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Press releases

One of the main tasks of the Press Office is to inform the media about news from research, teaching and the University’s policies and decisions. The tried and trusted way to do this is through a press release. The Press Office has various email distribution lists that include editorial offices, agencies and freelance journalists. We can cater for specific media and journalists who are interested in different topics. These topics include research, teaching, science, economics, culture and other university matters.

What works as a press release?
Topics for press releases include published research results (usually in peer-reviewed journals), the start of a new research project, new degree programmes, certain research grant awards and prizes, university policy decisions and similar. If you have an idea for a press release, please contact us at an early stage – as soon as your paper has been accepted – so that we can consider with you whether and how your topic can best be brought to the public's attention. As we work on the draft together, you will have the opportunity to highlight the most important aspects of your research. Please allow at least two weeks for the coordination of texts, photos, photo rights, and scientific contacts, as well as release date and format. Occasionally, a press release is produced for a particular conference or important meeting, usually because it will be open to the public or is of special interest to the public. When announcing conferences or meetings, do not focus on the guests who may be well-known in scientific circles, but on the topics that are to be discussed that would be of interest to the public.

Where do we send our releases?
Our distribution lists include the science editorial offices of all the important German daily newspapers, as well as radio and television stations in Germany. For each press release, we choose the best distribution list, format and channel for your topic. In addition, we publish most of our German press releases in the "Informationsdienst Wissenschaft" (, and most of our English press releases on “Eurekalert!”. We also make releases available via the website of the University of Göttingen as well as on Twitter and, if appropriate, on Facebook.

Working with other universities
Normally the corresponding author or first author decide which university should lead the press work. We are used to working with other press offices and agreeing who will cover which channels. If we are not leading the press, we can still use sections from another university’s text, as appropriate, for our local press and website. We will need a paragraph of text from you to highlight Göttingen University’s expertise and input in this particular project alongside a quote or two from the researchers based here. Please note that in these circumstances, we will need more time to plan a release as we’ll need to synchronise the work with a number of external groups.

Embargoes and availability of your published paper
Please send us a copy of your accepted or draft paper as early as you can. We are used to working with embargoes and respect confidentiality. Once published, our preference is to make your published text available by linking to it via the press release or social media. If the paper is strictly not available, we can include a link to a preprint or that the text is available directly from you. It is up to you to check what the journal allows.

Press conferences
From time to time, it may be useful to invite journalists to a press conference. We will be happy to advise you on this as well. As a rule, we do not do our own follow-up reporting on events such as meetings, conferences and lectures. From the public's point of view, these are part of the everyday business of a university and are only interesting for the media if they produce concrete results. We recommend you list your events on our University events page:

How to write a press release
Press releases are not addressed to the scientific community, but to journalists and the public. This means the language should be clear, concise and correct. When writing about research topics in particular, try to make a reference to everyday life or current discussions, avoid scientific terminology and details that are irrelevant for understanding the results.

In contrast to a scientific publication, the press release does not begin with the experimental set-up, but with the result. The experiment (what you did) is explained later and the release ends explaining the results and what this might mean for the future. This should be brought to life with a quote or two, as below.

Please follow this guidance and send us a short draft or bullet points:

  • Classic structure: three or four paragraphs, one page – not more than 2,500 characters including spaces
  • First paragraph: the actual news, the results, contains all the relevant information and could stand by itself as a news story in around 75 words. It should state the publication (eg the research was published in Journal of XXX) – what did the researcher/s find and why is this important?
  • Second paragraph: explains the research that led to the result. It should be short but you can include anything that was unusual and interesting (eg numbers, sizes, extent of samples/data or type of equipment used) – what did the researcher/s do?
  • Third paragraph: explains the result. This should include a quote or two (but no more than three quotes) highlighting anything that was unexpected or surprising or has consequences for society and further research – what does this mean?
  • Quotes are attributed to individual researchers but please avoid naming scientists elsewhere in the text as the emphasis is on the science.
  • It is fine to include a short sentence at the end of the text of the release acknowledging your funder/s.
  • Publication details – reference, title, DOI, link online
  • Scientific contact/s (with email and working phone) who should be contactable when the release goes out and able to react quickly to journalists’ queries.

Images for your press release
Please consider images that will bring the subject to life right from the start. All photos should be as professional as possible and have a resolution of at least 300 dpi. In order to be able to place your press release on the University's homepage, we need at least one good quality image in landscape format (720x500). We must have the authority to distribute and publish all images on the internet and in social media for others to use freely, and we must be able to credit someone as owning the rights. Please note that the subject of a photo (or their guardian in the case of children) must have also consented to the use of their image. GIFS, short videos or extra pictures are helpful, especially for social media. Stock images are sometimes useful for our website or social media if nothing else is available, but journalists do not use them. Here are some suggestions for images:

  • clear and simple graphic or diagram explaining the science
  • someone conducting research in the lab or the field
  • picture of those affected or involved in the research (eg farmers or volunteers or patients) being careful about their rights, particularly in the case of children or vulnerable adults
  • Equipment used (eg medical equipment or specialist imaging equipment)
  • Topic of research (whether planets or mountains or a market scene)

In addition, we will need a photo of you or your group who worked on this paper at the University and those listed on the release as a scientific contact.

Current press releases
You’ll find examples of current press releases at