Embargo Watch

Keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage

Archive for November 2012

Three’s a charm? AHA breaks its own embargo again, this time on Twitter

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Be still, my tweeting heart.

The American Heart Association just sent this message to its press list:

EMBARGOED LIFTED ON AHA SCIENTIFIC STATEMENT FOR NOV. 15, 2012

TO:  Writers, editors and broadcasters
FROM:  American Heart Association Communications, Dallas
AHA Media Contacts
*** Embargoed is lifted on the following materials for Thurs., Nov. 15, 2012 *** American Heart Association Scientific Statement
The Measurement and Interpretation of the Ankle-Brachial Index: A Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association

The embargo, originally scheduled for 4 p.m. Eastern, appears to have been broken by a tweet from….the AHA: Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by Ivan Oransky

November 15, 2012 at 10:58 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Well, it’s happened: Reuters Health accidentally breaks JCO embargo

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After more than two-and-a-half years of Embargo Watch, it was bound to happen.

Yesterday, the team I lead at Reuters Health unintentionally broke the embargo on a study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO), in a story titled “Early end-of-life talks tied to less aggressive care.” We set to the story to post at the JCO’s regular embargo time of 4 p.m. Eastern on Monday, but the study was actually embargoed until 4 p.m. today because of the Veteran’s Day holiday in the U.S.

ASCO, which publishes the JCO, sent this to reporters about an hour ago: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

November 13, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

On Ruth Francis’s second-to-last day, Nature lifts embargo on battery-ear paper for “embarrassing” situation

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Tomorrow is Ruth Francis’s last day as head of the Nature press office, before she begins in a similar role at BioMed Central. So perhaps appropriately for someone who is held in high regard for her straightforward and ethical approach to media relations, she’s going out with a bang, doing the right thing despite acknowledging that the situation is “embarrassing.”

Nature’s email to reporters today tells the story: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

November 7, 2012 at 12:08 pm

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“I accidentally broke an embargo and it was all Hurricane Sandy’s fault”

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John Platt is a good guy, and a talented writer and reporter. I know that because I offered him the chance to bring his blog Extinction Countdown over to ScientificAmerican.com when I was running that site. So when he emailed me yesterday with the subject line that makes up the title of this post, I wanted to give him the chance to tell the story of how he accidentally broke the embargo — thanks, Hurricane Sandy! — on a new paper about “the world’s rarest whale.”

Augh, I broke an embargo this morning on this story for Scientific American. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

November 6, 2012 at 9:30 am

Posted in Uncategorized

More inadvertent embargo breaks at AHA, this time of JAMA studies, again not by journalists

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Yesterday, the American Heart Association (AHA), whose annual meeting is going on in Los Angeles this week, had to lift an embargo early after they broke it themselves — or at least the vendor they hired did. Today, JAMA, which is publishing several studies coinciding with AHA presentations, had to do the same for two studies originally embargoed until tomorrow.

From an email sent out this afternoon: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

November 5, 2012 at 3:16 pm

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A shot in the embargo: In which I politely call bullshit on the journal Pediatrics

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NPR’s Shots blog — full disclosure, the guy who runs it is a good friend of mine — has a smart post up today about how embargoes, in the hands of stubborn journals who want media coverage, can be bad for the public health.

Reporter David Schultz writes that in an October 31st post pegged to a New England Journal of Medicine study about a mumps outbreak in New York, he wanted to include a study appearing this week in the journal Pediatrics, embargoed for first thing Monday morning of this week: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

November 5, 2012 at 10:53 am

Posted in Uncategorized

FREEDOM! AHA lifts embargo on bypass vs. stent study after its vendor breaks it

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The American Heart Association (AHA) has lifted the embargo early on a study being presented at their annual meeting in Los Angeles after their own vendor accidentally sent out a release early.

From an email that went out at 7:46 p.m. Eastern tonight — just 12 minutes before the scheduled lift: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

November 4, 2012 at 8:18 pm

Posted in Uncategorized