Happy 5th Birthday to preLights!

20 February 2023

Five years ago today, on a Tuesday afternoon, preLights was officially launched. What a journey it has been so far! From its beginning, the preLights community has been steadily growing to now include over 400 preLighters, 1400 subscribers and 7000 Twitter followers! Without the passion, dedication and support of this diverse and international community, the platform wouldn’t be where it is today. The video below highlights some of the important milestones reached during the last five years.

As with any birthday, today is a good day to both reflect on the past and look at the future. To that end, we sent out a survey to the preLighters earlier this year asking them what they like best about preLights and what they would suggest to help further develop the platform. We have received lovely feedback and highly valuable suggestions from the preLighters. Ethan for example suggested we could expand the postLights feature by “inviting the authors to share their experience post-publication” which will “greatly improve the transparency of the [review] process”. Rob felt that the preLists concept could be further expanded to “further help busy researchers stay on top of new developments”. Other potential new features such as shorter preLights (“flashLights”), preLights for lay-audiences and preLights appearing in the Company of Biologists journals were also mentioned. Finally, Holly and Marina both stressed the need to keep spreading the word about preLights to further promote and expand this platform. Thanks to all the preLighters who made suggestions for future developments – we’ll be working up some of these ideas as we continue to innovate the site.

Input from the preLighters is essential to move preLights forward, as they are the heart of this project. The best way to celebrate preLights’ 5th birthday is therefore to celebrate this community. As such, we will host a webinar next month, on 14 March 2023 from 16:00-17:00 GMT, which will feature talks by some of the first preLighters! Among other things, they will tell us about the challenges, opportunities, and obstacles they’ve faced as an early-career researcher and how this has led them to be in the different roles they are in today. Check out the poster below (or this dedicated news post) for more information about the speakers and please sign up here.

preLights 5th Birthday webinar announcement.

Finally, we have asked preLights Alumni to pick and highlight their favourite, recent preprints. Sergio and Andreas have kicked things off – see preList – and more entries will follow soon. So keep an eye on this festive preList! 👀

Happy 5th birthday preLights! 🎉🎉