Embargo Watch

Keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Here we go again: Why Nature didn’t just post a paper on stem cell editing after the findings leaked

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Last week, Technology Review broke the story of the first gene editing of human embryos in the U.S., using the much-ballyhooed CRISPR technique. That’s a big development, for scientific and ethical reasons, so not surprisingly, other news outlets jumped on it.

The coverage prompted stem cell scientist and blogger Paul Knoepfler to wonder who leaked the paper — which, as many knew but didn’t say because of, well, an embargo, was scheduled to be published today in Nature. (The Tech Review article was published July 26, and Nature didn’t post a pre-embargo version of the paper until a few days ago.)

The coverage also prompted Nature to include this in their embargoed email to reporters on Monday about this week’s issue: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

August 2, 2017 at 1:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Auburn University mix-up prompts PNAS to lift embargo early

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The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) lifted the embargo early Friday on a paper about sleep, race, and heart disease, after a university jumped the gun.

From an email sent at 4:16 p.m. Eastern on Friday, some 70 hours before the embargo was scheduled to lift today at 3 p.m. Eastern: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

July 31, 2017 at 9:30 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Five years on, eLife finds the lure of the embargo too strong

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Five years ago, then-new journal eLife announced that it would eschew embargoes — and my nemesis, the Ingelfinger Rule — in favor of unfettered scientific communication. I applauded the move — which I had some input into — then.

And for more than four years, as best I can tell, the journal stuck to that promise. But not in 2017. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

July 20, 2017 at 9:30 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Embargo on study of how to retain women engineering students lifted early after break

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The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) lifted the embargo early Friday on a paper, after a news outlet broke it three days before it was scheduled to lift.

From an email sent to the journal’s media list Friday: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

May 21, 2017 at 7:48 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Minnesota Public Radio News breaks embargo on study of fresh water lake salinization

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The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) lifted the embargo early Monday on a study of fresh water lakes, after a news outlet broke the embargo.

From an email that out to reporters Monday about four hours before the scheduled 3 p.m. Eastern embargo: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

April 13, 2017 at 3:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

You say tomato, I say embargo: A study ripens too early, as magazine breaks an embargo

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tomato

Via CC BY-SA 3.0 license (click for original)

Here’s one story that needed more time to ripen.

An email from the Science press team sent about 40 minutes before the 2 p.m. scheduled embargo lift of this week’s issue: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

January 26, 2017 at 1:41 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Following heavy criticism, FDA says controversial embargo policy is “not to be used under any circumstance”

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Several months after a damning expose demonstrating that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was violating its own official policy by using a controversial embargo practice, the agency has said it will no longer use so-called “close-hold embargoes.”

Such embargo agreements restrict whom reporters can talk to before embargoes lift, unlike standard embargoes in which journalists can share information for comment as long as their sources understand it is under embargo. I’ve called this an attempt to turn reporters into stenographers.

In a letter today to the Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ), outgoing FDA Acting Assistant Commissioner for Media Affairs Jason Young acknowledges that at times, the agency’s policy “was not adequately followed.” And Young — whose last day at the FDA is today, ahead of the Presidential inauguration — writes (bolding his) that  Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

January 19, 2017 at 4:12 pm

Posted in Uncategorized