idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Nachrichten, Termine, Experten

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Frequently asked questions

  1. General questions about programme and service
  2. Questions about data confidentiality
  3. Questions about logging in and out
  4. Questions about modifying data and settings
  5. Questions about search
  6. Questions about news, events and experts
  7. Questions about miscellaneous error messages and problems

  1. General questions about programme and service
  2. I cannot find any answer. Who can I ask?

    Please use the contact form or get in touch directly with the idw team:
    Tel.: +49 (0) 921 34 899 89 70
    Fax: +49 (0) 921 34 899 89 78

    How much does registration cost?

    Setting up an account on including a subscription is free of charge.

    How can I register?

    Click on the “Register” link to the right of the top menu bar. Fill in the mandatory fields on the form. The registration is combined with setting up a personal subscription.

    How can I log in?

    Click on the “Login” link to the right of the top menu bar. Enter your user name and your password. Confirm the entry with “OK”.

    How can I change my subscription?

    Log in. Go to “My idw” and from there to the “To your menu” page. Use the “Edit subscription data” link under “Access Administration”.

    How can I terminate my subscription?

    Log in. Go to “My idw” and from there to the “To your menu” page. Use the “Stop subscription” link under “Access Administration”.

    How can I pause my subscription during my holidays?

    Log in. Go to “My idw” and from there to “Edit Subscription”. Here you can use the holiday wizard to pause the mailings for either a fixed period or an indefinite period.

    How can I delete my account?

    Log in. Go to “My idw” and from there “To your menu”. Use the “Delete idw account completely” link under “Access Administration”. Press officers cannot delete their accounts themselves. In such cases please contact the idw team.

    How can I receive press releases under news embargo?

    Any press releases on which the member institutions have imposed a news embargo are distributed exclusively to journalists accredited with idw. More detailed information is available under “Research”.

    Why should I be accredited as a journalist?

    Accreditation provides journalists with additional options: receiving press releases under a news embargo ahead of time (non-accredited journalists receive such items only after the news embargo has expired) and access to the idw lists of experts (with direct contact to specialists). More detailed information is available under “Research”.

    How can I be accredited as a journalist?

    Log in. Go to “My idw”, from there “To your menu”, then to the “Professional Data (journalist)” link under “Access Administration”. You will see this link only if you are registered as a journalist. Enter the issuing association, number and validity period of your journalist pass here. Then please send a scan of your journalist pass to or fax it to +49 (0) 921 - 34 899 89 79. If you have no journalist pass, please send us other valid credentials confirming your professional identity as a journalist.

  3. Questions about data confidentiality
  4. Where can I find information about data confidentiality?

    You can find detailed information in the data confidentiality regulations.

    What happens to the data I have disclosed with my registration?

    We need your data, especially your e-mail address, for mailing news items as specified in your subscription or for setting up a press officer account (for members). In principle, we collect and store your personal data only to the extent necessary for the provision of the contractually agreed service or customisation of our website.

    What happens with my data when I delete my account?

    As soon as your account is terminated (deleted), we will delete your data.

  5. Questions about logging in and out
  6. How can I retrieve my access data?

    If you have forgotten your user name or password, please use our “Forgotten password” function on the login screen. You will then receive an e-mail with a link via which you can log in once and then allocate a new password to your account. If your e-mail address has changed, please send a short message to our service address ( giving us both your old and new e-mail addresses.

    Why is the login not functioning?

    If you are again requested to log in after you have entered your access data, you have entered either an incorrect user name or an incorrect password. Check whether the shift key on your computer keyboard has been activated. A distinction is made between uppercase and lowercase letters when entering your user name and your password. Please also watch out for blank spaces inserted or copied by mistake. If you have forgotten your password, please use our “Forgotten password” function (see above). If you can exclude all of the error sources described above, please contact the idw team.

  7. Questions about modifying data and settings
  8. Where can I edit my personal data?

    Log in. Go to “My idw” and from there “To your menu”. Use the “Personal Data” link under “Access Administration”. If you enter a new e-mail address, we will automatically send your idw subscription to that address.

    Where can I edit the data of my institution?

    Log in as a registered press officer (only for idw member institutions). Go to “My idw” and from there “To your menu”. Use the “Data of my institution” link under “Access Administration”. Here you can alter, for example, the logo, the website address or the telephone numbers of your institution. If you wish to alter the name, short name or invoice address of your institution, please contact the idw team.

    Where can I find the search function?

    The search field is an integral part of the idw website located directly below the header and showing the phrase “Search news and events”. The search addresses the idw archives which contain all press releases and events ever published via idw. You will find more detailed information about the search function by pressing the “?” icon beside the advanced search.

    How can I filter the hit list?

    You can sort the hit list either according to relevance or by date. Use the filter function in the right-hand column of the page to refine your search result. You can specify, for example, the regional relevance, subject area or type of press release. Click on the “search” button to confirm your selection and obtain the filtered result.

    How can I narrow down my search?

    Click on the “Advanced search” link on the right next to the search field. A window with additional search options, such as regional relevance, subject area or type of press release, will open.

  9. Questions about news, events and experts
  10. Who is entitled to publish news and events on Informationsdienst Wissenschaft (idw)?

    The idw scientific information service is a registered association providing a technical platform and keeping it up to date for its members for publishing news and events and for expert recruitment. Only the press offices of member institutions are permitted to publish press releases and events via idw-online. If you belong to such an institution, please get in touch with your press office with regard to any materials you wish to publish. You will find an overview in the membership directory.

    How can I become a member of Informationsdienst Wissenschaft e.V.?

    If you are interested in becoming an idw member, please contact the idw team. Detailed information about the admission procedure you will find here.

    What type of content is published via idw-online?

    idw-online targets mainly scientific journalists and primarily distributes scientific information, for example current research results. The information must also be directly related to the institution by which it is published and must not contain any commercial content.

    Where can I find the press releases I have distributed?

    Log in as a press officer (only for idw member institutions). Go to “My idw” and from there “To your menu”. Click on the “Press releases from my institution” link under the “Press Releases” heading. Here you will find all news items which have been distributed by your institution via the idw system.

    Can I correct a news item after it has been distributed?

    News items can no longer be edited or deleted once they have been launched. Following upload, the information is immediately published on idw-online and distributed via various interfaces and channels which can no longer be reached by subsequent alterations. Furthermore, the press releases are used by journalists as the basis for their work, including direct quotations. Therefore the information given in the press release must be regarded as reliable and cannot be altered or withdrawn once it has been published.

    The press release I have sent out contains an error. What can I do?

    If the error is serious, you can add a supplementary text to your press release. Log in and open the relevant press release. Go to the “Enter supplement” tab at the centre of the page. A text box will open at the end of the press release. Enter only the text passages to be corrected there. Once it has been saved, the supplementary text will appear below the original press release. If the news item is not older than two weeks, it can be redistributed together with the supplement. Please activate the redistribution only if significant corrections to content have been made. If you enter your corrections after the two weeks have expired or deactivate the redistribution option, the supplement will be shown together with the press release when it is retrieved from the archives, but no e-mail distribution will be triggered.

    Where can I find information about a particular event?

    You will find details of all events under “Events” in the vertical navigation column and/or via the calendar on the right of the website page and via the search function.

    Where can I find the schedule of events held by a particular idw member institution?

    Go to “About idw” and from there to the “Membership directory”; then select the desired institution. Click on the “Events” button. Here you will find all current events which have been announced by the selected institution via the idw system.

    Can I forward a press release or event?

    You can forward news items or events by e-mail. Log in. Then open the detail view of the relevant press release or event. On the top right below the header, next to the “Print”, “Remember” and “PDF” icons, you will also find the “Forward” option. When you click on the “Paper plane” icon, you will be directed to a short form. Here you can enter the e-mail address to which you wish to have the information sent.

    Why does my published press release not appear in my personal subscription?

    When your press release was dispatched it was provided with certain attributes (such as “type of press release”, “subject area”). You will only receive this press release with your subscription if these attributes match your personal profile of interests as specified in your idw subscription.

    Why can’t I find my event in the calendar?

    Under idw events all events which have been classified at least as “regional” are shown automatically. If your event is a “local” event, you will find it via the advanced search by activating the “Local” selection button.

    Can I also receive press releases and events in RSS feed format?

    Yes, you can. Log in. Go to “My idw” and from there “To your menu”. Go to “Configure RSS feed” under “General options”. Select your preferred categories there. After you have confirmed your settings, the idw system will automatically create a link for you. You must copy this link into your RSS reader to display your pre-set selection of news items and events on your computer.

    How can I receive the press releases and events of a particular idw member institution as an RSS feed?

    Select the desired institution from the membership directory. In addition to the “Press releases” and/or “Events” buttons, you can activate the RSS feed icon.

    If you are a press relations officer of an idw member institution, you will find an option to configure RSS feeds for your own press releases and events in your menu under “Press Releases” and “Scientific Calendar”.

    What is an RSS feed?

    An RSS feed is a file in RSS format published on a web server. The data supplied is regularly updated via an Internet link with the help of an RSS reader. In the simplest version, the headline and the relevant link to the press release are published. Most web browsers and e-mail programs already come with integrated RSS readers to visualize news items. The advantage of RSS feeds is that you can gather information about current news and events at any time without having to visit the provider’s website.

    How can I access older press releases?

    All press releases ever published via idw-online are stored in the news archives. You can use either the simple or advanced search function to search the archives.

    Can I set up my own homepage?

    You can also adapt the news items on the idw homepage to your personal interests and needs. To do so, you must log in with your user name and password. Then go to “My idw” and from there “To your menu”. Here you can select the “Set up/edit My idw” option under “Access Administration” and then specify the desired criteria.

    Why do I receive an error message when clicking on a press release or an event?

    If you click on a press release or an event and receive an error message (“Page not found”), please e-mail this information to the idw team. To enable us to check the error message, please copy the relevant address line (URL) into your e-mail and let us know from which page you tried to access the defective news item. If it is an external website address not starting with, please contact the operator of that website directly.

    Why can’t I open the press releases sent to me by e-mail?

    Current versions of commonly available e-mail programs (Outlook, Thunderbird etc.) show website addresses in e-mails automatically as links to be clicked on. Should your e-mail program not do that, you can activate this function manually. Consult your system administrator on this matter.

  11. Questions about miscellaneous error messages and problems
  12. Why does my data disappear from a form when I click on the back button?

    This is normally caused by a defect in Internet Explorer. To prevent this error, we have inserted a JavaScript code on our website pages. But it may happen that your firewall cancels this code. In that case, please consult your technical service provider or use another web browser, such as Firefox.

    Why am I not getting any e-mails although I have set up a subscription?

    This error is probably due either to the settings for your subscription or to your spam filter. Log in to the idw website. Go to “My idw” and from there “To your menu” and to the “Personal data” link under “Access Administration”. Check first your submitted e-mail address, your holiday settings under “Holiday function” and your subscription settings under “Edit/set up subscription”. In order to receive any messages, you must select at least one of the fields for countries, federal states or postcode areas. If you cannot find any error in these areas, you should check whether the idw e-mails may be caught in your spam filter. In that case, you need to adjust its permeability accordingly.


Search / advanced search of the idw archives
Combination of search terms

You can combine search terms with and, or and/or not, e.g. Philo not logy.


You can use brackets to separate combinations from each other, e.g. (Philo not logy) or (Psycho and logy).


Coherent groups of words will be located as complete phrases if you put them into quotation marks, e.g. “Federal Republic of Germany”.

Selection criteria

You can also use the advanced search without entering search terms. It will then follow the criteria you have selected (e.g. country or subject area).

If you have not selected any criteria in a given category, the entire category will be searched (e.g. all subject areas or all countries).