Embargo Watch

Keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage

PNAS lifts embargo early on study of extinctions, after author’s university jumps the gun

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The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) lifted an embargo early yesterday, after a university broke it with a press release.

From an email sent to reporters yesterday about an hour before the embargo was scheduled to lift: Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by Ivan Oransky

September 19, 2017 at 9:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

PNAS lifts embargo early after news outlet runs typhoid fever story too soon

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The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) lifted the embargo early Saturday on a paper about typhoid fever, after a news outlet ran a story three days before the embargo was scheduled to lift.

From an email to the PNAS media list:  Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

August 21, 2017 at 8:10 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Here we go again: Why Nature didn’t just post a paper on stem cell editing after the findings leaked

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Last week, Technology Review broke the story of the first gene editing of human embryos in the U.S., using the much-ballyhooed CRISPR technique. That’s a big development, for scientific and ethical reasons, so not surprisingly, other news outlets jumped on it.

The coverage prompted stem cell scientist and blogger Paul Knoepfler to wonder who leaked the paper — which, as many knew but didn’t say because of, well, an embargo, was scheduled to be published today in Nature. (The Tech Review article was published July 26, and Nature didn’t post a pre-embargo version of the paper until a few days ago.)

The coverage also prompted Nature to include this in their embargoed email to reporters on Monday about this week’s issue: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

August 2, 2017 at 1:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Auburn University mix-up prompts PNAS to lift embargo early

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The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) lifted the embargo early Friday on a paper about sleep, race, and heart disease, after a university jumped the gun.

From an email sent at 4:16 p.m. Eastern on Friday, some 70 hours before the embargo was scheduled to lift today at 3 p.m. Eastern: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

July 31, 2017 at 9:30 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Five years on, eLife finds the lure of the embargo too strong

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Five years ago, then-new journal eLife announced that it would eschew embargoes — and my nemesis, the Ingelfinger Rule — in favor of unfettered scientific communication. I applauded the move — which I had some input into — then.

And for more than four years, as best I can tell, the journal stuck to that promise. But not in 2017. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

July 20, 2017 at 9:30 am

Posted in Uncategorized

The American Diabetes Association seems to be confused about what “public” means

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Last month, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) stepped in it a bit.

In a move that predictably richocheted around Twitter — and into the medical trade press — the ADA politely, but publicly, asked attendees of its recent annual meeting to take down photos they’d posted of conference slides. Tweets were fine, as long as they didn’t include pictures of slides.

The policy — a version of “freely available, but embargoed,” drew widespread and deserved criticism. In response, the ADA’s Linda Cann defended the policy, but said it would be reevaluated: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

July 17, 2017 at 9:30 am

Embargo on study of how to retain women engineering students lifted early after break

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The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) lifted the embargo early Friday on a paper, after a news outlet broke it three days before it was scheduled to lift.

From an email sent to the journal’s media list Friday: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

May 21, 2017 at 7:48 pm

Posted in Uncategorized