Below are the general guidelines that we follow at CropForLife regarding the sources that we feature on our website, the kinds of content that we accept from sources, our preferred editorial style, and how we handle clarifications, corrections and retractions.
We prefer not-for-profit sources that are scholarly or otherwise oriented toward research and education and that are generally well known in their respective academic communities. We usually work with public information officers in the media relations or public affairs departments representing their respective institutions, rather than individual researchers or others not necessarily representing their larger organization. Although we do not as a rule accept news releases from for-profit companies, we will consider them if the content of the release is mainly scientific in nature.
Although we welcome all news release submissions, please note that we cannot guarantee posting of all the releases we receive, since we try to select those which we think would be of most interest to our readers. Basically, that means any new research finding (especially those tied to a peer-reviewed journal article) or description of a new or newsworthy research project. What we tend not to carry are releases about grant awards (unless the main thrust of the release is about the science, and not just an acknowledgement of the amount and source of the award), appointments, honors, meeting notices, or administrative announcements.
We try not to make any substantial edits to the original news releases when we post them on CropForLife. However, we do reserve the right to make certain changes for the sake of clarity and consistency. For example, we try to correct spelling and grammatical errors, although we usually do not change country-specific spelling styles (e.g., “colour” vs. “color”) in the main body of the text. We do routinely rewrite headlines and summaries if they need to be made clearer and more concise, but in any editing we strive to maintain the original intent of a release’s submitted version.
Clarifications, Corrections and Retractions
Occasionally, a post will need to be corrected after it has gone up – for example, if there is an error of fact or an omission of key information. We urge public information officers who are the points of contact on a release to contact us with any requested correction. Researchers mentioned in a release are also welcome to contact us directly, but we encourage them to contact their public information offices in order to make sure that any corrections are made not just to what appears on CropForLife but any other news outlet that may have picked up the release as well.
Readers and other interested third parties are also welcome to contact us about errors. If the corrections are relatively minor (e.g., spelling, grammar, or a clear factual error), we will often make these on our own. But please be aware that we will generally not make substantial changes to posts that are requested by third parties without working with the original sources of the posts in question. That is especially true in the case of individuals or groups who may take issue with a certain piece of research – sometimes not necessarily because of any gross inaccuracy, but because they simply disagree with a finding or conclusion. In such cases, we urge those requesting major changes to contact the original sources. As a general rule, if the original source agrees to a change, then we make the change to CropForLife’s post as well.
In rare cases, CropForLife may retract a post – i.e., remove it completely from our website – for example, if a journal has retracted a study or if there are serious questions regarding research integrity.
Please be aware that we are not able to reply to all messages personally. But we endeavor to do our best to respond in a timely fashion.