Embargo Watch

Keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage

Wednesday is break one embargo, get another one free day at Nature, American Journal of Public Health

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At Carvel, Wednesday is buy one, get one free day. “Wednesday is Sundae,” the slogan goes. Apparently, that’s true for embargo breaks, too, or at least it was this week.

From Nature yesterday, at 11:47 a.m. Eastern, 73 minutes before their scheduled 1 p.m. embargo lift (link added):

Due to early reporting, we are lifting the embargo on the Nature Comment piece described in the press release below. The rest of this week’s Nature press release remains under embargo until 1800 London time (BST) today, Wednesday 13 April, but you may report on the below Comment article now.

From the American Journal of Public Health at 6:20 p.m. Eastern yesterday, almost 24 hours before today’s scheduled 4 p.m. embargo lift:

American Journal of Public Health embargo lifted immediately for the study on “The Impact of Business Cycles on US Suicide Rates, 1928-2007” by Feijun Luo, PhD, Curtis S. Florence, PhD, Myriam Quispe-Agnoli, PhD, Lijing Ouyang, PhD, and Alexander E. Crosby, MD.

We regret to inform you that we have just learned that the embargo for this AJPH study, which was set for tomorrow, Thursday, April 14, at 4 p.m. ET, has been broken with a story published this afternoon. Due to this regrettable occurrence, we are immediately lifting the embargo on this report, so that other media outlets can also release the story now and do not have to wait until the scheduled time of lifting the embargo. Note that the rest of the June 2011 AJPH issue will still remain under embargo until 4 p.m. ET tomorrow.

The American Journal of Public Health editors thank all of the journalists who abide by the AJPH embargoes each month. AJPH takes breaches of the embargo seriously and is investigating the circumstances.

It’s unclear who broke the embargoes. There was a lot of reporting of Robert Geller’s Nature commentary critical of Japanese seismologists, and there was this NewsCore piece on the suicide-economy study that ran on the Minneapolis-Saint Paul FOX affiliate. I’ll update if I hear more details.

Written by Ivan Oransky

April 14, 2011 at 8:11 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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