Embargo Watch

Keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage

Archive for August 2011

University of Kentucky sports PIO punishes student newspaper for interviewing basketball players before “embargo”

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Aaron Smith, a reporter for the University of Kentucky’s Kentucky Kernel — an independent student newspaper — had a legitimate scoop earlier this week. He found out which two students would be the season’s walk-ons for Kentucky’s highly ranked basketball team, and he called them to confirm.

Smith got the information fair and square — another player had tweeted that there were two walk-ons, after all — and reporting it didn’t raise any eyebrows. But when he tried to interview the two players — who both declined to talk — associate athletic department director for media relations DeWayne Peevy got, well, peeved, as the Kernel reports: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

August 31, 2011 at 9:30 am

Posted in Uncategorized

American Journal of Preventive Medicine lifts embargo early after technical issue leads to coverage

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The American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM) sent this email to its press list a bit before noon Eastern today:




Contact: xxxx

A Lifetime of Physical Activity Yields Measurable Benefits As We Age

According to New Study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine

The AJPM’s publisher, Elsevier, tells Embargo Watch: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

August 25, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Elsevier obstetrics-gynecology journal “stunned” to learn embargoed cervical cancer screening study is already online

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One of the services we offer readers at my day job as executive editor of  Reuters Health is links, whenever available, to our primary sources. We were doing it before Ben Goldacre asked why journalists don’t link to studies, but if you want to know why we do, read his column.

Many of the studies we cover are never embargoed. (Imagine that: I run a health news service that doesn’t rely solely on embargoed material.) So as per our practice, when a member of our staff was working on a story about excess cervical cancer screening from the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (AJOG) embargoed for a minute after midnight this morning, she tried to find a digital object identifier (DOI) she could include in the piece. Turns out it was right in the press release:

The article is “Human papillomavirus and Papanicolaou tests screening interval recommendations in the United States” by Katherine B. Roland, MPH; Ashwini Soman, MBBS, MPH; Vicki B. Benard, PhD; Mona Saraiya, MD, MPH (doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2011.06.001). It will appear in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Volume 205, Issue 5 (November 2011) published by Elsevier.

She went to the DOI, to see if it said it would be live at a later date, or gave us an error, so we could decide what to put in the story. Then she had a surprise. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

August 18, 2011 at 8:07 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Nature lifts butterfly mimicry genes study embargo after break by Le Monde

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Nature sent this to its press list earlier this morning:

Due to early reporting we are lifting the embargo on the paper referenced below. The rest of this week’s “Nature and Nature research journals press release” remains under embargo until 1800 London time (BST) on Sunday 14 August, but you may report on the below research now.

[6] Nature: Chromosomal rearrangements maintain a polymorphic supergene controlling butterfly mimicry

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

August 12, 2011 at 11:32 am

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Pinch me: NEJM-owned publication breaks Lancet embargo

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It’s the journal equivalent of a newspaper war.

This afternoon, at about 2 p.m. Eastern, an Embargo Watch tipster sent a story from Journal Watch’s Physician’s First Watch, a website billed as “from the publishers of the New England Journal of Medicine.” The story began:

Pulse oximetry in asymptomatic newborns can detect unsuspected heart defects, according to a Lancet study.

This ran at the end of it: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

August 4, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized