Embargo Watch

Keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage

New Scientist accidentally breaks embargo on peacock mating paper

with one comment

jebNew Scientist broke the embargo on a Journal of Experimental Biology (JEB) paper yesterday, apparently because staffers confused time zones.

Kathryn Knight, the JEB’s news and views editor, began looking into the break once Embargo Watch flagged it. Early this morning, she wrote me:

…I wonder if this might be a genuine mistake on behalf of the journalist. The JEB quotes both the UK and US East Coast embargo lift times in its press release (23:00BST, 18:00EDT) and I wonder if Mark Viney got the wrong time off the press release, taking 18:00 as the UK press release time, when it was actually 23:00 in the UK.

Knight wrote a few hours later, confirming that it was an unintentional error:

I have talked to New Scientist. I am satisfied that this was a genuine mistake and that there was no intent to break the embargo.

A number of other outlets wrote about the paper, including Scientific American.


Written by Ivan Oransky

July 25, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. I’ll say it again. Could journals PLEASE put UTC in the embargo times at the top of the press release. I had an email conversation last year with Royal Society about their use of BST. I asked whether they could use UTC. Their reply was along the lines of do the maths. Thanks RS.

    At least they print it as BST, so I know they’re observing summer time. But when the release come from the US and they don’t indicate whether it’s summer or ‘normal’ time it gets confusing. PLEASE use UTC.

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