Media launch of scientific work
The Press Office at Karolinska Institutet is constantly working to inform the media about research and other activities that the general public may be interested in. This is done by publishing press releases, arranging press meetings, and providing journalists with news tips.
Research news during the pandemic
[Uppdated 2020-09-17] During the pandemic, the Communications and Public Relations Office will, as far as possible, prioritise research on COVID-19 and the new corona virus in our daily news production. The same selection criteria apply to COVID-19 research as to other research areas (view below). Exceptions can be made for studies of significant public interest. If necessary, the Communications and Public Relations Office will consult the resource team for quality assurance of information on COVID-19, appointed by KI’s President.
Only the Press Office may publish and distribute official press releases from KI. All employees are, however, free to contact journalists and provide them with news. If this is the case, it is a good idea to inform the Press Office so that other journalists, who contact us to do a follow up, can be given a good service.
When do we provide the media with information?
The Press Office collaborates with the Science Communications Strategist and the personnel involved in a particular case or project, to determine a suitable communication strategy. A number of important criteria are considered when we choose to contact journalists about a scientific publication or research conference:
- That the corresponding author or equivalent is working at KI or that the work is mainly linked to our university in some other way.
- That the news story has the quality of being sufficiently interesting outside the scientific community (i.e. newsworthiness).
- Time required for a communication activity and the present workload at the Press Office.
- Press releases and news tips to journalists are only sent out about original results after they have undergone peer-review, and are accepted for publication in a journal. We do not issue press releases about, for example, review articles, papers posted on open preprint servers or reports written on behalf of other organisations.
- Scientific quality is determined primarily by the journal's impact factor, where JIF 5 is a minimum benchmark for when press releases or news tips can be sent. Exceptions can be made for certain areas of research, however.
- For doctoral theses, the work in its entirety must have an interest to the media or general public, not just one or two of the articles included in the thesis.
Contact the Press Office as soon as your article has been accepted by a journal – do not wait until after it is published!
Press releases and news tips are mainly distributed with an embargo before, and/or immediately in association with, a scientific article being published online. Invitations to press briefings are distributed at least one week in advance of the event in question. For this reason, it is important that the Press Office get the chance to start working with the material immediately after an article has been accepted for publication, or as soon as the dates of a conference have been decided.
Expected time to finalize a press kit (well written press releases in Swedish and English, and portrait images) is at least three weeks. No information about research is distributed to the media without the involved scientist first approving the material. Please also view the specific information about media launching of doctoral theses below, as well as media relations in collaboration with other organisation.
Please send us the following material
- A summary of the results suitable for the general public, of maximum length one A4 page, preferably in Swedish. The text does not need to be highly polished, as long as it is understandable to a non-specialist and explains the significance of the research for the general public. If the journal in question is itself planning to publish a press release, this can act as a basis for this summary.
- The scientific article itself, in its most recent version.
- Contact details for the spokesperson or persons (with mobile number), reference information for the publication, titles, and the name of the department.
- Information about date of publication and/or contact details for the Press Office or equivalent at the journal.
- Portrait photograph of the spokesperson, if this is not already available in KI's open Mediabank. This should be a high-resolution image (300 dpi). We need also the name of the photographer and permission from him or her to distribute the photographs free of charge to the media.
- Information about funding, collaboration with companies or other organisations, and involvement in any EU networks, where relevant.
- That spokespersons update their personal profile page on ki.se.
Please send the material to the Press Office, as soon as possible: firstname.lastname@example.org. Embargoed material should be clearly marked with this information.
Press release, news tips or press conference?
Information to the media from the KI Press Office is presented in fixed templates in order to simplify the work and to create a uniform presentation. Our press releases are written in a journalistic style, similar to short news articles. We occasionally employ professional freelance writers when issuing press releases. The press releases are distributed by email to a wide audience, using a web-based database that prevents any recipient receiving multiple copies. Press releases are normally translated into English and sent to various web sites that publish research news, including KI's external online pressroom and the site KI News on ki.se.
Essentially the same procedure is followed for invitations to press conferences or news briefings. These invitations normally concern events on the university campuses that the Press Office considers to be of interest to a wider group of journalists. Only very rarely does the Press Office invite journalists to a press conference.
News tips are either based on a scientist’s own popular summary of the findings or includes a link to a news article on KI News, and this is sent directly to selected journalists. Items based on a popular summary only are usually not published on the external websites.
The Press Office often collaborates with the press offices of scientific journals in the pre-publication distribution of press releases to selected journalists. An embargo is set by the editorial office at the journal, and this should be respected by both scientists and journalists. The policy regarding pre-publication distribution differs from journal to journal and from publisher to publisher. Always ask the Press Office for advice about separate contact with journalists in matters related to scientific publications, before giving an interview or distributing pre-publication material on your own initiative, for example. We can in this way create a unified profile in our external communication, and we can prevent research results from being published before the journal has lifted the embargo.
The spokesperson given in information to the media is primarily the principal author of the article, or someone who can be said to be the principal investigator in other cases. If the principal investigator is a research student, the contact details for one of the supervisors are normally required. The supervisor or supervisors must have read through and approved the material being published. A maximum of two people can make statements in a press release, or be given as contact. In addition, contact details for the Press Office are always given in some way.
It is expected that a spokesperson is available by phone, and preferably also in person for photography purposes, as soon as the press material has been published and for at least the subsequent few days. The Press Office must be informed well in advance if this is not possible, and an alternative solution discussed. It is also expected that the spokesperson perform everything in his or her power to represent Karolinska Institutet in a pleasant, open manner, and to explain clearly the scientific material. The Press Office will be happy to provide advice and support in preparation for interviews. Some useful advice is also presented in the online document Advice when you are to be interviewed.
About contact details
Please note that the Press Office often saves contact details of spokespersons in our internal phonebook, for possible use in the future. If you believe that the Press Office may have saved your contact details at some point, and you are interested in checking, correcting or removing your details, contact us on email@example.com.
Media launch of doctoral theses
Every year, many people take their doctoral degree at KI. Unfortunately, it is not possible to publish a press release for each doctoral thesis, nor is it possible to present each one in the university’s own magazines or other communication channels. We do our best however to ensure that as many of our research students as possible are given the opportunity to distribute information to the media about their thesis work. We require the information that is listed above from research students, and we also require:
- a link to the thesis in the thesis database at KIB
- information about special wishes relating to the geographical area in which information is to be spread (if any)
- approval of the press material from the supervisor.
Material for the media launch of doctoral theses is to be sent both to the Press Office and to the editorial office of KI's popular science magazine Medical Science. Please send the material to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com – preferably directly after the 'nailing' procedure, to increase your chances of getting help.
Information about layout and printing of doctoral theses