Thursday, October 21, 2010

EurekAlert! reporter-eligibility guidelines

We've noticed some online chat about EurekAlert!'s eligibility guidelines for reporters wanting to register for access to embargoed news. This single-serving blog is intended to clear up misinformation now making the rounds.

First, any science reporter who applies for access to EurekAlert! and is initially denied based on published policies should know that a speedy re-adjudication is always possible by contacting me at If I'm not available, please contact Barb Rice at I can't promise that the answer in a particular case will ultimately be "yes." But I can promise that we won't make the final decision in haste, or independently, and that we will seek input from multiple external reporter-advisors and others, as needed.

Second, here's a brief summary of our eligibility guidelines for reporter access: EurekAlert! criteria for reporter-level access are broad: We currently have 7,400 registered reporters working in at least 60 countries.

Access is granted to reporters working on-staff, or on a freelance basis, and including a large number of science bloggers. Eligible reporters should not have ineligible dual affiliations that might pose a conflict of interest or, yes, a potential violation of SEC guidelines. Ineligible categories include financial analysts, lobbyists, special interest or advocacy representatives, and advertising or marketing professionals. Potential conflicts of interest encompass scientists who may compete for funding with peers featured in embargoed news releases. Obviously, individual cases may present us with many shades of gray, and so we remain open to re-evaluating any registration request.

Fortunately, all content on EurekAlert! is freely accessible to the public immediately after embargoes lift, including a keyword-searchable database of hundreds of thousands of research news releases, science news specially written for K-12 students, the multimedia gallery, and much more.

The dedicated, intelligent, talented, extremely hard-working, basically amazing EurekAlert! staff at our nonprofit organization includes: Jennifer G., Jennifer H., Abby, Orien, Claire, Patrick, and Joe. It's an honor to work with all of them. Anyone with questions should please stop by for a chat on the EurekAlert! Facebook page. Or call me! Or stop by and see us. We'd like to hear from you.

Thanks to all who are communicating science broadly.

- Ginger,