Embargo Watch

Keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage

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

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

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