• Commission, media and web
There are a host of external resources that project groups can exploit to improve their communications. These range from various activities of the Research Commission itself, through other Commission activities such as CORDIS Wire and AthenaWeb, to specialist web sites covering science and media.
• Research DG activities
The Research DG itself is heavily involved in communicating the results of EU-funded research to the media and the general public. Your scientific officer will gladly advise you about any possibilities of participating in relevant media activities and provide an interface to the Information and Communication Unit.
Commission activities fall into four main categories:
- Media mailing list
Nearly 3 000 journalists – from television and radio to newspapers, magazines and scientific journals – receive targeted information on developments and results considered to be of interest to their various audiences. Press releases related to FP6 projects are prepared in close co-operation with project participants. Once finalised, they are sent to the mailing list (i.e. to journalists all over the world).
- Thematic press briefings
In addition to sending information to the media, the Information and Communications Unit invites journalists to frequent thematic press briefings – often ‘on location’ rather than in Brussels – where the scientists actually involved in the research present their results to the media. Such events typically generate dozens of TV and radio programme items, as well as newspaper and magazine articles across Europe. If the subject is suitable, a video news release can even be prepared for TV station use. Recent examples of briefings include those on flood prevention and mitigation (held in Dresden), smart sustainable manufacturing (Milan), and the environmental impact of antibiotics (Gothenburg).
- RTD info magazine
A free magazine entitled RTD info reaches the research community more directly. This has a circulation of over 80 000 copies – and a readership of almost ten times that. It includes specially written articles on selected projects and their results. In addition, it publicises events organised in connection with EU-funded projects.
RTD info is published in printed and electronic formats (via the Research website on Europa) in English, French and German; and in Spanish in electronic format only.
- Research website
Reaching the broadest of all possible audiences, the Research website on EUROPA – the European Union’s web portal – runs to some 18 000 pages covering all aspects of EU-funded research. Over the first eight months of 2003, the site averaged 1.25 million hits per month – more than twice the hits for the same period in 2002.
The EUROPA Research website aims to present the best of European research. Information on – and links to – research activities across the EU is accessible to the general public, the research community, policy-makers and the media.
• CORDIS Wire
CORDIS – the European Commission's information service on European research and innovation activities – offers a service known as CORDIS Wire, to which you can submit your project press releases. After evaluation of the content by a qualified administrator, accepted releases are posted on the site for downloading by journalists and other interested readers. When a release is not considered entirely suitable for inclusion, the administrator may contact you to resolve the problem. You can also request email notification of the publication of your releases. To access this facility, simply complete the general CORDIS registration form.
AthenaWeb, which was launched by the European Commission in early 2004, offered a professional science information portal for European research and audiovisual communities. It was discontinued in 2011.
AlphaGalileo is a website that describes itself as ‘the world’s leading resource for European research news’. Run by the not-for profit AlphaGalileo Foundation on a mix of government grants, commercial sponsorship and advertising, the service offers a fast and fast effective way to communicate with journalists around the world. It provides instant access to news, images, background information and a database of experts
Project press officers and scientists can register as ‘contributors’, giving rights to post press releases, book and event information, access the address book and view the complete reference library. You may also sign in as an ‘expert’, so that registered journalists can contact you for information on your chosen field.
• ECSITE network
ECSITE (European Collaborative for Science, Industry and Technology Exhibitions) is a European network of museums, science centers and other organisations involved in science communication to a wide public. Covering over 35 countries, it promotes the exchange of experience and novel ideas. ECSITE develops transnational projects for raising the public's awareness of science, funded by EC and other sources.
• EurActiv.com web portal
EurActiv is an independent and multilingual EU policy portal that targets mainly the community of EU actors: EU institutions, industry and unions, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), media, countries, regions and cities. The Science & Research section of EurActiv offers news, more in-depth coverage through LinksDossiers, interviews with key decision-makers and external analyses for the main EU research topics.
• Research TV
Research-TV produces ten-minute video news releases distributed to over 2 000 broadcasters worldwide. Each story is tailor made for TV news, timed to fit standard slots and highlight newsworthy issues such as groundbreaking research or new discoveries. Today, the main partners of Research-TV are British higher education centres of excellence.
• SCIRAB: Science in radio broadcasting
SCIRAB is one-year EU-financed project aimed at setting up a network of radio science journalists, researchers in science communication and scientists interested in broadcast radio. Main objectives are to exchange information and best practices; map existing science programmes; assess the role of the radio in science communication and in promoting the dialogue between science and society at large; stimulate a European dimension in the coverage of science by radio; and assess and explore the role of on-line broadcasting for science communication. Activities will include: surveys of radio programmes and literature on science communication on the radio and establishment of a science in radio broadcasting web site. A seminar and two workshops will cover:
- Success stories and best practice in the journalists-scientists-listeners interactions in radio programmes;
- Going on-line: challenges and opportunities of the audio over the Internet; and
- Going European: establish collaboration and exchange to make radio programming on science more international (taking advantage of new technologies, of course)
• Ascribe (USA)
AScribe is a USA-based company which distributes the news of non-profit and public sector organisations (universities, medical centres, foundations) directly into newsroom computers and desktops of major media organisations via Associated Press. AScribe Newswire also feeds the news to major news retrieval database services, on-line publications, developers of websites and intranets.