Embargo Watch

Keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage

Archive for January 2011

We can haz change: American Diabetes Association says no more “freely available but embargoed”

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In June, I wrote about the fact that the American Diabetes Association posted the abstracts for their big annual meeting about ten days before the meeting online, without password protection or any other firewall, but said they were embargoed until the meeting began. In other words, they were playing the “publicly available but embargoed” game that is one of the banes of Embargo Watch’s existence.

Well, no more. This year, abstracts won’t be available on their site, or anywhere else, until June 24, at 5 p.m. Eastern, when the embargo lifts. From a Q&A: Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by Ivan Oransky

January 31, 2011 at 12:15 pm

FDA wants stenographers? Agency says reporters can’t interview anyone before its embargo lifts

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Last week, the FDA announced changes to its medical device approval process, aka 510(k) clearance, which has been the source of complaints from many in the industry. But as the embargo lifted at 1 p.m. Eastern on January 19, all you saw in the media were brief stories like this one. It took a little while before you could get any reaction from industry or other players.

Here’s why: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

January 28, 2011 at 10:50 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Did National Journal break the State of the Union embargo?

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Last night, almost two hours before President Barack Obama launched into his State of the Union address, you could have read his planned remarks on the National Journal’s site.

That led at least a few people to claim that the site had broken the embargo by posting the text at 7:14 Eastern, with the address scheduled for 9 p.m.

But had they? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

January 26, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

EurekAlert retracts press release, and a Guardian reporter sanctioned by EurekAlert reports on it

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EurekAlert has withdrawn a press release after realizing that it contained unsupported statements about climate change. As Suzanne Goldenberg of The Guardian reports:

An online news service sponsored by the world’s premier scientific association unwittingly promoted a study making the false claim that catastrophic global warming would occur within nine years, the Guardian has learned.

The study, by an NGO based in Argentina, claimed the planet would warm by 2.4C by 2020 and projected dire consequences for global food supply. A press release for the Food Gap study was carried by EurekAlert!, the news service operated by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) , and the story was picked up by a number of international news organisations on Tuesday.

Read the rest of Goldenberg’s story. It’s quite illuminating.

EurekAlert posted a statement that reads, in part: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

January 19, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Heads up, reporters: Press officers for a number of UK and European scientific societies are cleaning their embargo lists

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Journalists take note: Emma Mason and Mary Rice, who run press operations for a number of European scientific societies, are cleaning up their reporter databases:

We are re-organising our media databases for 2011 to ensure that: a) they only include journalists who want to be on them, b) that you are receiving information on the areas you are interested in, and c) everyone who is on our databases has agreed to abide by our embargoes.

Journalists can find out more at the RiceMason site.

The move is partly in response to discussions on Embargo Watch, Mason told me on Twitter, Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

January 14, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

How not to embargo an announcement, ScienceOnline2011 edition

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That picture is me looking surprised.

It’s there because a public relations representative asked me to look surprised when some ninth graders from Staten Island, New York started talking about the fact that they were blogging for Nature.

If that sounds strange, please read on. But before you do, please let me be absolutely clear that this post is not a reflection on the terrific teacher or students the news release was about. That teacher, Stacy Baker, aka Miss Baker, and her kids, are great, and you should follow along as they blog from ScienceOnline2011 here in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. I’m excited as always to be at ScienceOnline, which was a big part of what got me to start Embargo Watch last year, and I’ll be following the kids’ posts.

Now for the silliness. Here’s the top of a press release that went out yesterday: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

January 13, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Politico breaks American Journal of Public Health embargo on conflict of interest study

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The American Journal of Public Health has lifted a study’s embargo several hours early after Politico ran a teaser item on the paper. According to an email sent out today at 11:33 a.m. Eastern: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

January 13, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Posted in Uncategorized