News and press releases on scientific publications
The Communications and Public Relations Office informs journalists about research and other activities at KI of potential public interest. This includes circulating press releases and sending informal tips about new research as well as using KI’s social media channels, KI’s own news site, the magazine Medicinsk Vetenskap and the podcast Medicinvetarna.
By issuing press releases and news tips, KI aims to communicate the latest research findings of relevance to the general public/journalists or specific professional and patient groups. Some topics are best covered in other formats, for example in a broad interview in our own popular science magazine or podcast, or by being shared on social media.
As an employee of the university, you are always free to send news tips to journalists, but only the Communications and Public Relations Office can distribute official press releases from KI.
If the Communications Office rejects your request for an official press release, you can approach the web editor at your department to inquire about the possibility of having a news item posted on KI's news site. Another way of reaching a wider audience is to share your paper on your personal social media accounts.
Getting in touch
Contact the Communications Office as soon as your paper has been accepted by a scientific journal. Do NOT wait until you have confirmation of the publication date from the journal or until the paper appears in PubMed, rather tell us as soon as you know that the paper has been accepted for publication (see below).
It takes time to produce a good news package with text and images and, if necessary, to coordinate with a partner organisation. Our science communicators are always busy and have little opportunity to help at short notice. Sometimes it is advisable to contact us even before your paper has been formally accepted if, for example, you believe it will be published upon accept or shortly after.
Another reason to contact us early is that it allows time to distribute your press release under embargo to trusted journalists, typically a few days ahead of publication. Providing journalists with embargoed content increases your chances of media coverage.
You can contact us by mailing email@example.com.
Make sure your email contains the following:
- The scientific paper in as late a version as possible – manuscript or proof is fine.
- The study's main findings and a brief explanation of why they would be of interest to the general public/journalists or a specific lay target group (i.e. what's the news hook).
- The name of the journal.
- Why the paper should be considered a KI study and therefore communicated by us.
- The name, title, department, email and phone number of the spokes-scientist(s) – preferably no more than two persons.
Also, if possible:
- Details of how far along the publication process the paper has come, to help us plan.
- Information about possible communication activities planned by collaboration partners or the journal.
- Scientific illustrations, diagrams or other graphic material that can be used in the communication (feel free to attach).
Contact the Communications Office as soon as your paper has been accepted by a journal – don’t wait until it’s been published! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
How we select our news
Evaluating the newsworthiness of a scientific publication is not an exact science. It is partly based on media-monitoring, knowledge of the readers’ interests and needs, and our goals of communication. Much weight is also given to the experience and competence of the science communicators. To guide us in this process, we have developed a number of selection criteria, in dialogue with academic representatives.
The selection criteria apply to centrally-produced research news and press releases from KI and involve:
- the topicality, comprehensibility and relevance of the paper for one or more lay target groups – this is the first assessment that we make;
- the strategic importance of the paper for KI as an organisation – public confidence in KI also influences our news evaluation;
- the paper’s link to KI, including whether a KI researcher is the corresponding author or, for instance, the Swedish coordinator of a large international collaboration;
- whether the paper contains original results (including metastudies) that have been accepted in a peer-reviewed journal;
- whether the journal has an impact-factor (JIF) of 5 or more, or ranks very highly within a research area. Please note that high JIF per se rarely is enough to make a study interesting to a wider audience.
The above selection criteria exclude conference abstracts, reviews, reports and papers published on preprint servers or in new journals with no JIF. We can make rare exceptions if the public interest or strategic importance for KI is deemed sufficiently high. In such cases, it is especially important for all caveats and scientific weaknesses to be accounted for. If necessary, we can involve other KI scientists to give a second opinion.
Remember: The earlier you contact the Communications Office, the greater the chance that we will be able to assist in informing the media and the general public about your latest research findings.
The first draft, multimedia and distribution
A press release is typically written as a news article and distributed to journalists with KI's logo attached. It always includes contact details to the spokes-scientists to allow journalists a chance to follow up with questions. Illustrations, diagrams and other material may be included to further elucidate the main findings.
A news tip can be a news article or informal text sent to a select group of journalists but without the KI logo. It also includes contact details to the spokes-scientists.
News articles and press releases from KI are usually based on the corresponding researcher’s popular science draft (approx. 500 words). The text is then revised by KI’s science communicators to give it a news structure that makes it interesting and comprehensible to the general public. Procured freelance journalists are sometimes engaged for the task.
The journal’s embargo is always respected – the corresponding researcher must always read and correct any errors before publication or circulation. All news articles/press releases are translated into English and the translations checked by the researcher.
Good graphics and illustrations can enhance media interest. Portrait photos that the media can use for free are always included in a press package. The simplest way to produce press images (for free publication) is to contact KI’s own photo agency, Bildmakarna. Other options can be discussed with the research editor assigned to work with your news release.
News tips and press releases are distributed at KI by email and via different web publishing tools, depending on the journalists and media we wish to reach. All press releases are published on our own news site – nyheter.ki.se/news.ki.se – and usually shared on KI’s Twitter account by the Communications Office. Please let us know if you have a personal Twitter account you want us to tag.
Regarding your contact details
Note that the Communications Office often saves the contact details of spokes-scientists in its internal directory for possible future use. If you think that we might have had reason to save your contact details and you want to inspect, change or delete them, please email us at email@example.com.
Roles, responsibilities and good relations
For the best results, news production should be collaborative and mutually respecting of roles. The research editor's responsibility is to ensure that the news article/press release is easy to understand, well-written and interesting for a layperson; the researcher’s responsibility is to ensure that the final text is factually correct and corresponds to the results presented in the scientific article.
For the sake of efficiency, it's best if only the authors who are going to be quoted in the article act as contact persons with the research editor.
When it comes to interviews by journalists from external media channels, it is good to remember that journalists have a different role than KI's research editors and may question the purpose of the study and its relevance in a broader context.
If you are the spokesperson, you need to make yourself available when the news is released so that journalists get a chance to ask questions. Update your profile page on ki.se in advance in case of interviews.
News articles and press releases should provide information about funding and conflicts of interest, including commercial interests.
The press office
Phone:+46 (0)8-524 860 77 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening hours: The press phone is staffed 09-20 on weekdays and 09-17 on weekends. The press office is closed during major holidays.