Here you will find an overview of the various types of service offered by the Science Media Center Germany.
When something important involving science suddenly happens, journalists need to respond as quickly as possible. The SMC editorial office will put together assessments and quotations by proven experts and deliver this knowledge in the form of journalistic resources. Rapid Reaction supplies facts and arguments from different points of view, is a source of authoritative quotations and thus creates the foundations for sound reporting and more comprehensive research of your own.
Research in Context
When the results of scientific research are published that are likely to hit the headlines, journalists need to understand the context in order to report appropriately on the specialist publication. Our SMC editorial office acquires statements from independent experts not involved in the study or publication on how to classify the findings in terms of subject and method; they can also draw attention to ethical or legal boundaries and explain the significance for further research or for society. In this way, the research is set in a broader context.
So, the Research in Context service is rather like a pre-publication expert peer review. What is more: journalists receive these valuable short commentaries and assessments at the very moment they are preparing their reports for the media. It helps them to judge better how important new findings really are.
And all this may be happening while the press embargo is still in place (see below: Embargo).
When a topic is unwieldy or complex, Fact Sheets deliver valuable expertise, with off-the-record information, compilations of facts and crib sheets. On topics that have not received much media attention or suddenly hit the news, we also supply dedicated overviews, summaries and link lists. The Fact Sheets provide in-depth information on overarching topics like glyphosate and social bots in election campaigns whilst offering a more general overview of relevant knowledge on wider issues like e-cigarettes and genome editing.
SMC organises Press Briefings on certain themes such as scientific sensations, or breaking news with scientific content or political relevance. Run by SMC, with scientists, for journalists. In this way, journalists get independent, exclusive access to the experts. Press Briefings are usually public events like press conferences, but they may be private occasions like off-the-record conversations. Whichever format, a Press Briefing could be a live event, or a video or online conference. Press Briefings typically mean attending in person, but a livestream is usually on offer so that journalists can still listen and ask questions even if they are not present.
We respect the science community’s press embargos.
Journalists who want to receive information from SMC during an embargo must declare in writing that they will respect the rules of the embargo.
Specialist journals usually allow registered journalists access to their publications even before they have appeared – that is, during the press embargo. SMC makes use of this period to acquire expert assessments. These expert statements are then sent to relevant registered journalists under the same embargo rules imposed by the respective specialist publication.