Embargo Watch

Keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage

Dutch news agency breaks PNAS Stradivarius study embargo

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The ANP Dutch news agency broke the embargo yesterday on a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) of whether violinists can tell the difference between a Stradivarius and other instruments.

ANP’s story ran several hours before the PNAS embargo lifted at 3 p.m. Eastern.

EurekAlert, which distributes PNAS releases, told at least one news organization that they had contacted the publication and asked them to remove the article. That doesn’t seem to have happened before the embargo lifted. EurekAlert also contacted PNAS, but the journal was closed for the holiday, according to their alert last week.

ANP told one reporter that communications from the German press agency DPA had confused the issue. The German agency

had the news with an embargo until January 2, 2000 (!). After that, there came a new message without embargo, so it seemed to me there was no embargo. If PNAS did have an embargo, then this wasn’t clear from the DPA message.

As of noon Eastern on Tuesday, the study is not yet available at the PNAS site. In the meantime, you can read Ed Yong’s great post on it. Bonus: A study participant responds in the comments.

Hat tips: Lucas Brouwers and Elmar Veerman

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Written by Ivan Oransky

January 3, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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