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When you choose to publish with PLOS, your research makes an impact. Make your work accessible to all, without restrictions, and accelerate scientific discovery with options like preprints and published peer review that make your work more Open.

Media Toolkit for PLOS Authors

Demonstrating that your research is of interest to a wide audience can help you raise your career profile, secure funding and connect with collaborators. Publishing your work is important, but helping people to see, read and cite your work matters too!

Download printable Media Toolkit

Quick tips for authors speaking to the media:

Respond promptly. If you agree to be the contact for journalists, you could be contacted by reporters from around the world. It is important that you respond to their queries in a timely manner as journalists work under tight deadlines. A delay could result in a story being published without your input.

Remember the embargo. Before giving an interview, confirm with the journalist that they will abide by the embargo.

Share your work. Provide journalists with a copy of your article and a link to where it will appear once published, so that they can include it in their coverage.

Before You Publicize

First steps: As soon as your paper has been accepted, reach out to the PLOS Media Team at press@plos.org to inform us of your promotion plans and to inquire about your publication date. We’ll aim to assign your paper a publication date with advance notice and give you time to prepare press materials.

What is an Embargo?

Embargos allow journalists time to research their stories, and gives authors and press officers time to coordinate press plans. Research under embargo cannot be discussed publicly, including via social media, until the article publishes. However, trusted members of the media can be sent embargoed materials in advance to prepare stories.

Institutional support: Many institutions have a dedicated press office with public information officers (PIOs) who work to promote their institute’s upcoming research. We encourage authors to work with their institutions–if you have a press office, they may be able to help you promote your article. We recommend copying your press office into your communication with the PLOS Media Team. We are happy to provide your press office with advance press copies of your article, as well as publication date and embargo information.

Your press office may be able to assist with:

  • Writing press releases
  • Distributing press releases to journalists and media outlets
  • Preparing social media outreach
  • Organizing press briefings
  • Organizing interviews with journalists

Publicizing Your Work

Press Releases: A press release is a brief descriptive blurb for journalists, outlining the main impact of your research and why the media/public should be interested (without overstating your conclusions). Press releases are sent to trusted journalists or posted on platforms such as EurekAlert or AlphaGalileo under embargo a few days prior to the publication date. Your institution’s press office may assist you, or you can write a press release yourself. 

Press Release Writing Tips

  • Brevity is best! Aim for 200-400 words.
  • Start with your most exciting finding in the title and subtitle, then briefly explain your background, methods, and conclusions. Most press releases also contain an author quote.
  • It’s crucial that you clearly state the embargo date, so that journalists know when they can publish their coverage of your work.
  • Be very careful not to overstate the conclusions of your research, keeping the press release accurate as well as interesting.
  • Most journalists are not scientists, so it may help to imagine that you are explaining your work to guests at a cocktail party. Try to avoid technical terms in your release.
  • Include the journal name (e.g.: PLOS ONE; PLOS Medicine; PLOS Genetics) and the article URL. Note: The PLOS Media Team can provide you with a link to the article which will go live when it is published
  • See the following resources for more release tips!

Social Media: Twitter, ResearchGate, LinkedIn and other scientific or general social media communities can be a great place to discuss your research.

How To Share

  • Post your new paper on Twitter, Facebook, ResearchGate and LinkedIn. Sharing your full article immediately upon publication is allowed under our CC-BY license.
  • Tag the appropriate PLOS journal on Twitter for extra impact and use the appropriate hashtag for searchability:
    • #plosoneauthor
    • #plosbiologyauthor
    • #plosmedicineauthor
    • #plosgeneticsauthor
    • #plospathogensauthor
    • #plosntdsauthor
    • #ploscompbiolauthor
  • Tag or message individuals or groups that would be interested in your work so they can help share it. This can include your institution, past and present lab mates, any societies you’re part of and relevant interest groups. Remember, you know your network best.

Online Communities: Boost visibility and share your work with institutional websites, interested online groups, and your personal contacts:

Other Ways To Promote

  • Add your new paper to your email signature so that your work is automatically shared out to your contacts.
  • Update departmental web pages and lab websites.
  • Update your personal website, blog or vlog with information and a link to your new paper!
  • Ask your co-authors to promote your paper via their social media channels too.

Speaking to the Media

By speaking to the media, you can demystify your work for the public, build relationships with news outlets, improve the accuracy of science reporting, and even set the news agenda. Here are some tips for communicating with journalists about your upcoming research:

Do

        1. Respond quickly to journalists
          Reporters have tight deadlines and may move ahead without your input if you can’t get back to them.
        2. Prepare in advance
          Write down 1-2 main points you want to highlight. Ask the journalist about the background, context, purpose of the interview and their audience.
        3. Make clear your publication date and time (the embargo information)
        4. Reach out to your institution’s press office for their help and advice.

Don’t

        1. Use technical terms – instead, consider looking for analogies to explain complex ideas.
          For instance, the human heart might be described as an “engine.”
        2. Comment on anything outside of your expertise
          Feel free to say “I don’t know.” Instead, return to your main points–for instance, you could say “I can’t speak to that point, but I can confirm that my main findings were…” This will make you less likely to be inadvertently misquoted or quoted out of context.

Get in Touch

We would be delighted to assist you with any queries. You can contact our media team or contact us individually using the details below.

Charlotte Bhaskar

Charlotte Bhaskar
Media Relations Manager (US)
+1 (415) 590-3467 ext. 3467

Bethany Baker

Bethany Baker
Senior Media Relations Manager (UK)
+44 (0)1223 446968

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