How do scientific findings about journalistic media and social media get into the world? What criteria do science editors use to select topics? And what impact can scientific content have with it?
What influence does external science communication, in other words the dissemination of scientific content via journalistic media and social media, have on the impact of publications and how do editorial selection processes contribute to this? The collaborative project “MeWiKo”, funded by the BMBF, records systematically the role and activities of actors in external science communication as well as the citation mechanisms in scientific communication and classifies them. Furthermore, it creates transparency about these processes that shape the scientific system.
The sub-project of the network located at the Hans-Bredow-Institut focuses on the editorial selection practices and relevance assessment of science journalists. Using editorial ethnography and a survey of science journalists in Germany, the aim is to identify relevant department-specific news factors and to collect further information in order to model the influence of external science communication on the impact of scientific work.
The project will be carried out through an ethnography of the work of editors in the Science Media Center (SMC)
, on the one hand, and through a standardised quantitative survey of science journalists in Germany, on the other hand. For the recruitment of participants, a cooperation with a professional journalist association, such as the German Science Journalists’ Association
, is sought. The Hans-Bredow-Institut observes the work of the editorial staff for one week and examines selection practices and relevance assessments in day-to-day business by means of participatory observation. Furthermore, a workshop will be held with science journalists. In this workshop, they will identify their selection processes and critically reflect on them with regard to their own role in the impact of scientific work. These methodological approaches also allow assessments to be made concerning the factors which facilitate/complicate the work of science journalists and what information on the part of science could improve the quality of selection processes in science journalism.