Spreading the news to science journalists
Monthly newsletter features summaries of research published in Elsevier journals – and media access to full articles
By Sacha Boucherie Posted on 17 December 2012
This year, Elsevier's Newsroom began sending out the Elsevier Monthly Research Selection (EMRS), an e-newsletter for science journalists featuring easy-to-read summaries of the research published in Elsevier's journals.
Distributed to about 1,500 journalists around the world, it highlights topical, intriguing, controversial, funny or otherwise noteworthy research that has just appeared online on ScienceDirect and is likely to appeal to the general public.
The newsletter has catalyzed hundreds of news stories worldwide. Here are some highlights:
- "Having A Little Brother Linked With Slightly Increased Blood Pressure: Study" — Huffington Post
- "Love Of Spicy Food Is Built Into Your Personality" Popsci (Popular Science)
- "Gossip isn't always bad: Idle talk brings employees close together and makes them more co-operative, study finds" — The Daily Mail
- "Karaoke car-nage: Singing while driving leads to decline in road performance, study finds" — Canada.com
- "Men with stressful jobs likely to be a flop in bed" — The Telegraph
- "Probiotic bacteria 'may help burn belly fat" — Live Science
- "New Message: Texting Is Not an Addiction" — The Fix
- "Apple a day keeps doctor away...as long as you eat the peel" — The Telegraph
- "Music videos make men feel the flab" — ABC Australia
- "Is Soy Milk Bad for Teeth?" — Yahoo!
To sign up for EMRS If you are a credentialed journalist writing about science and would like more information or would like to receive the EMRS, email the Elsevier Newsroom:email@example.com[/note]
How are articles chosen?
Submissions come directly from Elsevier's authors, publishers and editors, after which 10 to 12 of these papers are selected by Elsevier's Newsroom staff for inclusion. The selected papers are summarized in a couple of sentences, giving journalists enough information for a story angle while allowing them to decide what appeals to them most about the research and which study conclusions to write about.
Credentialed journalists receiving the EMRS are provided with a free personalized media code to ScienceDirect, valid for two years, which allows them to click through from the summaries to the direct full-text articles online.
In addition. The EMRS features extra themed issues, such as the Olympics Special and – this week – The Science of Christmas, in which case research papers are connected with the themes of winter and holidays and are fun to read.[note color="#f1f9fc" position="center" width=800 margin=10]
The Science of Christmas: Special Edition
Here is a sample of articles that appeared in the special holiday edition of the Elsevier Monthly Research Selection. Credentialed journalists always get free access to these stories on ScienceDirect so they can write informed articles. For some of the articles in this edition, the publishers of the journals have made these articles freely available to the public as well until the end of January.
Retrolective Studies on the Survival of Cancer Patients Treated With Mistletoe Extracts: A Meta-analysis
EXPLORE: The Journal of Science and Healing ׀ http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.explore.2012.06.005
Mistletoe gives hope to cancer patients
Cancer patients often look for alternative, supportive treatments. This study, published in EXPLORE: The Journal of Science and Healing, analysed the use of adjuvant mistletoe treatment (using extracts from Viscum Album, the European white-berry mistletoe) for therapeutic use in patients suffering from breast, melanoma, colorectal and pancreatic cancer. Results showed a moderate effect in favour of mistletoe treatment in patients in Germany and Switzerland. [divider]
Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology ׀ http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2012.06.009
Brussels sprouts cap cholesterol
Christmas vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts and red cabbage, belong to the family of vegetables called Brassica. This study published in Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology looked at the effects of extracts from Brassica vegetables on cholesterol. Results showed that polyphenol extracts from Brassica vegetables reduce cholesterol concentration in red blood cells which naturally tend to have a high level of cholesterol. [divider]
Animal Behaviour ׀ http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2012.03.007
Male Pisaura Mirabillis spiders offer items of prey, wrapped in silk, as nuptial gifts to females. A study published in Animal Behaviour looked at the effects of this gift-giving process on the spiders' mating rituals. Firstly, males were not found to cheat by inflating their gift with inedible items or by wrapping silk more loosely, showing their honest foraging success. Second, the males were slowed down by the gifts but this did not affect their success in male-male fighting contests. [divider]
Journal of Affective Disorders ׀ http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2012.10.019
Stay happy in the winter, turn off electric lighting.
This study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders looked at the unique population of the Old Order Amish community of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, a group that prohibits the use of electric lighting in their homes. It was found that the residents have a lower rate of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) than the general population. This may lead to identifying new factors of resilience to SAD, which may better inform future preventative and curative approaches. [divider]
Autoimmunity reviews ׀ http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.autrev.2012.07.007
Don't be in the dark about autoimmune diseases this winter
Vitamin D, which the body synthesizes using sunlight, could have a protective effect against autoimmune diseases. The study, published in Autoimmunity Reviews, analysed research collected over 38 years to assess the effects that vitamin D had on various conditions. The research concludes that vitamin D, particularly when sourced from sunlight, is important for the treatment of autoimmunity disease such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis.[/note] [divider]
The Elsevier Monthly Research Selection for Journalists is produced and distributed by the Elsevier Newsroom, which serves as an intermediary between the scientific community and general public. Press Officer Sacha Boucherie works closely with Elsevier's journal publishers, editors and authors at one end and with science journalists and reporters at the other end with the aim of spotlighting and promoting interesting, topical research articles. She is based in Elsevier's Amsterdam headquarters and holds a master's degree in social psychology at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.