What’s going on at the Cell press office?
Buried in an August 4 post about a short Cell Metabolism embargo was the fact that Cell Press employed a grand total of one press officer for their 28 journals.
Well, now they employ none.
Embargo Watch learned this week that press officer Cathleen Genova left at the end of October. There’s someone with other responsibilities filling in, but none of the Cell journals have been updated on EurekAlert — which Cell uses to press release their content — since then.
Apparently, an internal audit showed that very few people are using the Cell page on EurekAlert, so the publisher is evaluating its strategy. Whether that means they’ll stop embargoing content, embargo less of it, or do something altogether different is unclear.
I contacted the person filling in for Genova for comment, but haven’t heard back. [See update at the end of this post.]
Oddly, Cell Press put out a release just last week titled “Cell Press delivers the news:”
Announcing Cell DNA — Daily News Aggregator: A free daily news aggregation service in the life sciences
And I should also note that over at our sister blog, Retraction Watch, we don’t tend to have a lot of luck getting calls back from Cell editors.
Update, 9:15 p.m. Eastern, 11/23/10: Lisa Lyons, who has been filling in for Genova, responded today:
I have taken over most of Cathleen’s duties and I am not sure if she will be replaced by anyone else.
We are always evaluating processes, but would like to offer all research papers to press for coverage under embargo. Things should be back to normal this week.
I’ll keep an eye on this. Please let me know about your experiences working with Cell Press.