Embargo Watch

Keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage

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

PNAS lifts fructose-appetite study embargo early after realizing media had covered presentation months ago

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pnas junePNAS sent a message to its media list on Friday that began:

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

Glucose, fructose, and appetite

Fructose may enhance the reward value of high-calorie food and promote eating, compared with glucose, according to a study. Differences in metabolism of fructose and glucose may lead to differential effects on physiological and behavioral responses to food. To assess the different effects of the two sugars on hunger and food cue responses in the brain, Kathleen A. Page and colleagues conducted fMRI scans on 24 people who had been given drinks sweetened with fructose on one day and glucose on another day.

The journal tells Embargo Watch: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

May 4, 2015 at 10:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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Following criticism, PeerJ reverses policy, won’t break their own embargoes

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peerjOn Tuesday, I reported that the journal PeerJ had broken its own embargo on a study of the brontosaurus, and had actually planned to in an attempt to “make sure it was published and online correctly before the press started linking to it.” The journal, as I noted, was in essence saying that it was “fine to make something available online but keep the embargo.” And there are other ways to ensure studies are available online when embargoes lift — something many journals, PNAS notably not included, have figured out.

The PeerJ policy had generated some criticism before the Embargo Watch post, and reactions on Twitter and elsewhere were also critical, with rare exceptions. Today, thanks to a comment by news release service Alpha Galileo, we learned that PeerJ has reversed its policy.

I asked PeerJ to confirm, and explain their rationale. They responded: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

April 9, 2015 at 3:13 pm

PeerJ broke its own embargo on brontosaurus paper — and that’s exactly what they meant to do

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peerjBy now, if you follow science news, you have no doubt seen coverage of a new study claiming that yes, Brontosaurus really is a dinosaur.

That study appeared in PeerJ, a relatively new journal (which, in the interests of full disclosure, has asked me to review a paper). The reason you’re reading about it on Embargo Watch is that several reporters were a bit dismayed to see that the study had been published at PeerJ some time before its scheduled 7 a.m. Eastern embargo today. As Nature’s Ewen Callaway tweeted: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

April 7, 2015 at 3:13 pm

PNAS lifts narcissism embargo early after wire service story breaks it

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pnas june

Is breaking an embargo a symptom of narcissism?

From the top of an email sent at 2:14 p.m Eastern Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) to its media list Monday, 46 minutes before the embargo on the study in question was scheduled to lift: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

March 11, 2015 at 9:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

PNAS lifts embargo on cancer detection study after reporting by Sunday Times, Daily Mail

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pnas juneThe Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) lifted the embargo early yesterday on a study of a potential new blood marker for cancer after two newspapers reported on the findings before the scheduled lift time of 3 p.m. Eastern today.

Here’s the top of an email sent to reporters yesterday: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

February 23, 2015 at 6:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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