Embargo Watch

Keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage

Patience is a virtue: Gastroenterology association changes embargo policy five years after criticism

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gastroMore than five years ago, I took the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) to task for what I considered an ill-advised embargo policy in which scores of “article in press” papers in their journals were freely available online, but considered “embargoed.” And while change often comes slowly, it does in fact come.

Last month, the AGA changed their policy. In an update dated September 16, the association writes: 

When a manuscript is accepted for publication in Gastroenterology, Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, or Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology it is under embargo until it is available online in the “Article in Press” section of the respective journal.

That’s a change from this:

All studies published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology are embargoed until published as a corrected proof on-line. Studies cannot be publicized as accepted manuscripts or uncorrected proofs.

(Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology hadn’t yet launched in 2010.)

The full policy is available here. I asked Rachel Steigerwald, the AGA’s senior manager of communications, what had prompted the change. She thanked me “for starting this conversation many years ago,” and wrote:

Yes, we have updated our policy. We received additional feedback, similar to what you had expressed years ago, and I was able to push the change forward.

Welcome to the Embargo Watch Honor Roll, AGA.

Hat tip: Nancy Lapid

Written by Ivan Oransky

October 23, 2015 at 12:00 pm

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