Embargo Watch

Keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage

Archive for the ‘freely available but embargoed’ Category

The American Diabetes Association seems to be confused about what “public” means

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Last month, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) stepped in it a bit.

In a move that predictably richocheted around Twitter — and into the medical trade press — the ADA politely, but publicly, asked attendees of its recent annual meeting to take down photos they’d posted of conference slides. Tweets were fine, as long as they didn’t include pictures of slides.

The policy — a version of “freely available, but embargoed,” drew widespread and deserved criticism. In response, the ADA’s Linda Cann defended the policy, but said it would be reevaluated: Read the rest of this entry »


Written by Ivan Oransky

July 17, 2017 at 9:30 am

PeerJ broke its own embargo on brontosaurus paper — and that’s exactly what they meant to do

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peerjBy now, if you follow science news, you have no doubt seen coverage of a new study claiming that yes, Brontosaurus really is a dinosaur.

That study appeared in PeerJ, a relatively new journal (which, in the interests of full disclosure, has asked me to review a paper). The reason you’re reading about it on Embargo Watch is that several reporters were a bit dismayed to see that the study had been published at PeerJ some time before its scheduled 7 a.m. Eastern embargo today. As Nature’s Ewen Callaway tweeted: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

April 7, 2015 at 3:13 pm

Anger, confusion as Popular Science inadvertently broke blue planet embargo

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Ethan Siegel was not pleased last Wednesday: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

July 15, 2013 at 9:00 am

Finally, some honesty! Journal: “rationale trumps logic” for our “freely available but embargoed” policy

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Last week, I was going through studies in the Journal of Urology — a journal I like to cover for its rigor and because it publishes a lot of papers that question the status quo in urology, despite being owned by the American Urological Association — and I saw something on “Accepted Manuscripts” that I hadn’t seen before:

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.

This notice appeared on studies that were quite clearly posted online. And that meant this was an embargo of freely available material.

So I wrote to the journal’s editor, and the AUA press office: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

October 3, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Society of Vertebrate Paleontology clarifies its “pre-published online” embargo policy

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The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP) will hold its 72nd annual meeting in Raleigh, NC in October. Everyone loves dinosaurs, so if past experience is any indication, there will be plenty of press coverage of the meeting.

With that in mind, the SVP outlined its embargo policy on page seven of the program PDF: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

August 3, 2012 at 9:15 am

Sugar makes embargoes stupid, and doesn’t do wonders for a press release, either

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Sugar makes rats stupid, and apparently studies about sugar render people unable to handle embargoes properly.

A message today, about a Journal of Physiology study about how sugar affects learning in rats, from UCLA media relations staffer Elaine Schmidt: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

May 15, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine plays “freely available but embargoed” game — with a Groundhog Day twist

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The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s (SMFM’s) annual meeting was last week in Dallas, and, as many societies do, the press officers working for “the pregnancy meeting” put out a number of releases about what would be presented there.

But unlike many societies, who understand what an embargo means, the SMFM decided it would be fine to post those releases publicly before the meeting, but call them “embargoed.”

That left Rachael Rettner, a former student of mine, a bit perplexed. So she sent me a message, and I in turn sent Bendure PR a note to ask for clarification. The response didn’t actually clear anything up: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

February 14, 2012 at 2:58 pm