AlphaGalileo FAQs

Welcome to the Frequently Asked Questions section. If you cannot find the answer to your query, please address urgent enquiries to the duty editor at news@alphagalileo.org.

1. What is AlphaGalileo?
2. What are AlphaGalileo's aims?
3. Why the name AlphaGalileo?
4. Who manages AlphaGalileo?
5. Who funds AlphaGalileo?

6. How do I contact the AlphaGalileo Project Team?
7. Why Internet based?
8. What are the categories of users?
9. Who can use the site?
10. How to register with AlphaGalileo?
11. Do you peer review postings?
12. How do you ensure the quality of news on the site?
13. Why do I need to provide a referee?
14. Who could be my referee?
15. What is an embargo?
16. Who can see embargoed news?
17. How do I know my press release has been accepted?
18. How long will it take for my news item to be visible on the site?
19. How long will my item remain on the site?
20. How do I know how many people have looked at my release?
21. How can I correct a mistake in my item?
22. How do I set my email alerts?
23. How do I stop receiving email alerts?
24. Why can I not see any journalists in the address book?
25. What are the software requirements for accessing the site?
26. Will I be bombarded with junk mail if I register?
27. My browser can't access the site
28. What attachments can I post on AlphaGalileo?


1. What is AlphaGalileo?
AlphaGalileo is the world's independent source of research news in science, health, technology, the arts, humanities, social sciences and business. Our objective is to promote the achievements and significance of research to the world's media.

Receiving research news from recognised scientific bodies, we provide journalists from all over the world with 24-hour-a-day access to press releases, event details, publication announcements, multimedia items, contributors' address book and background media information.

2. What are AlphaGalileo's aims?
AlphaGalileo's mission is to assist the world's media by providing research news in science and technology, health, the arts, humanities, social sciences and business, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The service operates as a single shop window for the press offices of research bodies.
AlphaGalileo's objectives are to enhance media coverage of research with these audiences and aims in mind:

  • the public - to help create an informed lay audience better able to engage in dialogue with government and research managers on the direction that research takes
  • business - to support wealth creation by increasing awareness amongst commerce and business world-wide of the new technologies being developed by the research community; and
  • young people - to encourage young people world-wide to consider research as an educational or career option.

3. Why the name AlphaGalileo?
It combines two foundations of scientific culture: the Greek language and one of the first scientists, the Italian Galileo Galilei.

4. Who manages the AlphaGalileo service?
AlphaGalileo is managed by the AlphaGalileo Foundation.

The site is run on a day-to-day basis by a small core team:

Managing Director - Peter Green
Peter Green has worked in advertising and public relations for all of his career. From the early 1970's he worked as a UK government publicity and press officer for scientific and technical departments. His international experience includes film-making in Eastern Europe, the chairmanship of an international publishing initiative and membership of an European Space Agency publicity task force.

Whilst at the UK's Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) he created the AlphaGalileo research news service in response to a suggestion by Lawrence McGinty at a meeting of journalists and PPARC researchers. In 2003 Peter established AlphaGalileo Foundation as an independent not-for-profit company. Peter is a Board Member of Euroscience.
peter.green@alphagalileo.org

Business Director - Derek Nelson
Derek followed a career with the BBC and a leading independent UK television company, with a period as a broadcast media consultant for the European Space Agency. He has worked as Chief Operating Officer for several new media ventures and specialises in repositioning and business development as well as media operations. From 2002 he has worked with several television and internet companies across Europe. Derek combines his media experience with a degree in computer science.
derek.nelson@alphagalileo.org

5. Who funds AlphaGalileo?
The AlphaGalileo service operates on subscriptions and commercial sponsorships.

6. How do I contact the AlphaGalileo Project Team?
We recommend using email in order to contact AlphaGalileo as the team works from offices across England and while travelling.

AlphaGalileo Foundation
16 Brune Street
London E1 7NJ
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7953 1023
news@alphagalileo.org

Emails to this address will be answered by the duty editor.

7. Why Internet based?
Being online based, we can guarantee instantaneous round-the-clock access to the most recent information. Journalists can read press releases at any time of the day or night wherever they have access to the internet. Researchers and public relations staff can be sure that their news is immediately available, subject to approval.

8. What are the categories of users?

The public can browse the site but there are also two categories of users who can register with AlphaGalileo: contributors and journalists.

Contributors are research public relations staff or press officers from research organisations. They can post press releases, event information and other material. They cannot see embargoed material unless they have posted it themselves. Contributors can register for email alerts of new material.

Journalists from the worldwide media can see embargoed material and register for email alerts of new material and embargoed news. They also have access to the address book and other benefits. See the Media Services section for more information.

Public users, not registered with AlphaGalileo, have only access to material that is out of embargo. They cannot use the address book or email facility.

All users can subscribe for RSS feeds and follow us in Twitter or Facebook.

9. Who can use the site?
Contributors - we welcome all contributors reporting on research work or by industry based on research.

Journalists - we welcome all types of journalists, scientific and non-scientific writers, freelancers and journalists from the national and local media as well as the trade and technical press.

Public - we welcome everyone who is interested in the achievements of research but who is neither a contributor nor a journalist.

10. How to register with AlphaGalileo?
If you would like to be a contributor and publish and distribute content on AlphaGalileo or if you are a journalist and you would like to have access to embargoed news, you should register with AlphaGalileo using our simple online forms. We will also ask you for your references. This is a necessary procedure that allows us to provide a service of the highest quality.

11. Do you peer review postings?

No, we don't peer review postings. The responsibility of accuracy of items remains with the contributor. Our posting policy gives guidance on what we can and cannot accept. We reserve the right to withdraw items or an individual's registration if we believe the site is being abused.

12. How do you ensure the quality of news on the site?

All contributors are vetted before being accepted. Our vetting procedures allow us to make sure that our contributors come from recognised research bodies. All postings are reviewed by the duty team member of staff against the criteria specified in our posting policy.

13. Why do I need to provide a referee?

Referees are needed to ensure that journalists are bona-fide and will respect embargoes. Contributors are asked for a referee to check that they are authorised to post responsible and accurate material on behalf of their organisation. Referees are therefore an important part of our vetting procedures to ensure the highest standards of quality.

14. Who could be my referee?

For journalists, an editor in chief would be acceptable or evidence of membership of a journalists' organisation. We usually, in addition, ask for recent clips.

For contributors, the head of the communication's department is most frequently used as a referee. Please note that publication on AlphaGalileo is the same as any other type of publication and material must have been through the publishing organisation's vetting procedure before it is sent to us.

15. What is an embargo?

An embargo prevents publication of material before the date specified, whilst allowing the media to undertake background research and prepare their articles or programmes. Embargoes are intended to help informed debate whilst retaining the intellectual right of prior publication. Embargoes are fundamental to publishing scientific results and journalists found breaching them may have their access to the site removed.

16. Who can see embargoed news?

Only registered journalists and the contributor who posted the item. Other users cannot see embargoed material until the embargo has expired.

17. How do I know my press release has been accepted?

You will see a message confirming that your release has been posted onto the site and later will receive an email telling you whether your release has been accepted or rejected. This email will also tell you how many email alerts have been sent out to users.

18. How long will it take for my news item to be visible on the site?

Under normal circumstances material posted Monday to Friday between 08.00 - 17.00 hrs (London time) on weekdays will be accepted within 30-60 minutes and be immediately available on the site and sent by email to subscribers. At public holidays your material will be checked and approved, but we ran a minimum service.

If you want your news included in the daily alerts for journalists make sure you submit them before 10.00 GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). If you want your news included in the weekly alerts for journalists you should post them before Friday 12.00 GMT.

Example 1: In the summer- 15:00 GMT = 16:00 in London summer time = 17:00 in Berlin summer time

Example 2: In the winter - 15:00 GMT = 15:00 in London winter time = 16:00 in Berlin winter time


19. How long will my item remain on the site?

All material is archived on the site and can be accessed using the search facilities: basic or advanced. Our content dates from our launch in 1998.

20. How do I know how many people have looked at my release?

To see the total number of alerts sent out and the number of times that your release has been accessed, please navigate to 'My content' and click on 'my submitted content'. We do not provide information on which journalists have looked at your release due to data protection considerations. See our privacy policy for more information.

21. How can I correct a mistake in my item?
You can preview your news at any time during the posting process. To go back to the editing view, you just need to click on 'edit' on the top of the page. Also, at the bottom of the page you can move backwards and forward using 'next' and 'back'. When you are satisfied with the view, you can click on 'submit' in the last page of the form. Once your news has been accepted, you can see and edit all your documents by going to the tab 'my content' on the top right, then 'my submitted content' and clicking on the pencil besides the item you want to change. As long as the documents are under embargo, you can only see them this way. Please note that if you submit changes, these will be again reviewed and re-approved.

22. How do I set my email alerts?
Log-in and click on 'My settings' on the top right. Then choose 'suspend or renew my email alerts' or 'edit my account preferences'. You can choose what content you receive by category, content type, language, frequency and format:

• Category

e.g. Agriculture, or SCIENCE (all)

• content type

e.g. news releases, events, publications, library and multimedia, etc

• Languages

Navigation language and content language/s (you can choose as many as you like). Your preferences will also apply to the content you see in the website when you click on 'view the latest news in my areas of interest'

• frequency

Contributors can choose to receive alerts daily or weekly.

Journalists can choose to receive daily, weekly or immediate alerts. Immediate alerts can be in summary or full text format.

• Format

HTML or Plain Text

23. How do I stop receiving email alerts?

Log-in and click on 'suspend or renew my email alerts', then choose 'I do not wish to receive alerts' and 'save' the changes.

You can change this at any time by logging in and selecting another option, e.g. 'daily'.

24. Why can I not see any journalists in the address book?

Journalists' address information is not available on the site. This is at the request of journalists. Some of the media organisations using our service are listed here.

25. What are the software requirements for accessing the site?
You will need a javascript enabled browser to use the service. Your browser preferences should be set to accept cookies and to check for new pages every time.

Recommended browsers: Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Microsoft Internet Explorer for Mac.

26. Will I be bombarded with junk mail if I register?

No. We do not release your email address (contributors) to anyone other than registered journalists. If we believe a user is abusing the address book, their access rights will be withdrawn. We email all registered journalists and contributors with our monthly eNEWS, which contains news about the service and science communication and the media.

27. My browser can't access the site
There are several possible causes for this. The most common is that your browser is not supported (see Question 25).

The next most common is that your browser has cached a corrupted page. You need to clear the cache using the preferences or settings commands in the browser and then close and restart your web browser. Your browser preferences should be set to check for new pages every time and to accept cookies. The AlphaGalileo site relies on cookies to handle the log-on of registered users and to enforce security. The cookie identifies you as a logged on and legitimate user of the service. We do this to safeguard embargoed items.

The AlphaGalileo site uses javascript. You may experience some problems if you do not have a javascript enabled browser.

If you still experience problems, write to us.

28. What attachments can I post on AlphaGalileo?

We accept the most common formats for documents, images, audio or video files. You will find more information in the upload section when submitting an item. We recommend to submit images in high resolution, so that they can be used for printed media. Please always include a caption with your attachment and the credits if it is copyright protected.