Terms and conditions
- Policy on journalists
- Policy on working with bloggers
- Embargo policy for journalists
- Content guidelines for contributors
- Our policy on selection of experts
Scimex is administered and moderated by the Australian Science Media Centre Inc. ("The AusSMC"). The Science Media Centre of NZ (SMCNZ) is also a content moderator and content can also be uploaded by research organisations subscribing to Scimex.
By registering with Scimex, you are agreeing to abide by our terms and conditions.
We may publish, check, edit or remove all or part of the news items, attachments, multimedia, links, profiles or any user generated content which you submit to us at our sole discretion.
The AusSMC and SMCNZ are constantly monitoring output from key scientific journals around the world and will upload stories deemed newsworthy in the region of Australia and New Zealand. Stories appearing on the newsfeed are a combination of stories selected by the AusSMC and SMCNZ plus stories uploaded by subscribing research organisations.
The AusSMC requires that research findings are communicated accurately without over-stating results and misleading the public.
In this vein, we may check, edit or remove all or part of the news items, attachments, multimedia, links, profiles or any user generated content uploaded to Scimex at our sole discretion. If you ever consider that a story has been hyped, please do not hesitate to contact us, citing the specific example.
Stories appearing on the newsfeed of Scimex can be tagged as an "SMC Pick" where SMC refers to the AusSMC or SMCNZ. These stories can be considered an 'editor's pick' on the site at the sole discretion of the site moderators.
Any multimedia downloadable on the site is accompanied by licensing information that all users must abide by. We actively use four main licensing options as follows.
1/ Copyright multimedia accompanying news items are made available on the site on the understanding that they can only be reproduced in news publications when the story is directly related to the specific news story that the item was linked to on Scimex.
2/ Some rights reserved – free to share (must credit) refers to Creative Commons license CC BY-ND 4.0 which states that you are free to share, copy and redistribute the material for any purpose on the condition that you give appropriate credit but do not distribute any material which is modified. This license cannot be revoked.
3/ Some rights reserved – free to share and modify (must credit) refers to Creative Commons license CC BY-SA 4.0 which states that you are free to share, copy, adapt and redistribute the material for any purpose on the condition that you give appropriate credit. This license cannot be revoked.
4/ No rights reserved (waive all rights) refers to Creative Commons license CC0 1.0 which states that the owner of the work has dedicated it to the public domain.
Policy on journalists
Scimex will only accept registrations from journalists working for recognised news outlets.
All journalists wishing to register for embargoed content will be required to complete an online registration form and must submit details which can be used to check their media credentials.
All journalists wishing to register for embargoed content must agree to adhere to our embargo policy (outlined below), which outlines penalties journalists can expect to be imposed if they break embargoes.
There is an additional vetting process for freelance journalists, which involves submission of recent freelance articles published in recognised news outlets showing evidence of objective science reporting and adherence to journalistic standards.
Journalists who have potential conflicts of interest (e.g. paid employment with a research or PR organisation) are not eligible for a journalist login on Scimex. When registering for Scimex journalists are confirming that that they have no ineligible dual affiliations or financial conflicts of interest that might preclude their access to embargoed, potentially market-sensitive content.
Policy on working with bloggers
Apart from registered journalists who are also bloggers, people who exclusively write blogs will not be provided with login access to the Scimex site at this time.
However, bloggers are a growing group of communicators with a significant influence on the kind of information the public receives about science. Scimex will continue to work towards a policy that enables registration for research bloggers whose writing would benefit from embargoed access to stories. We welcome your feedback on this.
Scimex administrators reserve the right of final approval over all registration applications.
Scimex supports quality journalism and recognises that releasing new scientific research under embargo affords journalists sufficient time to ensure accurate coverage. Most embargo times published on this website are set by the journals publishing the research.
By registering with Scimex journalists agree to abide by all embargoes stipulated on the site. It is the responsibility of the registered journalist to ensure the story is not published before the embargo lifts.
Scimex takes embargo breaches very seriously. If a media outlet breaks an embargo that we have listed, we will investigate the breach. Depending on the severity of the breach, all staff from the outlet may be denied access to Scimex, and removed from email distribution lists.
Content guidelines for contributors
Scimex will accept science, health, medical and technology-related content adhering to the following guidelines;
Content should be:
- Useful to journalists
- First-hand (or linked to original source)
Please note that if more than one institution uploads a release for the same story, the Scimex team will cluster the items into a single page and re-write the story summary accordingly.
Content could include:
- Research results accepted for publication in peer-reviewed journals or reported at scientific conferences
- New information about substantive scientific, medical, or technological research
- New information relating to science policy and the business side of science
- Announcements related to scientific press conferences, surveys, theses, awards and newly published books.
- Grant awards, minor prizes, building or funding announcements
- Faculty appointments or job advertisements
- Administrative reports
- Analysis of news
- Extended comment/opinion pieces (e.g. blogs)
- Images deemed to be profane
- Organisation logos appearing on story feature images
Scimex administrators reserve the right to moderate and edit all content submitted for publication, including the removal of content deemed inappropriate.
Our policy on selection of experts
Scimex has a clear policy about who is eligible to be added to our database of scientific and research-based experts.
Scimex administrators will use peer-reviewed publications in the relevant area of science and health as the basis for defining the expertise of scientists.
The peer-review process of leading scientific and health journals ensures that the quality of the investigation is such that it is worthy of consideration by the wider community. This provides a standard accepted by the scientific community, by which the reliability of both investigations and researchers are judged.
Expertise outside of peer-review
Some scientific research may be newsworthy while it is being performed (for example, a longitudinal study over several years, research into a topical issue, the discovery of a rare species etc.) and before it has been reported in a scientific journal, making the application of peer-review impossible at that stage of the research.
Similarly, in some disciplines – particularly those within the social sciences, arts and humanities (e.g. science communication) – publication in peer-reviewed journals is less applicable.
In such cases, Scimex administrators will consider:
- the reputation of the expert's institute or academic department;
- the professional qualifications and previous track record of the expert;
- the expert's current role as an active practitioner in their field, and;
- the expert's professional reputation within their field (judged by, for example, the number of significant awards and grants received).
The credentials of experts may be further assessed by consultation with other experts in the relevant field or, where appropriate, with the AusSMC Science & Media Advisory Panel and/or the New Zealand Science Advisory Panel.
In general, Scimex will not list experts representing a specific lobby group (such groups normally have strong mechanisms to promote their message to the media). Known affiliations or interests of experts must be provided to Scimex administrators during registration and these details will be clearly stated on Scimex when provided.
The criteria listed in this policy will be used to determine which of the expert's credentials are published on Scimex and distributed to members of the media.
Scimex administrators reserve the right of final approval over all registration applications.
Termination of Registration
Users should not share their Scimex login credentials with anyone else. We reserve the right to remove your login access to the site if we believe you are abusing your access privileges in any way.
If we wish to bring your login access to an end, we will do so by emailing you at the address you have registered stating that your login has terminated. The agreement will terminate and your email address and password will become invalid on Scimex immediately.
The publishers of Scimex have taken all care to ensure our website complies with the Level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 from W3C (commonly known as WCAG 2.0).
Under these guidelines, all information on our website must be accessible and usable for people of all abilities, including older people and those with visual, hearing, cognitive or motor impairments.
Any views or quotes presented on this website are the opinions of the individuals named. They do not represent the views of the AusSMC or other moderators connected to the site including the SMCNZ or any other organisation unless specifically stated.
While every attempt has been made to ensure the information on this site is as accurate as possible, there is no guarantee given as to the accuracy or currency of any individual item on the site.
The AusSMC does not accept any liability for the accuracy or content of information on this website belonging to third parties, nor for the accuracy or content of any third-party website that you may access via a hyperlink from this site.
The AusSMC do not accept responsibility for any loss or damage occasioned by use of the information contained on the site nor from any access to the site.