Embargo Watch

Keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage

Daily Mail breaks embargo on gonorrhea-killing mouthwash study in BMJ journal

with one comment

daily-mailSexually Transmitted Infections, a journal published by the BMJ, has lifted the embargo early on a study of Listerine and gonorrhea after the Daily Mail ran a story 24 hours before the scheduled embargo.

From an email sent to The BMJ’s press list this morning:

Due to an embargo break yesterday evening, the embargo has been lifted with immediate effect for the press release titled: Commercial brand of mouthwash can help kill off gonorrhoea in the mouth.

According to a press release about the study:

Daily rinsing and gargling with the product might be a cheap and easy way of helping to control the spread of the infection, suggest the researchers.

The BMJ press office tells Embargo Watch that they’ve contacted the newspaper to find out how the embargo was broken, but have yet to hear back:

In our experience, most embargo breaks are down to innocent mishaps so we would like to find out what happened in this case before making a decision.

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Written by Ivan Oransky

December 20, 2016 at 10:42 am

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. This one is also interesting because basically all the facts in the story (with the same sample size, so not interim data) were reported back in August (eg http://www.bbc.com/news/health-36765167, http://www.teenvogue.com/story/mouthwash-kills-gonorrhea-std-cure-study). The only new information is that the data are now published, so it’s a very meta embargo.

    Thomas Lumley

    January 6, 2017 at 1:32 am


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