishing, and floated the idea of a fact checking service.

What eLife Ambassadors have been reading

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