Embargo Watch

Keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage

Archive for the ‘embargo watch honor roll’ Category

US Chemical Safety Board drops flawed policy following criticism from Embargo Watch

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us csbOn Thursday, I wrote about a troubling embargo policy at the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) that forced reporters to agree not to seek outside comment on an investigation report before the embargo lifted, meaning only the CSB’s side of the story would make it into those first pieces.

To their credit the CSB heeded my criticisms, and they’ve decided to change their policy. Managing Director Daniel Horowitz responded Saturday with a comment: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ivanoransky

February 3, 2014 at 9:15 am

Facing criticism, EASL changes its embargo policy — and earns a spot on the Embargo Watch Honor Roll

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Yesterday, I criticized a strange embargo policy in place for an upcoming European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) conference. That policy, which drew Adam Feuerstein’s ire along with mine, allowed anyone who had paid to attend the April conference — including investors — to get abstracts this week, while they were still under embargo.

This morning, in an email to its press list, the EASL announced it was changing the policy: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ivanoransky

March 22, 2012 at 8:16 am

AACR joins the Embargo Watch Honor Roll with a new policy on sanctions

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The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) has a new policy that’s a breath of transparent air into what can be an inconsistent area that many organizations would rather sweep under the rug: How to sanction embargo breakers. (Yes, I mixed some metaphors.)

Here’s the policy, which the AACR tells me they’ll be announcing today: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ivanoransky

January 17, 2012 at 9:30 am

A blog spoke, they listened: A look at groups that joined the Embargo Watch Honor Roll in 2011

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Photo b jma.work via Flickr http://bit.ly/tbxvYX

The end of 2011 has snuck up on me, and there’s not much time left for a Best of 2011 post. So I’ll just call attention to the scientific societies and journals that did something to earn a spot on the Embargo Watch Honor Roll this year. These are all organizations who changed their policies following Embargo Watch criticism: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ivanoransky

December 31, 2011 at 12:47 pm

CHEST announces a new embargo policy that puts them on the Embargo Watch Honor Roll

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More than 16 months ago, just a few weeks after Embargo Watch was born, I wrote about a “freely available but embargoed” policy at CHEST, published by the American College of Chest Physicians. Here was that policy:

Embargo Policy:
Even though they appear online, CHEST Papers In Press are embargoed from media coverage until they appear in a forthcoming print issue of CHEST. When a Paper in Press appears in a print issue of CHEST, the article will adhere to the standard CHEST embargo policy. For questions regarding CHEST embargo policies, please contact the ACCP Public Relations Department…

As I noted then, comparing the policy to one at the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine that has since been changed:

The basic idea is the same: Papers are available to any HighWire subscriber, but embargoed for press coverage. The differences: The PDFs of the papers themselves don’t mention the embargo, and it’s not clear how long the embargo lasts.

I didn’t like their “freely available but embargoed” policy any more than I liked any other. So you can imagine that I was quite pleased to see this land in my inbox this morning: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ivanoransky

July 14, 2011 at 1:32 pm

FDA makes the right move, reversing itself and letting reporters speak to sources before embargo lifts

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In January, Embargo Watch reported that the FDA had told reporters they couldn’t speak to outside sources about a medical device approval announcement until the embargo had lifted. I argued that such an approach would turn journalists into stenographers.

The Association of Health Care Journalists board of directors — of which, in full disclosure, I am a member — agreed, and sent a strongly worded letter to the agency in February. Yesterday, the FDA wrote back, laying out the rationale for its policy. The important sentence is here, where it reverses the approach it took in January: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ivanoransky

June 14, 2011 at 11:41 am

We asked for it, you got it: NEJM to provide draft abstracts to give reporters more time

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Regular readers of Embargo Watch will have noticed that we have been tough on the New England Journal of Medicine.

We’ve criticized it for an absurdly short embargo time of 49 minutes, for example. And most recently, last month, we took it to task for waiting until 24 hours before a study was to be released to send it to reporters, instead of just releasing drafts that were clearly available to a hospital press office.

I asked the staff then — as I did last April — to “send page proofs, plain text, or some other not-quite-done-and-dusted version of studies,” in the name of living up to its embargo policy’s stated goal of helping reporters “to learn about a topic, gather relevant information, and interview authors and other experts so they can accurately report complex research findings.”

Well, the staff listened. On Tuesday, the journal sent this message to its media subscribers: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ivanoransky

March 24, 2011 at 11:30 am

Catalyzed by Embargo Watch, AAS does away with “freely available but embargoed”

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Scientific societies must know that tomorrow will mark this week marked* Embargo Watch’s one-year anniversary. How else to explain the mad rush to join our honor roll?

OK, that’s a bit overstated, but forgive my feeling giddy. Here’s why: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ivanoransky

February 25, 2011 at 4:11 pm

We can haz change: American Diabetes Association says no more “freely available but embargoed”

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In June, I wrote about the fact that the American Diabetes Association posted the abstracts for their big annual meeting about ten days before the meeting online, without password protection or any other firewall, but said they were embargoed until the meeting began. In other words, they were playing the “publicly available but embargoed” game that is one of the banes of Embargo Watch’s existence.

Well, no more. This year, abstracts won’t be available on their site, or anywhere else, until June 24, at 5 p.m. Eastern, when the embargo lifts. From a Q&A: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ivanoransky

January 31, 2011 at 12:15 pm

American Thoracic Society changes its policy: No more “available but embargoed”

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When Embargo Watch launched in late February, one of the two posts that went live the very first day was “Good intentions, unintended consequences at American Thoracic Society.” In it, I expressed puzzlement at a policy that left studies in The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine available to any HighWire subscriber embargoed for two weeks following online publication. I wasn’t the only one. Scroll down to comments on that post for some thoughts that didn’t give the ATS the benefit of the doubt for good intentions, as I did.

I also said that Reuters Health would continue to uphold that policy for the time being, but that I’d reconsider “if competitors start running stories before we do.”

Well, I won’t have to reconsider anymore. This went out on top of a release from the ATS press office today (emphasis and underlining theirs):

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ivanoransky

August 10, 2010 at 11:01 am

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