5 Mar 2015
A unique breaking science news portal for Australia and New Zealand, Scimex will help busy journalists cover embargoed science stories and foster collaboration between the science and media communities.
The portal was developed following an AusSMC survey of Australian journalists, where we asked what would help them report science in this world of 24/7 media. The clear response was a central place for all their science story needs.
"Journalists are being pushed to achieve more in less time", said Dr Susannah Eliott, CEO of the AusSMC. "What they wanted was to access the latest embargoed research from the region, together with relevant multimedia, press releases and reaction from independent experts, plus commentary on breaking news, all in one place".
This request has become reality as the AusSMC officially launches Scimex on Wednesday. The public launch will be celebrated at an event hosted by South Australia's Flinders University, and attended by the Honourable Gail Gago, State Minister for Science and Information Economy.
Journalists have had early access to the site for some weeks now, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
News Corp Australia Content Producer Jamie Seidel described the site as "excellent". "It's very logical and very simple for us stress-dimmed hacks," he said.
Scimex also provides a platform for universities and other research institutions to engage with journalists on their own science stories.
As well as stories, reporters can find media-savvy experts on the site through expert profile pages showcasing their knowledge and media skills. Scimex also features a unique 'Pitch a story' section, where experts can give vetted reporters their untold story ideas.
"Look no further than Aussie scientists – there is so much talent right under our noses, and now journalists won't need to go overseas, they can find great local stories in their own time zone" said The Australian National University's Senior Communications Officer, Dr Phil Dooley.
Likewise, astronomer Dr Alan Duffy from Swinburne University of Technology feels that Scimex "is a fantastic initiative to better connect scientists and journalists, ensuring the public hears exciting scientific stories quicker but also more accurately than ever before".
"We're very pleased with the way Scimex has come together. We're already talking about Scimex 2.0 and look forward to receiving comments and suggestions from users of the site," said Dr Eliott.
Free for journalists and scientists, the establishment funding for Scimex was provided by Inspiring Australia and The Myer Foundation.
Scimex is a collaborative project with the Science Media Centre New Zealand.
Visit scimex.org now for the latest breaking science news from Australia and New Zealand.
For social media please use #Scimex which is brought to you by @aussmc !