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Top 10 Numbers Show The Reach of EurekAlert! Science News Service
The top 10 press releases on AAAS’s EurekAlert! news service combined for nearly 398,000 viewers in 2005, with the most popular among them — a University of Florida release on AIDS research — drawing over 115,000 readers by itself.
The list of the year’s most-viewed news releases is drawn from a range of institutions and agencies in the United States, Canada and Europe, and covers topics ranging from the ivory-billed woodpecker to regulating the speed of light and the relation of finger-length to aggressive behavior in human males.
[See the full list here.]
Taken together, the year-end numbers are a measure of the reach attained by EurekAlert!, which is read daily by thousands of journalists, public information officers, scientists, government officials and science news aficionados worldwide.
“EurekAlert!'s impact continues to grow by leaps and bounds,” said Ginger Pinholster, director of the Office of Public Programs at AAAS. “This year's most popular press release drew more than 115,000 viewers — that’s a 50-percent increase over last year’s top story. With 65,000 press releases now archived in a keyword-searchable database, the Web site represents an important contribution to public knowledge on a wide range of science and technology issues. It’s also good fun, thanks to new features like the Science Reporting for Kids portal, and an increasingly global resource offering breaking science news in various languages.”
The University of Florida release was easily 2005’s top draw among readers, more than doubling the number of viewers who clicked on the year’s No. 2 release, a Cornell University News Service notice on the rediscovery of the ivory-billed woodpecker in Arkansas.
The 8 September Florida piece detailed how researcher Janet Yamamoto, a professor at UF's College of Veterinary Medicine, discovered “an unexpected link between the viruses that cause feline and human AIDS,” which suggested possible future treatments both for feline immunodeficiency virus and for humans with AIDS. The release was written by Sarah Carey, director of public relations and writer for the college.
“As a writer, it's always a thrill when major news organizations pick up my stuff and reporters start calling to do their own stories,” Carey said. “When my sister called late one night to report that she’d read my story about vaccine research involving links between both the human and feline AIDS viruses on the Drudge Report — a direct result of EurekAlert! — I pretty much knew I'd hit a home run.
“EurekAlert! enjoys significant credibility with science and health journalists. That's what makes it so effective, and that's why the University of Florida became a subscriber early on.”
EurekAlert! is an online, global news service operated by AAAS that provides news and resources focused on all areas of science, medicine and technology. EurekAlert! provides a central place through which universities, medical centers, journals, government agencies, corporations and other organizations engaged in research can bring their news to the media. And it also offers its news and resources to the public.
In 2005, some 13,000 press releases were posted on the EurekAlert! site, up from about 11,000 in 2004.
Edward W. Lempinen
4 January 2006