Embargo Watch

Keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage

Journal of Urology takes a few steps toward the Embargo Watch Honor Roll

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jurolIn what seems like a good way to start the new year, I’ve just learned that the Journal of Urology has moved away — somewhat, anyway — from its version of a “freely available but embargoed” policy.

In October, I noted that many of the journal’s advance online publications included the following statement:

All articles printed in The Journal of Urology® are embargoed until 3 PM ET the day they are published as corrected proofs online. Studies cannot be publicized as accepted manuscripts or uncorrected proofs.

Retraction Watch readers may recall that the journal’s own executive editor and director of publications acknowledged that this policy was one for which the “rationale trumps logic.” And now the journal has made some changes. Accepted manuscripts posted on the journal’s site now include this statement instead of the one above:

All press releases and the articles they feature are under strict embargo until uncorrected proof of the article becomes available online. We will provide journalists and editors with full-text copies of the articles in question prior to the embargo date so that stories can be adequately researched and written. The standard embargo time is 12:01 AM ET on that date.

The executive editor and director of publications confirmed this was a new policy, but didn’t respond to a follow-up question about the rationale.

Still, this a big step forward, in many ways. It means that uncorrected proofs are no longer embargoed once they’re posted. So some of the bricks in the “freely available but embargoed” wall have crumbled.

But it also means that “accepted manuscripts” are still embargoed, even if they’re posted on the site for any subscriber (or anyone who plunks down $31.50 per paper or so) to see. So until that changes, the journal doesn’t quite make it onto the Embargo Watch Honor Roll. I do applaud the move toward it, however.

Written by Ivan Oransky

January 7, 2013 at 9:30 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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