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preLights – FocalPlane social writing event

Posted by , on 27 October 2021

On Thursday 30 September we hosted our first social writing event in collaboration with our sister site preLights.

preLights is the preprint highlighting service run by the biological community and supported by The Company of Biologists. Their dedicated team of scientists (the ‘preLighters’) select, highlight and comment on preprints they feel are of particular interest to the biological community. The highlights include a summary of the preprint, the reasons it was selected and the preLighter’s thoughts on its significance. Many preLights posts also feature responses from the authors of the preprint, answering questions the preLighters have raised or providing further insight into the work.

This was our first social networking and writing event for preLighters, and was a great opportunity to meet other preLighters and work collaboratively on a preLights post. Helen, the Community Manager of preLights, and I selected two microscopy-related preprints from two different biology fields: parasitology and neuroscience. The attendees were invited to choose one of the preprints and read it in advance. Then, during the Zoom event the attendees split out into two breakout rooms, each room focusing on one preprint, where they had the chance to discuss the preprint in detail and start drafting the highlight. After the event, the groups had one week to finish writing their preLight post and share it with the other group for editing. Once the final versions were ready, the preLights were sent to the authors.

A Zoom screenshot from the event

Here are the preLights posts that came out of this event:

This was a fun event and all the preLighters who attended enjoyed it; we hope this is the first writing event of many more to come! Would you be interested in participating in future writing events? Contact us.

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