European Society of Human Genetics changes its policy, no more freely available but embargoed abstracts
About a month ago, I posted an item about a European Society of Human Genetics (ESHG) study embargo that was lifted early after a Sunday Times story appeared. In a nutshell, this was a “chapter of accidents,” according to Mary Rice, who handles press for the ESHG.
As befits a chapter of accidents, the whole story is a bit complicated, involving an unembargoed release from a UK agency, for example. But for me, the key reason the embargo was tough to defend was that the study abstract, and others from the ESHG conference, were freely available on the Society’s site, as I noted in my post.
Now, it appears, the ESHG has learned its lesson. They’ve changed their policy. As Mary told me by email earlier today:
What happened was that I sent them your piece from Embargo Watch and said that this had confirmed my view that they needed to password-protect abstracts in future. They’ve now agreed to do so. Sometimes it takes a third party to get things moving!
Embargo Watch is happy to be that third party. There’s room at the punch bowl for the American Diabetes Association, which said it was reviewing their similar policy after an Embargo Watch post.