Embargo Watch

Keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage

The $30 million press releases: Breaking embargoes for fun, profit, and criminal charges

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secIf, like I do, you subscribe to daily emails from the press release service EurekAlert!, you may have noticed this boilerplate at the top of those emails:

Please note further that anyone using embargoed information for trading purposes may be in violation of the Securities Exchange Act.

If you’ve ever wondered what that was about, an Associated Press (AP) story explains in mind-blowing detail today.

Here’s the lead of the story from the AP, about what Federal authorities called “the biggest scheme of its kind ever prosecuted, and one that demonstrated yet another way in which the financial world is vulnerable to cybercrime:” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

August 11, 2015 at 3:25 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Nature runs with another short embargo. This time, Science played along, too.

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cover_natureA bit more than a month ago, I wrote about a 29-hour embargo for a Nature paper on the Kennewick Man that made a number of reporters pretty angry. Today, the embargo lifted on another Nature paper — also involving the origins of peoples in North America — just 29 hours after the paper was sent to reporters.

What made this case a bit different was that the embargo ended up lifting on a Science paper (the DOI seems to not yet resolve is now working) on a similar subject at the same time. I’ll let Science explain how that happened: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

July 21, 2015 at 4:19 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

No self control? Daily Mail story forces PNAS to lift ideology-self control paper embargo early

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pnas juneFor the fifth time this year, PNAS has lifted the embargo early on a paper today because of a story published before the embargo was scheduled to lift. About an hour before the 3 p.m. Eastern embargo, the journal sent this to its press list: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

June 22, 2015 at 3:23 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

A tipping point? Nature angers science journalism corps with short Kennewick Man embargo

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cover_natureIt took 9,000 years for the remains of Kennewick Man to be found in 1996, nearly a decade of legal wrangling with the government for scientists to gain the rights to study him, and almost another decade for researchers to reveal his secrets.

But this week Nature, in a move that irritated a number of leading science journalists, decided that the news just couldn’t wait several more days so that reporters would have time to digest the details of what one journalist accurately described as “an incredibly complicated subject.”

As usual, we’ll leave the analysis of the results to the stories by journalists focused on the paper itself. Here’s some of the abstract, to provide a bit of context: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

June 18, 2015 at 1:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Another embargo break at PNAS, this time by author press release

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pnas juneThe Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) lifted the embargo early Monday on a paper after the company where some of its authors work broke it in a press release. Here’s a notice from the journal to the media on Monday, a few hours before the scheduled 3 p.m. Eastern lift:

PNAS is lifting the embargo early on the following paper. All other articles are under the scheduled embargo:

Article #15-06207: “Precision-guided antimicrobial peptide as a targeted modulator of human microbial ecology,” by Lihong Guo et al.

PNAS tells Embargo Watch: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

June 5, 2015 at 9:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Circadian embargo clock malfunctions as press release is published ahead of schedule

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pnas june

Melatonin, anyone?

PNAS lifted the embargo early on a study today following the publication of a university press release on a website some time before the embargo was scheduled to lift. This was the top of a PNAS press office email to reporters just before noon Eastern today, three hours before the embargo was scheduled to lift: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

May 18, 2015 at 3:20 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

NEJM lifts embargo on blindness gene therapy study early after BBC breaks it

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nejmThe New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) lifted the embargo early yesterday on a study of a rare form of blindness following a break by the BBC.

From a note sent to the journal’s media list yesterday just before noon Eastern (links added): Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

May 5, 2015 at 9:30 am

Posted in nejm embargoes

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