Embargo Watch

Keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage

PNAS lifts bird extinction paper embargo because of “highly unusual circumstance”

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The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) has lifted the embargo early on “Mass extinction of birds at the Cretaceous-Paleogene(K-Pg) boundary,” by Nicholas Longrich and colleagues. But it wasn’t because anyone broke the embargo, or at least not because any member of the media broke the embargo, PNAS tells Embargo Watch:

The embargo was not broken on this paper. This is a highly unusual circumstance in which the article published in print before being published online. Therefore, it was necessary to lift the embargo early.

The press office didn’t realize the study had already been published when it sent  out yesterday’s embargoed press release, I learned in a follow-up email. All of the materials in that release were embargoed for 3 p.m. Eastern on Monday, September 19.

Highly unusual circumstance indeed. I can only find one version of the study on the PNAS site, which says it went live on September 13.

This is the second early lift within a week for PNAS. On September 9, the journal lifted a nicotine-dopamine study embargo early after a snafu involving AlphaGalileo.

Written by Ivan Oransky

September 15, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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