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Major universities frequently have departments and staff and web pages for press releases related to notable ("hot") publications by faculty. They make sure that the popular press has the news in a pre-digested press-release form, a bit of biographical info on their faculty and a link to the actual publication. When paywalled there are often specially licensed links to viewable but not downloadable pdfs.

Interaction with the popular press is now an academic activity, benefitting both faculty and the university, and in an indirect way, funding agencies, i.e. 'this is your tax dollars hard at work'.

I searched for tags like [press], [press-release], [popular-press], [public-relations], and [publicity] for my new question How popular scientific news & Google get doi links leading to zombie pages when first release, but later, do link to the intended scientific paper? but couldn't find anything.

Is it time to recognize the publicity aspect of academic research by including some kind of tag? Is there one already but I just failed to find it perhaps due to lack of sufficient synonymization?


Here are some examples of questions that relate to press-releases, writing about academic research in the popular press, and citing the popular press.

@Anyon points out that the tag exists (35 instances since 2012), and I think a lot of these questions deserve that tag but don't currently have it.

But I think this quickly assembled partial list suggests there is a body of questions related to the popular press and press releases.

If there's some agreement of some kind of "press" tag, then a retagging effort might be considered for it (and for the underutilized . I've participated in several, you do it in small batches over time so as not to overwhelm the active question queue.

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    Can you find a substantial number of existing questions that would be appropriately labeled with a given tag that would help organize them together for a person who has a specific interest in that area of academia? If so, I'd present that list and suggest creation of the tag. Otherwise it seems we don't need it, even if it could plausibly be useful.
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Nov 25, 2023 at 1:16
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    Some such questions have been classified under self-promotion.
    – Anyon
    Nov 25, 2023 at 1:17
  • @BryanKrause Sure, I have extensive experience with that kind of search (e.g. 1, 2) and ok I'll do it here. But it takes a day or so to do well. I will point out that lack of the tag may discourage questions, so there may be some bias involved.
    – uhoh
    Nov 25, 2023 at 1:21
  • @Anyon that's actually worthy of being an answer post in order to alert folks of its existence. It's not a perfect fit (since the promotion machinery of a university goes beyond self-promotion of one's own research) but it's in the right direction.
    – uhoh
    Nov 25, 2023 at 1:23
  • I doubt lack of tag affects whether questions are asked. Tag selection seems an afterthought to most posters. They are more important on SO since the site is so massive.
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Nov 25, 2023 at 1:31
  • @BryanKrause we only know how we ask our own questions, we have no insight into what goes on in other people's minds, though we might imagine we do. I am probably a much more active question-asker than you and I always pay attention to available tags as a hint to what may or may not fly as on-topic in a site, especially if it's a site I'm less active on.
    – uhoh
    Nov 25, 2023 at 1:50
  • @uhoh Your extensive experience asking questions on the site makes you quite unusual - most askers are relatively new and ask few questions. I'm basing my thoughts not on my own posting but the design of the ask a question page and the quality of tagging that people do.
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Nov 25, 2023 at 1:59
  • @BryanKrause the metric that counts is not the number of users, but the number of questions posted where tags were referred to as part of the process, so I get a multiplier that makes my questions less unusual than me. But point well taken.
    – uhoh
    Nov 25, 2023 at 2:03
  • @BryanKrause Done! I've added at least a partial list. As an aside it seems many folks did indeed fail to notice the self-promotion tag which has been there since 2012, further confirming that I'm not normal :-)
    – uhoh
    Nov 25, 2023 at 2:36

1 Answer 1

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The tag is applicable to some such questions, perhaps not ones pertaining to institutional or organizational perspectives, but at least ones pertaining to an academic drafting a press release on their own work. A small number of relevant questions have received this tag, for example

However, some are simply tagged

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    @uhoh encouraged turning my comment into an answer, so here it is.
    – Anyon
    Nov 25, 2023 at 1:41
  • Thanks for the answer post! Note: I'm finding many examples, many of which could use the self-promotion tag but didnt, and I'll add them to my question soon. I guess we need to promote the self-promotion tag better :-)
    – uhoh
    Nov 25, 2023 at 2:19

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