Embargo Watch

Keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage

Sunday Times breaks Archives of Internal Medicine embargo

with 7 comments

The Sunday Times of London has broken another embargo, this time of an Archives of Internal Medicine study scheduled for a 4 p.m. Eastern release today.

From JAMA/Archives:

SPECIAL NOTICE: The embargo on the Archives of Internal Medicine paper (see below) was broken by Jonathan Leake of The Sunday Times of London. In response to this violation, reporters and editors at The Sunday Times will no longer have pre- or post-embargo access to any JAMA/Archives materials.

This from JAMA/Archives at about 11 Eastern today:

SPECIAL NOTICE: Due to an embargo break, the following study is being immediately released by the JAMA/Archives journals.  Please note that only this paper is being released early.  The embargo remains intact for 3 p.m. central time, March 8, 2010, for the other studies in the March 8 Archives of Internal Medicine and the March Archives of Neurology and Archives of Ophthalmology.

We are currently investigating the circumstances of the embargo break.  The JAMA/Archives Media Relations Department thanks the reporters who abided by the embargo.

Women Who Drink Moderately Appear to Gain Less Weight Than Non-Drinkers

It was this Sunday Times story, which posted yesterday (Sunday).

As Embargo Watch readers know, this is the second such breabk by The Sunday Times in a week. PNAS is no longer giving the paper advance access to studies after they broke an embargo on a study of polar bear origins last week.

It’s also second embargo break for a JAMA/Archives journal in about a week. On Friday, Feb. 26, UPI broke an Archives of General Psychiatry embargo on a study on pot smoking and psychosis.

Note: This post has been updated a few times from the original, in which I didn’t yet know which news organization had broken the embargo.


Written by Ivan Oransky

March 8, 2010 at 11:11 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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7 Responses

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  1. So how can I get my hands on the paper? I made a side-wiki entry about the story yesterday and left comments on the pages of the Mail and Times (though the Times comment didn’t make it past moderation).

    Anne Marie Cunningham

    March 8, 2010 at 1:38 pm

  2. I’m surprised any of the major journals still give Sunday Times reporters access to embargo material–haven’t they broken enough to be blackballed in general by, say, all of eurekalert’s journals.

    john travis

    March 8, 2010 at 6:23 pm

  3. You’re kidding me. Leake again? I’m starting to think that there’s some nominative determinism at work here.

    Ed Yong

    March 8, 2010 at 6:25 pm

  4. John’s right — anyone who sends anything under embargo to Leake (or the Sunday Times) is asking for trouble. He says straight up that he won’t respect them. I do wonder whether he gets fed things by compliant freelances though — any ideas on how that might be policed?

    Mark Henderson

    March 9, 2010 at 6:01 am

  5. It was once said that there were two certainties in life: death and taxes.

    Rupert Murdoch has disproven that on both counts.

    So far.

    Rupert understands power, media and newspapers. He has nothing but hatred and contempt for ‘journalism’.

    If you want to whine about it, go ahead.

    If you want to do something about it: come visit sites like stopmurdoch and start taking simple action to hold his ridiculous rags up to public contempt.

    Nobody can do it alone.


    March 9, 2010 at 10:57 am

  6. Mark, there are a number of mechanisms that can be used for document control and tracking. Mostly however embargo relies on a certain level of trust between the parties. Having to add in security features to embargoed documents becomes costly when the distribution list is too broad.

    I agree – sending anything to Leake is pointless. He is aptly named.


    March 10, 2010 at 6:04 am

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