Reporting Research Results


Once you have finished gathering all of your data, your next step is to share your results. This section provides information on different ways to publicize your research results.

Why is it important to publicize your research findings?

There are good reasons why it is important to publicize U-M research, including the simple fact that your results reach a broader audience and this can increase the impact of your research. Additionally, we are able to provide the general public with key health information and tell them what we are doing with tax dollars supporting medical research. Publicizing research also gives positive recognition to Michigan Medicine and your funding source for supporting your research.

Does Your Study Launch/Recruitment Have News Value?

A media relations specialist from the Michigan Medicine Department of Communication can work with you to assess whether your study is likely to generate interest among the news media that reach the general public or professionals in certain fields, or the members of the general public who follow our institution on social media. If so, they may decide to work with you to prepare materials that they will seek your input and approval on before dissemination.

Contact the Department of Communication at least two weeks before your clinical trials results are published or the date of your presentation at a major national media. Manuscripts or abstracts may be shared with U-M media relations professionals in advance. Under certain conditions, they can even be released by media relations professionals to select reporters under a press embargo – with the understanding that reporters will not post, broadcast, or print stories about your results until the time and date set by the journal you are publishing in or the meeting at which you are speaking. Information will be distributed publicly following the publication or presentation of results.

DOC selects and controls what is published on the Michigan Medicine newsroom, the Michigan Health Lab research and education news blog, the Michigan Health consumer-focused blog, and social media outlets. However, publication of stories by the external media is dependent on the editors and reporters receiving the press release or directly reading the results in the journal or a meeting program. Their coverage will vary widely based on the topic and findings, its appeal to a broad audience, the timing of a press release, and other news that may take precedence. U-M cannot control the outcome of interactions with the news media, but media relations staff can work with you to achieve the best possible outcome from media interviews and other interactions.

Examples of previous research press releases can be found on the Michigan Medicine newsroom, and the Michigan Health Lab blog has many kinds of research-focused stories. The Michigan Health blog has examples of stories aimed directly at health consumers.

More information about and resources from the Michigan Medicine media relations and blog programs is available here.

Communicating Clinical Study Outcomes

All publications of studies funded by the National Institutes of Health must be deposited in the PubMed Central repository upon acceptance by a publisher and receive a designated identification number. Some journals submit publications to the database automatically, others do not. Investigators can ensure that their publication receives a PMCID number by contacting A copy of the final, accepted peer-reviewed manuscript is required to initiate the deposit process.

Information regarding NIH public access polices is located here.

Publishing or Presenting the Results of Your Clinical Trial

Publishing results of your clinical trial in a peer-reviewed journal or presenting the results at a professional society meeting. If you are publishing or presenting the results of your clinical trial, please contact the Department of Communication office at 734.764.2220. Describe the your research topic, and note your home department or division, and you will be directed to the appropriate staff member. A list of contacts is available here.

If you need assistance performing additional literature sources or determining the best journal to submit your research to, you may consider working with the Mlibrary Translational Research Liaison.

Working With a Press Release

What is a press release?

Press releases (also called news releases or news articles) are generally 1-2 page summaries of your research, written specifically for a lay audience. With the rise of the Michigan Medicine-run “brand journalism” approach, more and more of these articles and their associated videos, photos and illustrations are designed to appeal to the public as well as to act as invitations for coverage from journalists.

No matter what they’re called, the most pertinent finding is usually featured in the headline and first few paragraphs. Information about funding source and any patent or licensing disclosures is included, as is a full list of study authors. One or two lead or senior researchers are typically quoted. The selection process for stories that will receive this treatment resides with the Michigan Medicine Department of Communication staff, mainly on the Institutional Positioning (formerly Public Relations) team and the Research & Advocacy Communications team.

Gather videos or photos that can be used with the press release

Depending on the study findings, the timing and resources available, the media relations representative may also work with you to create a video or photos to accompany the article they write. Video will be posted along with the article, as well as to the Michigan Medicine YouTube page. Videos may vary from a simple 1-2 question recording of the study author, to a fully produced and narrated story including interviews with the study author and a participant. Decisions about video will be made by the media relations representative based on a number of factors.

How are press releases distributed?

Press releases are distributed by the Department of Communication in the following ways:

  • Emailed by media relations staff to reporters in the U.S. and beyond, including print, radio, TV and online outlets. Reporters with an interest in covering health, medical and science news are targeted according to what they cover.
  • Distributed through paid services that health reporters subscribe to, such as EurekAlert, Newswise, and PR Newswire
  • Posted to the Michigan Medicine newsroom. Press releases may also be posted to center and department websites, when appropriate.
  • Modified for posting on the Michigan Health Lab blog.
  • Emailed to communicators within the University of Michigan, including internal U-M and Michigan Medicine publications such as the University Record, Michigan Medicine Headlines, and Medicine at Michigan.
  • Posted to Michigan Medicine Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as any relevant center or department social media pages.

Prepare to Talk to Reporters About Your Study

Following distribution of a press release, reporters may contact the Michigan Medicine Department of Communication to request interviews with the study authors. Study authors are encouraged to respond expediently to these requests, which are normally funneled through your media relations representative. The media relations representative will work with you in advance to prepare you for the interview experience. Additional media training may be available on request.

Read News Media tips.

Questions and Disclaimer

If you have questions about any of the resources on this page, please contact the sponsoring office directly. MICHR is not responsible for the content of these resources.

Resources on this page may not be an exhaustive list. If you know of other resources in this category, please let us know using the "Suggest a Resource" link at the bottom of the page.

Was this article helpful?

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

Subscribe to Breakthrough, MICHR’s monthly e-newsletter