Upcoming expansion of eligible content and refinement in categories to better balance reporter and PIO needs
Several important changes to EurekAlert!’s editorial guidelines will go into effect with the launch of the new EurekAlert! platform – the biggest upgrade in our 25-year history.
The revised guidelines, based on science communication best practices and feedback collected over the years, aim to better meet the practical needs of working science journalists and public information officers (PIOs). These editorial changes also clarify the nature, source, and purpose of the content hosted on EurekAlert!, which, as part of AAAS, aims to enable journalists, PIOs, and the public to engage with, communicate, and understand science.
The descriptive category names and their associated criteria aim to more clearly delineate content and facilitate journalists’ newsgathering efforts.
For PIOs, these latest updates offer more options for sharing news content through EurekAlert!.
(Content solely available as a preprint, however, is still ineligible. Watch our 2020 PIO Seminar about preprints for an informative discussion on the pros and cons of promoting preprints.)
This blog post highlights what’s changed about EurekAlert!’s content eligibility guidelines. Our complete official content eligibility guidelines are available on our website.
Peer-reviewed or not? That is the question
In response to our journalist-members’ top request – to more easily distinguish news based on peer-review status – the former Research News category, which accounts for nearly 90% of submissions, has been split into two: Peer-Reviewed Publications and Reports & Proceedings. The key distinguishing factor between them is whether the information described in the news release has completed formal peer review.
News releases about peer-reviewed information – be it a research study, analysis of clinical trial results, or editorial – are kept distinct in the new Peer-Reviewed Publications category. Commentary and analysis about peer-reviewed studies may only be included in this category if the commentary and analysis themselves have been peer-reviewed.
News releases that describe research conducted through a recognized scientific process, but that is not intended for peer-reviewed publication in a scholarly journal, will now come under the new Reports & Proceedings category. This is the category that houses news releases describing results presented at a scientific meeting or at the conclusion of a clinical trial phase, agency or government reports, white papers, survey or image analyses, non-peer-reviewed research-based editorials and commentaries, or new resources made available to aid scientific research.
Announce your business here
More clearly defining research-based content gave us the opportunity to expand the Business Announcement category, formerly known as Science Business News. This category covers information that is mainly transactional and/or not a product of peer review. We now accept news about the scientific publishing industry, administrative or business news with societal impact, science-related public awareness initiatives and policy news, and formal position statements. We will still require that any administrative news articulates its societal or industry-wide impact, however, so the key question to ask is whether the news would be of interest to audiences beyond the submitting organization.
The Grant and Award Announcement category combines these two previously separate categories and has expanded to include releases about the availability of funding, award nominations, and calls for applications.
Lastly, the Meeting Announcement category now accepts summaries of recently convened conferences and seminars, in addition to logistical and programmatic news about upcoming events, either online or in-person, where new research will be presented.
Think beyond news releases
Incorporation of multimedia is the No. 1 feedback we receive from journalists and PIOs. As a result, we’ve re-tooled the former “Stand-alone Multimedia” submission process to create the Multimedia Release content type, available to all subscribers.
You may now submit a collection of up to seven related images, audio and video clips to create a Multimedia Release. A traditional news release narrative is not required, but you must provide multimedia rights & permissions, a brief summary and enough captions to “tell a story” and allow our staff to determine whether it meet our eligibility criteria.
For their eyes only
The Press Conference Announcement news release category has been replaced by the Media Advisory content type. Media Advisories are only visible to journalist-members logged in to EurekAlert!, and may include details regarding upcoming news briefings and other press-only events. As part of the expansion of eligible content, we now accept notices about expert media availability, expert lists related to breaking news, and expert Q&As. PS. Don’t forget to check out (and fill out) the new “Expert Contact” section on the news release submission form, it will power our new, news-release-based Expert Search function for reporters and PIOs.
For organizations utilizing EurekAlert!’s News Portal or Press Package services, the new platform offers three Premium Content types in support of the different ways they’d like to reach intended audiences. Premium Content is only accessible via an organization’s dedicated microsite and does not pre-empt other news release content. (For more information about hosting a news portal on EurekAlert!, please contact us.)
The Press Summary content type is available to organizations with a News Portal or Press Package on EurekAlert!. Press Summaries are short synopses of articles either forthcoming or recently published in a peer-reviewed journal and are visible only to logged-in journalist-members.
Feature Stories and Article Highlights are only displayed on an organization’s dedicated News Portal, such as the US Department of Energy’s Office of Science news portal, but are publicly accessible and indexed by external search engines. Feature Stories highlight timely or “evergreen” science-related topics, such as scientist profiles or chronicles of research projects, written in a long-form or more literary style. Article Highlights are short summaries of peer-reviewed research studies published in a scholarly journal. Feature Stories and Article Highlights are not subject to EurekAlert!’s 90-day publication recency requirement.
These eligibility guideline updates represent our continued efforts to help journalists find story ideas they want, help PIOs communicate the breadth and depth of the scientific enterprise, and to present science news content transparently and responsibly to the public.
Got feedback about these changes? Let us know what you think at email@example.com.