Daniela and Sam, Project Co-Leads: A Global Sprint 2017 Story

Daniela Saderi is a PhD student in Neuroscience at Oregon Health & Science University; Sam Hindle is Content Lead at bioRxiv in Cold Spring Harbor (formerly Assistant Professional Researcher at University of California, San Francisco)

We first met at another Mozilla event a few months before the 2017 Sprint — a Working Open Workshop in Portland, OR. There we’d begun to collaborate on resources to support and encourage researchers to start preprint journal clubs—a way to share results that’s faster and more open than the traditional academic publishing system. We officially launched this project — now called PREreview — at the 2017 Global Sprint, with Daniela working from Portland, OR and Sam from Mountain View, CA.

We were Project Co-Leads at the Sprint. We worked on a survey to get researchers’ feedback on the journal club idea, and also began developing a “starter kit” of resources to make it easier for researchers to review preprints at journal clubs. In advance of the Sprint, we made sure we had a clear README file and Roadmap for our project, so that interested folks could see what it was about and what stage we were at. We also created a few issues with some easy first “bugs” or tasks for participants to start on.

Sprinters in Portland

The first day, Daniela got to the Moz office at about noon and sprinted up until 6pm. The second day she was there from 9am up until 5pm, took a much needed break to go rock climbing, and continued sprinting in a cafe until 9pm. It was glorious! Down in Mountain View, Sam also worked late to take full advantage of the Sprint. We collaborated online with each other throughout the event, and with many awesome contributors who helped out remotely — via GitHub, video conferencing, and chat. We got great feedback on how to structure our surveys Chris Hartgerink (PhD student in Methodology and Statistics at the University of Tilberg in the Netherlands, and a 2017 Mozilla Fellow for Science) who’s an expert at formulating and analyzing surveys. Other researchers gave us advice on how to structure our peer review guidelines. This was extremely useful!

Much support, feedback, and encouragement came from Mozilla staff and from some of the 2016 Mozilla Fellows for Science who were spriting alongside us in both Portland and Mountain View. Sam really enjoyed the update “demo” calls where projects were shared with sites around the world. She was encouraged by other Sprinters to get involved and talk about the preprint project, even though she was a bit nervous as a first-timer. It was a really fun experience, and support from the team on-site made a big difference. Daniela loved the silly moments while video-connected to the groups in Mountain View and Toronto. At some point we all did some Global Sprint community yoga!

Portland stays connected via videoconferencing at the Sprint

We released our survey at the Sprint and garnered 102 respondents over the next two months (here are the results). Since the Sprint, PREreview project has thrived! Ongoing support from the open and Mozilla communities on Twitter led to us connecting with Josh Nicholson from Authorea, offered to provide the infrastructure for our PREreview platform…for free! Last fall we were awarded a mini-grant from Mozilla to support the work launched at the Sprint.

Daniela already knew that she liked to work in teams, but the Sprint made her realize that it’s what she want for her job moving forward. Her life motto has consolidated to the African proverb “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together!” Sam reflects on her Sprint as immensely satisfying experience, one she’d recommend to potential Sprinters without any hesitation whatsoever — do it!!

The 2018 Global Sprint is May 10–11! Host a site, lead a project, or pitch in as a participant — learn more!

Like what you read? Give Mozilla a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.