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 we do by circulating press releases and news tips – as well as using KI’s social media channels, KI’s own news site, the magazine Medicinsk Vetenskap and the podcast Medicinvetarna.
The reason for issuing press releases and news tips is to communicate the latest information to the general public and to specific professional and patient groups. Some topics are best addressed in a full interview in our own popular science magazine or podcast, others 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 is allowed send out official press releases from KI.
If the Communications Office rejects your request to launch a publication to the media, you can approach the web editor at your department to have a news item posted on the KI news site. However, this approach will not include a press release to external journalists. Another means of reaching a wider audience is to share your paper on your personal social media account.
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 editor or until the paper appears in PubMed, but 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 liaise 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 very shortly afterwards.
Another reason to contact us early is that science communicators often send trusted journalists advance information – under embargo – a few days before an article is published.
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.
- A brief description of your results and why they should be communicated to the general public or a specific lay target group.
- The name of the journal.
- The reason why the paper can be considered a KI study and should be communicated by us.
- The name, title, department, email and tel. no of the spokes-scientist(s) - preferably no more than two.
Also, if possible:
- Details of how far along the publication process the paper has come, to help us plan.
- Information about what communication is being planned by any partners or the journal.
- Scientific 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 news is not an exact science, and is based on trend-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 help us in this process we have developed a number of selection keys, in dialogue with academic representatives.
The selection keys apply to centrally-produced research news from KI for the media and general public. They concern:
- 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 clear association with KI – 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 a journal impact-factor (JIF) of 5 or more, or ranks very highly within a research area. Please note that high JIF per se with few exceptions makes a study newsworthy on its own.
The above selection keys exclude conference abstracts, reviews, reports and papers published on preprint servers or in new journals with no JIF. We can make exceptions if the public interest or strategic importance for KI is judged sufficiently high. In such cases, it is especially important for all circumstances and scientific weaknesses to be accounted for. If necessary, we can engage other scientists at KI to give a second opinion.
Remember: The earlier in the process you contact the Communications Office, the greater the chance that we will be able to assist in the publication of your research news. A well-prepared popular science source text and an ability to communicate often lead to a good outcome.
Time to write, sort out illustrations and send
A press release is a news article with contact details to the spokes-scientists that journalists may easily contact with additional questions. The organisation’s logo, illustrations and diagrams for publication and other material of use to journalists is also often appended.
A news tip is a briefer text with contact details sent to a small group of journalists.
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 texts 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 must always be appended. 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 communicator 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 are also shared on KI’s Twitter account by the Communications Office. If you want to tag a certain Twitter account in the tweet, please make sure to inform us about it in good time.
On 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 communicator’s responsibility is to ensure that the news text is comprehensible, well-written and eye-catching; the researcher’s responsibility is to ensure that the news text is factually correct and corresponds to the results presented in the scientific article.
The most effective way to work together is usually that only one of the authors act as contact person with the communicator.
When it comes to interviews by journalists from external media channels, it is good to remember that journalists have a different role to the KI communicator and can ask probing questions about the study design and results.
If you are the spokesperson, you need to make yourself available when the news is released so that journalists get the chance to ask questions. Update your profile page on ki.se in advance in case of interviews.
News articles and press releases should provide clear information about granting bodies and other financiers as well as any declared commercial interests.
The press service
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 service is closed during major holidays.