Embargo Watch

Keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage

Daily Telegraph reporter loses access to JAMA and Archives journals after breaking embargo on preemies-mental illness study

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Following a break by the Daily Telegraph, the Archives of General Psychiatry, a member of the JAMA family of journals, has lifted the embargo early on a study of whether premature infants are more likely to develop mental illness. From a note to the JAMA/Archives press list this morning:

Please Note: Because of an embargo break by Nick Collins of the Daily Telegraph in the United Kingdom, the following study, “Preterm Birth and Psychiatric Disorders in Young Adult Life,” originally embargoed until Monday, June 4, is for immediate release.

All other studies in the Archives of General Psychiatry remain embargoed until Monday, June 4, at 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET.

The JAMA Network Media Relations Department thanks reporters who abide by the embargo.

*   Pre-term birth appears to be associated with an increased risk of a range of mental disorders in adulthood, including nonaffective psychosis, depressive disorder and bipolar affective disorder.

I asked JAMA/Archives media relations director Jann Ingmire whether Collins was on the journals’ embargoed list, and if so whether he would be sanctioned:

He is not on our embargoed news release list nor does he have access to our embargoed content via our For the Media site.   He did have access to our news releases through EurekAlert! and we have deleted him from the approved journalists’ list.

I believe he received a copy of the embargoed information (study and a news release) from King’s College in London where the lead researchers are based.  The embargo information was clearly marked on their materials.

Mr. Collins apologized and said it was an oversight on his part during a hectic day.

I’m hoping it was just an oversight and not deliberate, but the fact that it appeared in the print newspaper, as well as online, 4 days ahead of the embargo creates a huge problem which is why we felt we had to lift the embargo for everyone.

As always, we appreciate all the reporters who do honor the embargo for JAMA and the Archives journals.

Written by Ivan Oransky

June 1, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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