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Creators/Authors contains: "Nishal, Sachita"

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  1. The scale of scientific publishing continues to grow, creating overload on science journalists who are inundated with choices for what would be most interesting, important, and newsworthy to cover in their reporting. Our work addresses this problem by considering the viability of creating a predictive model of newsworthiness of scientific articles that is trained using crowdsourced evaluations of newsworthiness. We proceed by first evaluating the potential of crowd-sourced evaluations of newsworthiness by assessing their alignment with expert ratings of newsworthiness, analyzing both quantitative correlations and qualitative rating rationale to understand limitations. We then demonstrate and evaluate a predictive model trained on these crowd ratings together with arXiv article metadata, text, and other computed features. Based on the crowdsourcing protocol we developed, we find that while crowdsourced ratings of newsworthiness often align moderately with expert ratings, there are also notable differences and divergences which limit the approach. Yet despite these limitations we also find that the predictive model we built provides a reasonably precise set of rankings when validated against expert evaluations (P@10 = 0.8, P@15 = 0.67), suggesting that a viable signal can be learned from crowdsourced evaluations of newsworthiness. Based on these findings we discuss opportunities for future work to leverage crowdsourcing and predictive approaches to support journalistic work in discovering and filtering newsworthy information. 
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