Archive for the ‘embargo watch honor roll’ Category
Facing criticism, EASL changes its embargo policy — and earns a spot on the Embargo Watch Honor Roll
Yesterday, I criticized a strange embargo policy in place for an upcoming European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) conference. That policy, which drew Adam Feuerstein’s ire along with mine, allowed anyone who had paid to attend the April conference — including investors — to get abstracts this week, while they were still under embargo.
This morning, in an email to its press list, the EASL announced it was changing the policy: Read the rest of this entry »
The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) has a new policy that’s a breath of transparent air into what can be an inconsistent area that many organizations would rather sweep under the rug: How to sanction embargo breakers. (Yes, I mixed some metaphors.)
The end of 2011 has snuck up on me, and there’s not much time left for a Best of 2011 post. So I’ll just call attention to the scientific societies and journals that did something to earn a spot on the Embargo Watch Honor Roll this year. These are all organizations who changed their policies following Embargo Watch criticism: Read the rest of this entry »
More than 16 months ago, just a few weeks after Embargo Watch was born, I wrote about a “freely available but embargoed” policy at CHEST, published by the American College of Chest Physicians. Here was that policy:
Even though they appear online, CHEST Papers In Press are embargoed from media coverage until they appear in a forthcoming print issue of CHEST. When a Paper in Press appears in a print issue of CHEST, the article will adhere to the standard CHEST embargo policy. For questions regarding CHEST embargo policies, please contact the ACCP Public Relations Department…
As I noted then, comparing the policy to one at the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine that has since been changed:
The basic idea is the same: Papers are available to any HighWire subscriber, but embargoed for press coverage. The differences: The PDFs of the papers themselves don’t mention the embargo, and it’s not clear how long the embargo lasts.
I didn’t like their “freely available but embargoed” policy any more than I liked any other. So you can imagine that I was quite pleased to see this land in my inbox this morning: Read the rest of this entry »
FDA makes the right move, reversing itself and letting reporters speak to sources before embargo lifts
In January, Embargo Watch reported that the FDA had told reporters they couldn’t speak to outside sources about a medical device approval announcement until the embargo had lifted. I argued that such an approach would turn journalists into stenographers.
The Association of Health Care Journalists board of directors — of which, in full disclosure, I am a member — agreed, and sent a strongly worded letter to the agency in February. Yesterday, the FDA wrote back, laying out the rationale for its policy. The important sentence is here, where it reverses the approach it took in January: Read the rest of this entry »
We’ve criticized it for an absurdly short embargo time of 49 minutes, for example. And most recently, last month, we took it to task for waiting until 24 hours before a study was to be released to send it to reporters, instead of just releasing drafts that were clearly available to a hospital press office.
I asked the staff then — as I did last April — to “send page proofs, plain text, or some other not-quite-done-and-dusted version of studies,” in the name of living up to its embargo policy’s stated goal of helping reporters “to learn about a topic, gather relevant information, and interview authors and other experts so they can accurately report complex research findings.”
Well, the staff listened. On Tuesday, the journal sent this message to its media subscribers: Read the rest of this entry »
In June, I wrote about the fact that the American Diabetes Association posted the abstracts for their big annual meeting about ten days before the meeting online, without password protection or any other firewall, but said they were embargoed until the meeting began. In other words, they were playing the “publicly available but embargoed” game that is one of the banes of Embargo Watch’s existence.
When Embargo Watch launched in late February, one of the two posts that went live the very first day was “Good intentions, unintended consequences at American Thoracic Society.” In it, I expressed puzzlement at a policy that left studies in The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine available to any HighWire subscriber embargoed for two weeks following online publication. I wasn’t the only one. Scroll down to comments on that post for some thoughts that didn’t give the ATS the benefit of the doubt for good intentions, as I did.
I also said that Reuters Health would continue to uphold that policy for the time being, but that I’d reconsider “if competitors start running stories before we do.”
Well, I won’t have to reconsider anymore. This went out on top of a release from the ATS press office today (emphasis and underlining theirs):
European Society of Human Genetics changes its policy, no more freely available but embargoed abstracts
About a month ago, I posted an item about a European Society of Human Genetics (ESHG) study embargo that was lifted early after a Sunday Times story appeared. In a nutshell, this was a “chapter of accidents,” according to Mary Rice, who handles press for the ESHG.
As befits a chapter of accidents, the whole story is a bit complicated, involving an unembargoed release from a UK agency, for example. But for me, the key reason the embargo was tough to defend was that the study abstract, and others from the ESHG conference, were freely available on the Society’s site, as I noted in my post.
Now, it appears, the ESHG has learned its lesson. They’ve changed their policy. As Mary told me by email earlier today:
What happened was that I sent them your piece from Embargo Watch and said that this had confirmed my view that they needed to password-protect abstracts in future. They’ve now agreed to do so. Sometimes it takes a third party to get things moving!
Embargo Watch is happy to be that third party. There’s room at the punch bowl for the American Diabetes Association, which said it was reviewing their similar policy after an Embargo Watch post.