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NASW urges conference organizers to accept NASW membership as a sufficient credential for granting press privileges to freelance writers at scientific, technical, and medical conferences.

If conference organizers feel that NASW membership alone is not a sufficient credential for granting press privileges to freelance writers, then NASW urges conference organizers to consider the following as acceptable additional criteria: Two clips published in journalism outlets on any topic from the past year or, alternatively, other evidence of science writing work performed in the last year, such as a textbook credential, a letter from a book editor, etc. Continue reading for explanations and examples of press credential policies from several conferences.

Is Magazine X late in paying you again? Unsure how much to charge for Project Y? We've all been there. We've collected some strategies for dealing with these situations — and preventing them in the first place. We even have some example emails you can send to editors, for different situations. Available to NASW members only.

The debate over adding fluoride to water has lasted almost a lifetime in places like Portland, Ore., where voters last year rebelled against their city's fluoridation plans. A Mary Otto post on the AHCJ website debunks some of the opposition's evidence: "Numerous studies credit water fluoridation efforts with major reductions in tooth decay during the second half of the 20th century … Yet in spite of reams of scientific evidence, debate and fear remain in some places."

It's been a rough few weeks for the online encyclopedia. First came the revelation that an army of "sockpuppets" — basically, people who were paid to write and edit articles for various sponsors — had been uncovered and banned. Then Technology Review called Wikipedia "a crushing bureaucracy with an often abrasive atmosphere that deters newcomers," an assertion borne out by this exchange over the Scholarly Kitchen.

It's Google's world and we just live in it. But in what can only be an effort to stay on our good side, the ubernerds offer free instruction in an array of computer tools that can be useful for journalists in moving from print to online publishing. The 10,000 Words site has this introduction to Google Code University: "In Web Programming, for example, there are lectures, videos, and contributed course content to teach users how to create interactive web applications."

Jeff Sonderman compiled this list on the Poynter Institute's web site. Sonderman's tips range from searching for all posts mentioning a company to zeroing in on activities of specific employees. LinkedIn is "a powerful and often underused resource for finding news sources and story ideas," Sonderman writes. "Reporters can find sources and leads through status updates, employee transitions and data that LinkedIn aggregates and analyzes."