12 November 2021
How research is communicated should be of the greatest importance to academics, their organisations, funders, journals and the media organisation. Ultimately it should be of the highest importance to policy makers and society. Yet, in a world where research is increasingly published Open Access there is still a failure to include all of the relevant pieces of information, such as links to the research paper, especially on a local level.
Those working in the publishing, media communications, library and journalism sectors share common ground and would benefit from a greater understanding of how they could benefit by their greater collaboration. Librarians and journalists both work to analyse and deliver factual information, yet that is undermined by missing out key elements that can underpin a news story, such as an article or funder link.
Academics looking to capture pathways to impact miss out on evidence if there is no audit trail relating to the coverage due to the lack of proper media coverage. Whilst Altmetrics can help this, it often fails to pick up mentions, due to the aforementioned problems. The lack of substantial evidence within a news story has the potential to generate fake or poorly reported news, which can have a damaging impact on research communication. It is much harder for a journalist to apply bias or cherry pick a piece of research if they have to cite a freely available research article or lay summary.
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Our thanks to programme chair, Andy Tattersall and his programme committee, Manisha Bolina of Digital Science and Diane Coaker of F1000 Research.