Explaining Research cover
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Media coverage can also influence scientific citations of your findings by other researchers. This influence was demonstrated by a classic 1991 study in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) in which David Phillips and colleagues detected an influence of newspaper coverage on scientific citations when they analyzed coverage of medical research papers in TheNew York Times. A 1978 strike at the paper gave them the comparative data they needed to correlate media coverage and citations. During that strike, reporters at NYT continued to select scientific papers to cover and wrote articles for "editions of record." However, these articles were not printed or distributed in published NYT editions.

In their analysis, the researchers compared the number of subsequent scientific citations of NEJM papers covered in published NYT articles with citations for those papers covered during the strike, but only for the record. They found that the NEJM papers covered in published NYT articles received a larger number of scientific citations than did those written during the strike.

More anecdotally, my public information officer (PIO) colleagues quite commonly report that their news releases generate queries for further information from other researchers in the field, and that those queries have led to scientific contacts and to citation of the work in subsequent scientific papers.

(Next: Attention Affects Your Funding)