Embargo Watch

Keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage

Archive for October 2010

Things I like: EORTC-NCI-AACR symposium embargo policy, Lancet apology

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There are lots of examples of embargo policies I dislike here on Embargo Watch. But I’ve been finding things to like lately, so much so that a loyal Embargo Watch reader told me my friends are worried about me.

Well, friends, I’ve found two more.

First up, an elegant and simple policy for an upcoming European Organisation for the Treatment of Cancer-National Cancer Institute-American Association for Cancer Research symposium. This went out this morning from Emma Mason, whose name has appeared regularly on Embargo Watch: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

October 28, 2010 at 9:30 am

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Jenny Craig decides a JAMA study available online isn’t published yet — or maybe it is?

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Apologies in advance for those of you who will shed some hair as you scratch your head throughout this post. I know I did. See if you can follow along:

On October 9, JAMA published two weight loss studies,  one of which was funded by Jenny Craig. The company, according to a disclosure on the paper

had a minimal role in the design and protocol development. By contractual agreement, scientists at the University of California, San Diego, and the other participating institutions had responsibility and independence regarding data management, analysis, and publication. The funding sponsor had no role in the collection, analysis, or interpretation of the data; or in the preparation, review or approval of the manuscript.

The study — published early online to coincide with a presentation at the Obesity Society’s annual meeting in San Diego — found that Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

October 26, 2010 at 9:30 am

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You’re doing it wrong: Sending material and calling it embargoed before an agreement doesn’t make it so

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photo by thelastminute via flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/thelastminute/

See if you can guess what these quotations from three different emails have in common. They’re  redacted to protect the guilty, although I’m not quite sure why. The formatting is from the originals:

Subject: EMBARGO: [redacted] launches [redacted] channel on Youtube

[redacted] will announce tomorrow that it has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with [redacted]. [redacted] will have sole responsibility for marketing and selling the [redacted] in [redacted].

As you read through the embargoed survey results and release, attached

You can probably guess quite easily, but if not: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

October 21, 2010 at 9:30 am

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Out-foxing UK Sunday papers: ESHRE lifts IVF study embargo early in anticipation of coverage

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The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) has apparently had enough of embargo breaks by Sunday papers in the UK, and is fighting back.

This morning, ESHRE press officer Hanna Hanssen sent the following to her media list: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

October 15, 2010 at 9:30 am

Posted in Uncategorized

CMAJ osteoporosis guideline embargo broken inadvertently

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In response to an embargo break earlier this week on a new set of osteoporosis treatment guidelines, CMAJ senior strategist for communications and partnerships Kim Barnhardt sent this email to the journal’s press list this morning: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

October 13, 2010 at 3:07 pm

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Last week’s embargo breaks: ESMO T-DM1 study, IMS report on pharma sales growth

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Between my day job, teaching responsibilities, and a family celebration this past weekend, I’ve gotten slightly behind on cataloging embargo breaks. So with my apologies, here’s a quickie about two from last week.

On Friday afternoon, the European Society for Medical Oncology sent out a note to its press list about a study being presented at its 35th Congress in Milan: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

October 13, 2010 at 11:23 am

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AAS plays the “freely available but embargoed” game with its conference abstracts

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The American Astronomical Society’s Division of Planetary Sciences meeting will finish up today in Pasadena, California. It’s been the subject of lots of news coverage of the conference in many science-themed outlets. (One reporter, Science News‘ Ron Cowen, got Ingelfingered.)

But it turns out you didn’t need to wait until this week to read about the abstracts at that conference. In yet another example of “freely available but embargoed,” those abstracts were all online and open to the public at least two weeks before the conference started. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

October 8, 2010 at 11:03 am

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What moving science writing “upstream” could mean for embargoes

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Brian Reid

In a March guest post, Brian Reid — a former reporter for Bloomberg who’s now a director at PR/communications firm WCG — wondered aloud about how the embargo system could break. In this post, he picks up on a recent thread of discussion about trends in science journalism, and muses on what it could mean for embargoes.

Last month, PLoS Medicine published a piece that cut to the heart of what makes health and medical journalism so tricky: there are 75 clinical studies being published every day, along with 11 systemic reviews. That is a boatload of data, too much for almost anyone (with the possible exception of Ivan) to process. And it’s just the tip of the iceberg, not factoring in the dozens of other sources of scientific information. It seems like that information overload is far more of a threat to journalism than some of the other bugaboos raised by the Columbia Journalism Review lately (a topic I addressed from a public-relations point of view here).

Fortuitously, a new approach to science journalism could offer a reprieve from the firehose of clinical information. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

October 5, 2010 at 9:30 am

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Are NDAs the new embargo agreements? Humana and Walmart seem to think so

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Reporters: Have you ever signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) in exchange for access to embargoed information? An Embargo Watch tipster forwarded me an NDA from Humana-Walmart, which announced a new Medicare Part D prescription drug plan today.

Here’s the text of the NDA: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

October 1, 2010 at 12:21 pm

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American Journal of Kidney Diseases pulls a two-fer: A Groundhog Day embargo of a study that’s freely available

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I’ve written before about the Groundhog Day embargo, one that lifts every hour for a day, because it’s set at a journalist’s local time. And I’ve written a number of times about the vexing problem of journals and societies that insist on embargoing material that is actually already available.

Well, this week the American Journal of Kidney Diseases did both. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

October 1, 2010 at 9:30 am

Posted in Uncategorized