Savvy Users Corner

Below you will find explanations and hints on ways to use AlphaGalileo to your best advantage.

Account managers

Additional contact

Attachments

Embargoed items

Embargoed items versus Restricted Items

Keywords

Keyword: Life Science

Languages: post in different languages

Library and multimedia items

News by region

Peer reviewed and bibliographic references

Preferences: How to change them

Preview your items

RSS feeds

Sharing login details

Statistics

Summary of an item

Withdraw an item

 

Account managers

Being ‘Account Manager’ for your organisation, What does it mean?

The Account Manager is AlphaGalileo’s main contact at the organisation and is the person in charge of authorising new users so that they can also post news under the account. When a new user from an existing organisation registers, she/he needs to choose an existing account manager as a referee in our registration form. Once we receive the application we check with the account manager if the new person can have access and distribute news on their behalf.

Editing the information we hold for an organisation, including the description, logo, contact details, etc. is something that only the account manager can do. Under special circumstances, we can allow an organisation to have more than one account manager.

Account managers can also check and edit the list of users authorised by the organisation. They can find this list by clicking on ‘my settings’, then on ‘view my organisation’s details’. In this section, account managers will also find the list of all the content posted by all users of the organisation, so that they can edit items submitted by their colleagues and check the statistics. The list of all the content can then be used for internal reporting, etc.

Additional contact

Use an additional contact

If you wish journalists contact other person instead of you regarding a press release, you can add an additional contact. The additional contact feature allows you to replace the personal contact details of your account by the details of the relevant person for a specific press release. Journalist will see this information at the top of the item together with your organisation's details and logo.

The additional contact feature appears at the end of the online form. You only need to add the name, telephone and email of the researcher or the person that may be more appropriate to deal with journalists in the specific release, and this will be changed.

Attachments

All about Attachments…

Do you know you can upload up to five attachments (PDF, video, audio, pictures, etc.) with your postings? Our feedback from journalists indicates that they highly appreciate the availability of images, videos, scientific papers, etc., without having to contact the press officer, because given the international nature of the service it takes sometimes days to contact offices in different time zones. However, they can access AlphaGalileo 24/7 and get all the material with one click.

  • Upload attachments: To upload images, PDF’s and other files to your published item, go to the field ‘Item Attachments’, hover your mouse over the info icon to find out the file types accepted and chose one of them. Please note that the caption field is compulsory. Once you browse an attachment and fill in a caption, click on the field ‘upload’. If you do not wish your attachments to be accessible to the public but only to journalists (see below), click on ‘Restrict to journalists’ under the caption field.
  • Restrict attachments: If you wish only journalists to download your files (like the scientific paper or a copyrighted image) and not the general public you can restrict attachments without restricting the entire release. Restricted attachments are available to journalists only. If you decide to restrict the entire release, obviously only journalists will get it and it will never be visible for the general public. As a contrast, embargoed releases are accessible to the general public after the embargo is lifted.
  • Check the number of your asset hits: To view the number of downloads your attached files have got (asset hits) you will need to login (using your username and password) and click on “My Content” and then on "My submitted content".

Embargoed items

When Posting Embargoed Items

  • Make sure to post them long enough to allow journalists to do some research on your news.
  • Keep in mind that we provide embargoes in GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). This is an absolute time reference and does not change with the seasons unlike regional times. To convert your embargo time to GMT you can use Time Zone converters available for free on the Internet. To make sure regional journalists are aware that time zone is in GMT, you can also add a note in “Embargo notes” and include the embargo in different time zones.
  • Also, note that embargoed press releases do appear online with the embargo date on them but they are only visible to registered – and logged in – journalists. Only after the embargo is lifted do the releases become visible to the general public.

Make Sure Your Embargo Time Is Correct

 We deliver news all over the world and provide embargoes in GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). This is an absolute time reference and does not change with the seasons unlike regional times.

To convert your embargo time to GMT you can use Time Zone converters available for free on the Internet. We will always check if the conversion has been done correctly if we see a discrepancy between different time references.

To make sure regional journalists are aware that time zone is in GMT, you can also add a note in “Embargo notes” and include the embargo in different time zones. For example: 18:00 GMT/17:00 BST/ 14:00 US Eastern/20:00 MET.

Embargoed items versus Restricted Items

Embargoed Vs Restricted Items

1. Embargoed items are restricted to journalists during the embargo time

  • Restricted items can be viewed  by journalists only

2. Published through the AlphaGalileo press  service, it appears with the following heading: Under embargo until 30 April 2010 00:01 GMT

  • Published through the AlphaGalileo press service, it appears with the following heading:  This item is restricted to registered journalists only

3. As soon as the embargo is lifted, an  embargoed item is accessible online  by the general public, though editor notes, contact details and restricted background  material stay restricted to journalists

  • A restricted item will not ever be accessible to  the general public

4. An embargoed item can be of interest  to different audiences

  • A restricted item is usually of interest  to the media alone

5. If you want to apply an embargo to an item, you need to click ’ yes’ when asked in the online form: Is this item under embargo?

  • If you want to restrict an item to journalists, you need to click ‘yes’ when asked in the online form: Is  this item restricted to journalists only?

6. Example of an embargoed item: Results of a conference which shall  not be published before the conference is finished

  • Example of a restricted item: A press invitation for a press briefing,  conference or media day

In addition to this, we offer you the option to restrict individual attachments, regardless of the news release being embargoed or restricted or none. You can submit an item about a scientific paper published (if it is not published yet, you can apply an embargo) in a peer-reviewed journal and attach the actual scientific paper to your release, restricting only the attachment, so that the release is available to the general public after the embargo is lifted but not the paper.

Other applications are restricting copyrighted images, press briefings, etc.  

Keywords

Key what? Keywords!

Keywords are in reality 'tags'. We use them to tag a release according with the content, but they are also used in the preferences for email alerts and website content. For instance, if your release is about electromagnetism research, the keyword that we will pick is 'physics', and all journalists who had chosen 'physics' as a keyword for their alerts will get your release.

The tag will also help when looking for related content. When reading a release you get the option to see other content in that area in the menu on your right. If you are a registered user, you can also filter the content you see in the website by clicking on 'view the latest news in my areas of interest', also on your right. This will show you the news published in the last few months only with the keywords you have chosen when you registered for your email alerts and website content. Preferences can be changed any time by logging in and going to the tab 'my settings'.

Excessive use of keywords undermines the effectiveness of our service and the response to the news items. We recommend keeping them to no more than four.

Keyword: Life Science

Keywords Explained: Life Sciences

As you may know, AlphaGalileo uses keywords to tag a release according to content. The system asks you to set keywords for every item of news that you publish. For instance, if your release is about biology research, the keyword is “life sciences”.

Journalists can choose keywords in their preferences for email alerts and website content. Email alerts are sent out according to a journalist’s chosen keywords. Thus, in our example, all journalists who have chosen “life sciences” as a keyword for their alerts will be notified of your release. Keywords also help when looking for content.

This is why it is important to make sure that you set your keywords in the most effective way: excessive use of keywords undermines effectiveness so we recommend keeping them to no more than four. To use keywords effectively, it is just as important to be aware of what they mean. With some, this is more obvious than others.

One keyword that seems to cause some confusion particularly for non-English users is the keyword “Life sciences” in the “Science” category. Although it may be mistaken to signify a broad spectrum of topics grouped together under the umbrella term “life”, it is actually a rather narrow category, signifying biological science issues. These can include animal, plant and human biology, such as genetics, brain science, neurology, or animal and plant populations, their physiology and health.

Languages: post in different languages

How to Post in Different Languages

To upload different language versions of the same item, you can either follow the link displayed immediately after posting your first release, which says 'submit this item in another language'; or do it later by going to 'my submitted content' and hitting the pencil with a world globe icon.

Submitting an item this way, instead of as a separate one, will save you some time since some of the fields in the submission form will already be populated with the information from the previous version. The fields you will need to fill in are: title, summary, language choice, URL, main text and captions for images or other attachments. Other information like the bibliographic reference, topics, contact details, embargoes, etc. will be automatically populated.

But the main advantage of submitting a language version instead of a separate item is that they will be linked on the website. If a journalist is reading the French version but feels more comfortable reading Spanish, they can quickly switch versions. You will find the links to the right of the release on the site.

Library and multimedia items

What is a ‘library & multimedia’ item?

Some users have been confused by this term. A library & multimedia item for AlphaGalileo is a piece of information that is not ‘hot’ news, or even news at all, but that is relevant as background material for journalists, researchers or the general public. An illustrating example is a briefing or report that may not have been recently published, but that can be stored in the ‘library’, meaning database, for reference.

The section where we store this supporting/additional/background material is called ‘library and multimedia’ because it resembles a library. You can find information but also images, videos, documents, papers or reports that can help and support different audiences in their research. Our database stores more than 65,000 items that are available for everybody to use and consult.

News by region

News by region

Our content is now organised by region. All our content is allocated to a country and the countries to regions. Content is allocated to the country where the research body who posted the item is based as well as countries that are included in the research. In time we will sub-divide the current five regions to be more locally relevant. But at present you can find research news relevant to Africa, America, Asia, Europe and Oceania.

Peer reviewed and bibliographic references

Why Adding Full Bibliographic references Is Important

Journalists look for journal references to check at first sight that the information in the press release is reliable and has been peer reviewed by the scientific community, so do not forget to include them! They also need to be able to find the paper if they are to write a story about the research. Besides, our search engine includes the filter peer-reviewed journals and we do know that there are journalists which use this filter when searching new stories. You will get more hits when you indicate your news as peer-reviewed.

Full Bibliographic references

When you include journal references please always add all standard details: title, authors, journal name and issue, date, pages and when relevant, DOI (digital object identifier). Only items with all these details will appear in our list of peer-reviewed items. Journalists look for journal references to check at first sight that the information in the press release is reliable and has been peer reviewed by the scientific community so do not forget to include them. They also need to be able to find the paper if they are to write a story about the research.

Besides, our search engine includes the filter peer-reviewed journals and we do know that there are journalists which use this filter when searching new stories. You will get more hits when you indicate your news as peer-reviewed.

Bad example: “New study about cancer research”, A. Smith and T. Brown, Journal of Medical Research.

Good example: Cecilia Matito, Neus Agell, Susana Sanchez-Tena, Josep L. Torres, Marta Cascante. "Protective Effect of Structurally Diverse Grape Procyanidin Fractions against UV-Induced Cell Damage and Death". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 59 (9): 4489-4495, May 2011. DOI: 10.1021/jf103692a.

Preferences: How to change them

How to change preferences?

If you are not happy with the preferences chosen by you at registration, you can change them at any time.

Go to our website http://www.alphagalileo.org and log-in with your details.

In the top right hand side corner you will see the tab My Settings; click on it and from the menu choose ‘Edit My Account Preferences’.

You will find the possible preferences in four different groups

Categories, or keywords They filter the content you see when you click on ‘view the latest news in my areas of interest’ and also the news alerts you receive.

Content Types These also apply to the news you receive in your email alert.

Languages > site language You can navigate the site in the language of your choice. There are currently four available: English, Spanish, German and French.

Content Languages You can also select the languages of the news items you will receive, as well as filter the content of the site by language when clicking on ‘view the latest news in my areas of interest’. Please, tick all relevant boxes and save your preferences.

They are all marked with a red asterisk and are mandatory.

Email alerts At the bottom of the same page you can change your email Alert preferences by choosing the frequency, time of the day and format (HTML or Plain Text).

Preview your items

How to Preview

When posting a release you can at every stage of the process PREVIEW how the item will look on the website. The PREVIEW button is on the top left of the screen and by clicking on it you can see how the release will appear once published, even before submitting it. To go back to edit or submit your item you just need to click on EDIT in the same top left corner.

RSS feeds

How to receive news by subscribing to our RSS Feeds

First, go to our website: http://www.alphagalileo.org

Click on the RSS button (the little orange icon at the top right hand corner) just under the Log-in sign.

You can choose from the options available for your e-mail account from the drop down menu at the top. Click on it and pick one of the available options.

If you use Microsoft Office you can choose the Live Bookmarks option and place the news in your Bookmarks Menu or in the Bookmarks Toolbar by picking the relevant topics, i.e., Science, Medicine, Humanities, etc, as well as the language and the region (Africa, Asia, Americas, Europe, Oceania).

If you prefer to receive the news in your mail Inbox, then you have again some options.

If your default mail is Microsoft Office Outlook you just follow the instructions on the screen.

If your e-mail address is with Google, then copy the address or take it from here

Then go to Google Reader - click here

Log-in with your Google Mail account.

After logging in with your user name and password you will see ADD A SUBCRIPTION at the top left hand side corner button. Click on it and add the address of the AlphaGalileo.org RSS Feed (it is above).

You will start receiving all the news items you are interested in.

Sharing login details

Sharing Login Details…

Sharing login details among different users is not allowed in AlphaGalileo. Although sometimes this could seem a practical way of using our service, sharing these details is a bad practice that can slow the process of posting your news.

All the items posted in our service are reviewed by a news editor. When we find a mistake or a problem in a press release we have to contact the person who posted the item. However, when the user is using an account with the telephone or email address of a colleague we may not be able to do so.

Research organisations can have as many users as they wish in their AlphaGalileo’s accounts so please do not hesitate to register in our service if you have to post an item on behalf of your organisation. This only takes a couple of minutes and will help us to contact you if necessary and keep a better service.

Statistics

How to view your Statistics

Statistics show how many journalists have looked at your releases and can be viewed any time online from the account of the contributor who posted them. For that, you need to login and go to the tab ‘My Content’>’My Submitted Content’. You will then be able to have an overview over all content that you have submitted to us with the statistics for each of them.

Regarding the terms ‘alerts’, ‘hits’ and ‘asset hits’:

- The ‘Alerts’ column refers to the total number of email alerts sent directly into the inbox of journalists who had chosen the keywords relating to your item. These emails generally contain a link and a summary of the press release. As we send alerts immediately after your item is published and in daily and weekly digests, only after a week of the publication you will see the total number of email alerts sent out for your item.

- ‘Hits’ are the number of times journalists click on the link that is sent on the alerts. This way they can read the full press release. Some journalists receive the full text in their alerts so they don’t need to click on the link to read the information in full.

- ‘Asset hits’ refer to the number of downloads your attached files (images, papers, etc.) have got. You can even get a break down of the hits per asset by hovering the mouse over the total number.

Users who have the status of Account Manager can also access the statistics for the content posted by the other users of the organisation.

By logging and going to the tab ‘My Settings>View my organisation details’, they can have an overview over all content that has been submitted by all the users registered under the account of the organisation with the statistics for each of them.

Summary of an item

Create a perfect summary

Summaries are the first piece of information that journalists see in their emails so it is important to use them correctly. A summary should offer the basic information of the news item and at the same time grab the attention of the reader. Our online forms will ask you to include a summary when you send us information. Please be aware of a few things:

  • Add it twice: Our online forms will ask to fill the summary at the beginning of the process but remember that you would need to include it also as the first paragraph of the main text. This way, readers would see it as part of the whole item on our website too.
  • Short is better: Summaries in our online form should not have more than 120 words. This will keep our alerts short and effective. If journalists are interested in the news piece they will access easily to our website via a link. News alerts are only a brief description of what they can find.

Difference between the summary and the main text. Why it matters? 

Many users of AlphaGalileo are surprised there is a difference between the summary text and the main text they enter in the form when submitting press releases. But difference there is and it matters.

The summary text is included only in the e-mail alerts going to the journalists registered with AlphaGalileo. Whether they get a daily digest or an immediate summary alert, the text that they will see is the summary, but to read the full story, they will be taken to the website, where the full text appears. Once they are reading the text in the website, there is no summary anymore. That also means the summary can’t be seen on the website by the general public for non-embargoed and unrestricted items. Thus the importance of having all the information you put in the summary included in the main text. This means that if you want your press release to include all the information, you have to enter the summary text twice: once in the summary box and once at the beginning of the main text.

Summaries can be a synopsis of the main text or the first paragraph of the main text, if you do not want to write a synopsis. We advise that summaries are no longer than a paragraph (90 words or 600 characters maximum), so that the alerts are not unnecessary lengthy.

What's a summary and how we use it.

When you submit an item, you are required to enter a summary in the first step. Summaries are meant to be a synopsis of the main text, which you will enter in the second step. You could also use the first paragraph of the main text as a summary, if you do not want to write a synopsis. However, you need to make sure that the same information you put in the summary is also in the main text, in either case. If you use the first paragraph as a summary, please include this in the main text too. If you choose to write a synopsis, please do not include extra information in the summary that will not appear in the main text.

We use the summary in the alerts we sent out to users. You can check this in your own alerts. Whether you get a daily digest or an immediate summary alert, the text that you will see is the summary, but to read the full story, you will be taken to the website, where the full text appears. Once you are reading the text in the website, there is no summary anymore, thus the importance of having all the information you put in the summary included in the main text. We also advice that summaries are no longer than a paragraph (90 words or 600 characters maximum), so that the alerts are not unnecessary length

Withdraw an item

How to withdraw items…

To remove one of your posted items from our website, you need first to login into your account and go to the tab “My Content” and click on “My Submitted Content”.

You will see all your posted items with a red prohibition symbol next to them. To withdraw an item just click on this symbol and wait until we send you a confirmation of the removal of your item.

As the item was published and alerts sent, we can’t remove the record completely, i.e. the headline will still be visible but it will lead to a message informing users that the item was removed and for journalists to contact the posting organisation for more information.