FAQ: Everything you need to know about Feature Stories and Article Highlights

In an effort to offer more value to subscribers and greater diversity of science-related content to journalists and members of the public on EurekAlert!, all subscribers may now submit Feature Stories and Article Highlights, which are automatically aggregated to the new Features and Articles Portal (http://www.eurekalert.org/features).

Here’s an FAQ on the largest expansion of acceptable content on EurekAlert! to date:

1. Is there an extra cost to post these new content types?

No. Both content types are available to all PIO-members whose organization has an active subscription with EurekAlert!, just the same as News Releases, Media Advisories, and Multimedia Releases. Organizations with a Standard Annual Subscription or who use the Pay-Per-Use service will have one submission credit deducted for each accepted Feature Story or Article Highlight submission.

2. What qualifies as a Feature Story?

Feature Stories are “evergreen” content and may include scientist profiles, expert Q&As, or teaching/research program highlights, to name a few possibilities. They are often longer than traditional press releases and follow a storytelling approach, usually tying in several angles of a research project or career profile to form a more human-interest perspective on the science. See the content submission guidelines for more info.

3. What qualifies as an Article Highlight?

Article Highlights are writeups of one or more research papers published at any time. They resemble press releases but are not required to follow a narrative format; it’s OK to use bullet points or subheads to delineate the key facts and takeaways about the research paper in an Article Highlight. See the content submission guidelines for more info.

4. Does the 90-day rule apply to these content types?

No, Feature Stories and Article Highlights are NOT subject to our recency requirement! Just remember that each submission regardless of content type uses up a credit, so always keep this in mind when considering whether to submit a Feature Story or Article Highlight about older research vs. a news release about a more recent publication, for example. Need more credits? Contact our business team at business@eurekalert.org for assistance.

5. Where are Feature Stories and Article Highlights displayed on the EurekAlert! website?

Both appear on the new Features and Articles Portal (www.eurekalert.org/features) in their respective tabs. In addition, organizations with a dedicated news portal, like the US Department of Energy, also have the option to display their Feature Stories and Article Highlights on their own branded pages within EurekAlert!.

Feature Stories and Article Highlights are not displayed in any news release feeds (e.g. Latest News, News by Subject, etc.) or included in twice-daily email alerts to Reporter-Members.

However, Feature Stories and Article Highlights, like all other content on EurekAlert!, are indexed by internal and external search engines and may surface in search results.

6. Are Feature Stories and Article Highlights included in the email alerts?

No, these content types are not included in the daily public or embargoed email alerts. They are available on our website only.

7. Will I be able to see stats for Feature Stories and Article Highlights my organization posts in my traffic reports?

Yes. Within the traffic reports section of your PIO dashboard on EurekAlert!, you’ll see any approved Feature Stories and/or Article Highlights included alongside your other submissions. All reports include a column that indicates the content type of each item listed. If you submit a lot of content, it may be easier to review and analyze your traffic reports via a CSV download.

8. Are these content types indexed by search engines?

Yes, Feature Stories and Article Highlights are indexed by our internal search engine and external ones like Google and Bing. Search engines index the headline, summary, and full text of all content posted on EurekAlert!.

9. Will EurekAlert! staff automatically recategorize my submission as a Feature Story or Article Highlight if it is ineligible as a News Release?

Yes, by default EurekAlert! staff will reclassify your submission if it is eligible as a different content type, and the submitter will receive an email notification when this occurs. If this happens and you prefer to not have your news release converted into a Feature Story or Article Highlight, contact us to request its removal. The credit for the rescinded posting will be returned to your account for use on another submission.

10. Does this mean I can submit content as a Feature Story or Article Highlight that EurekAlert! used to reject?

In some cases, yes.

Most notably, a news release describing a peer-reviewed publication that is rejected solely due to the 90-day requirement would now be eligible for submission (or recategorization) as an Article Highlight.

Similarly, a news release that doesn’t have a clear “news hook” making it eligible in one of the News Release categories (and isn’t ineligible for other reasons; see below) may be submitted or recategorized as a Feature Story.

Think of these changes to the guidelines as providing more options in your toolkit in terms of the types of content EurekAlert! accepts, not a “catch-all” for content that was previously ineligible for valid editorial reasons. There are a few kinds of information that EurekAlert! does not accept as any content type:

  • Content that describes research results destined for peer review, but available solely as preprint publications or working papers at the time of submission.
  • Editorial or commentary pieces that rest primarily on individual opinion as opposed to research produced through a credible, validated scientific process.
  • Verbatim copies of speeches, open letters, or other public statements without some narrative structure and detail to provide context and significance to the public.

You’re welcome to reach out to webmaster@eurekalert.org with any questions about whether your content is eligible as a Feature Story or Article Highlight before submitting.

11. This is a big change! Why did EurekAlert! decide to accept Feature Stories and Article Highlights to all subscribers?

A number of considerations have converged to help us come to this decision.

First and foremost, as a mission-driven non-profit content distribution platform and part of a scientific society, we aim to make available to journalists and the public as much – and as diverse – as possible a collection of science-related content from the scientific community.

For the last 25 years, EurekAlert! has become known as the go-to platform for single-study news releases for science journalists. But as our public readership evolves, and as science becomes increasingly intersectional and a part of the public dialogue, we feel it important to expand the scope of our content in order to present a more well-rounded perspective not just on the end result of the scientific endeavor but the process and its people.

Feature Stories, for instance, often provide a different, more holistic, human-centered approach to explaining science and its impact on society. Article Highlights offer a venue to package and contextualize a body of work that may span a longer period of time or across disciplines.

We also wanted to give members more value for their subscriptions, while still offering competitive rates for media distribution. We hope that expanding the scope of our acceptable content helps subscribers reach their overall outreach goals beyond media relations to encompass more direct-to-consumer public engagement.

Have a question we didn’t answer? Want to share your experiences or ideas about using alternative formats to news releases for public and media outreach? Add your voice to the EurekAlert! PIO Forum discussion platform. Not a member yet? Send an email to pio@eurekalert.org to request your invitation.