Embargo Watch

Keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage

German paper broke XMRV-chronic fatigue syndrome story embargo, but won’t face sanctions

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Last Thursday, while reporting for Retraction Watch on the partial retraction of a Science paper linking XMRV, or xenotropic murine leukemia-related virus, and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), I noticed that a story on the subject had appeared on the website of Der Tagesspiegel, a German daily newspaper, about an hour before the embargo lifted at 2 p.m.  Eastern.

At the time, I asked Science whether they were aware of the apparent break,  and whether the paper would face sanctions. On Friday Science Press Package Director Kathy Wren wrote Embargo Watch:

I contacted Der Tagesspiegel after hearing from you, requesting that they take the story down during the minutes remaining until the embargo-lift time, and that they explain what had happened. I received a reply today, which explained that the error came from a recent change in their system for transferring articles slated for their print edition onto their website. The editors have taken measures to ensure this doesn’t happen again, and this was an honest mistake. So we aren’t pursuing sanctions at this time.


Written by Ivan Oransky

September 26, 2011 at 11:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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