Responsible research communication

Communicating new research peer reviewed results in the form of pitches and press releases is an important part of external communication at Aarhus University.

Communicating research news transparently is in the best interests of both research and the university; it is also mandated by the The Danish Code of Conduct for Research Integrity. In this context, transparency means making information about the research that produced the results being communicated that is relevant for the target audience easily accessible and easy to decode.

For this reason, press releases must contain information about the following:

  • Type of study
  • External collaborators
  • External funding
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Link to the research article

The information must be presented in a fact box/descriptive label after the article itself.


Template for 'The research results - more information’

‘The research results - more information’ is a form of descriptive labelling of the research news item/press release that is included after the article itself.

The individual items should be omitted if irrelevant. 

ITEMCONTENT AND PURPOSE
Type of studyMethod/study design. Information about the reliability and validity of the study should be included here. The description should take into account the target audience for the news item (generalist journalist vs. science journalist
External collaboratorsExternal collaborators are relevant partners involved in the research, for example other research institutions, colleagues from other universities or an external party, for example a pharmaceutical company that has supplied analyses on which the research is based. External collaborators are not co-authors.  
External fundingFoundations, funders
Conflict of interestConflicts of interest can include financial or other personal considerations that may influence a researcher’s professional judgement in connection with the research project. For example, if the researcher has a financial or other relationship to a funder; if a researcher sits on Lundbeck’s advisory board and Lundbeck has funded the study in question; if the researcher has been appointed by a ministry to evaluate a teacher training programme. These relationships are not necessarily problematic in themselves. However, the point is to communicate these relationships transparently to enable the recipient of the press release to assess their significance. When dealing with researchers, it is important to stress that this item is particularly important for the university, cf. the ground rules for the responsible conduct of research.  
Other

This item includes information that is relevant for the recipient of the press release in order to assess the validity of the research results in regard to the responsible conduct of research. For example, a deviation from the principle that we only communicate results that have been through peer review. 

Link to the scientific articleDirect link to the abstract or the scientific article on which the media coverage is based. 
Contact informationName and contact information for the researcher responsible for the research result, unless stated elsewhere in the press release. 

Communication about research results that are subsequently retracted 

In the event that there is a news item/press release on www.au.dk about research results that are subsequently revised or retracted, the news item/press release must be updated by the addition of a statement that the research article on which the news item is based has been revised or retracted.

In the event that research results are revised or retracted which have not been covered in a news item/press release on au.dk, a news item must be published announcing that the research article has been revised/retracted, including a short account of the reasons for the retraction and a reference to the researcher for a more detailed explanation, if the researcher so wishes.