Eurekalert! confirmed today that their most widely read press release in 2011 was issued in July by Université de Montréal (UdeM). The newswire is a service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and is an essential reference tool for 8,300 science journalists around the world. The release, titled “Genetic research confirms that non-Africans are part Neanderthal,” was viewed 102,000 times by users – more than twice as many views as any other news item published by the service.
William Raillant-Clark, International Press Attaché at UdeM’s Office of Communications and Public Relations, undertook the media initiative in collaboration with Danielle Buch, medical editor and writer at the CHU Sainte-Justine Research Centre. “The press release covering Professor Damian Labuda’s research had an impressive global media impact,” Raillant-Clark said. “However, considering EurekAlert! carried thousands of releases in 2011, issued by major universities and research institutions such as NASA and the World Health Organization, the fact that our document was the most viewed represents a particularly special accolade.”
Media initiatives like the one undertaken for Prof. Labuda result in many positive outcomes, both within the scientific community and beyond. “A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that peer-reviewed articles publicized in the New York Times received 78,2% more scientific citations than control articles in the twelve months following their publication,” Raillant-Clark noted.
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Université de Montréal
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