Today we started inviting journalists who work with the Science Media Centre to register on Scimex.org, a new portal we have been developing with our colleagues at the Australian Science Media Centre.
Scimex replaces our Resource Library, a place where journalists could download embargoed research papers and press releases that we flag in our twice-weekly mail outs to them. The Resource Library was a pretty basic but secure section of our website where we stored a lot of PDFs and Word documents – Scimex ups our game considerably.
Why did we develop Scimex? Well, a few reasons.
– We found New Zealand journalists weren’t generally registering with the large northern hemisphere journals, partly because they are not covering science every day. Scimex lets them get a lot of embargoed information in one place.
– There is a growing group of experts in New Zealand who see the value of science communication and want to engage with the media. A great way to start is to put a profile on Scimex.
– Journalists are constantly asking us what is coming up research and events wise, so they can better plan their news coverage. The Scimex newsfeed, and coming events calendar and multimedia library will assist there.
– New Zealand institutions are looking to make a bigger impact globally. Scimex is also accessed by 1,200 Australian journalists and may expand to other countries where SMCs exist, so can put New Zealand research in front of a global audience.
We have been busy agreeing partnerships with some of the major scientific journals from around the world, so we now have the permission to host a much great volume of embargoed content, easy to download from one central location.
Your science newsfeed
In addition to journal press releases and papers, we are also inviting local institutions to upload research-related press releases. In the Scimex newsfeed you’ll see a mix of stories from here and around the world, hand-picked by our media advisors based on their importance and relevance to New Zealand and the topical issues attracting headlines.
Scimex features a database of experts, people in institutions around the country who are expert in their field and have also signalled a desire to work with the media. We plan to grow this list of experts significantly in the coming months.
Some of the stories on Scimex will feature added multimedia items – photos and videos that may be useful in developing a story. All of the stories in the Scimex newsfeed will have contact details for all the point people who know about the research and releases.
If you are a journalist who has already signed the SMC’s embargo agreement, registering on Scimex is incredibly easy. We will be sending you an email containing a link that will take you to a registration page where you simply need to choose a new password to complete your registration.
Journalists not yet registered with us can sign up for Scimex here – there’s a short registration form to fill out.
The SMC will continue to send out its twice-weekly research update (currently called the Research Radar, but soon to be relaunched as SMC Picks), as well as expert reaction alerts as news breaks. A service allowing journalists to customise their own Scimex alerts is also in development.
Scimex for experts and media officers
As mentioned above, Scimex also features profiles from experts who can register to promote themselves, their areas of expertise and media experience. If you are an expert you would like to be profiled on Scimex, register and fill out your profile form now.
If you are a media officer representing a New Zealand research institution, Scimex will also be of interest to you. Register for the opportunity to post press releases and research papers to the Scimex newsfeed where it will reach an audience of engaged journalists seeking newsworthy, science-related stories.
In the next few weeks, we’ll roll out some new features on Scimex:
Multimedia library – A place where institutions ca upload stock images and videos, B-roll footage that might be useful to journalists. We’ll also curate some of the best science-related images from here and around the world that have been released under Creative Commons licences.
Events calendar – We’ll beef up our existing SMC Events Calendar and allow institutions to upload their own events creating a central source of science event listings that will help journalists plan their news coverage.
Once we are out of our “soft launch” phase, Scimex will also serve as a valuable public resource, will all of the embargoed releases and research blurbs (minus the research papers and multimedia items) accessible on the site by the public. Over time, we expect this to become a major archive of science-related stories of interest to New Zealanders.
Scimex has been over a year in development and was only possible thanks to the hard work of our colleagues at the Australian Science Media Centre, and sponsors including the Australian Government’s Inspiring Australia initiative and on this side of the Tasman, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
We’ll be fine-tuning Scimex over the next couple of months. We’d love to hear your feedback and suggestions for additional features.