Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
People have been asking me whether I can explain why the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) has had so many embargo breaks this year (8, for those of you keeping score at home). Although I suspect that it has to do with the fact that PNAS has been publishing a lot of studies on hot-button issues such as climate change, and that the stories land on the desks of editors who aren’t familiar with embargoes, I really don’t know.
But here’s an embargo break that I don’t need any help explaining.
Here’s what was at the top of the media alert the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sent out at about 4:30 Eastern today: Read the rest of this entry »
For the eighth time this year, the journal had to lift the embargo early on a study because of a break. PNAS tells us this message to reporters resulted from a Dallas Morning News story today: Read the rest of this entry »
Due to an embargo break, PNAS is lifting the embargo early on the following paper. All other articles are under the scheduled embargo: Read the rest of this entry »
One of the issues that comes up fairly often on Embargo Watch is why embargo breakers aren’t sanctioned more frequently. Press officers seem to bend over backward to give news outlets — particularly big ones — the benefit of the doubt.
Well, apparently Johns Hopkins plans to give its policies some teeth. An email sent to its press list yesterday: Read the rest of this entry »
Some press officers are making Angela Hopp — and please forgive me for this one, Angela — hopping mad.
In “An open letter to press officers who won’t promote unembargoed research papers,” Hopp, who serves as the press contact for three journals published by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), explains that at those journals:
All accepted papers are published online immediately, putting them in the public sphere and making them ineligible for embargo.
(I’ll pause there for there a moment and make sure that the press officers who think they can embargo material that’s already freely available online read the part about such studies being “ineligible for embargo.”)
There’s plenty of material in ASBMB’s journals that press officers find of enough interest to press release. But when Hopp contacts some of them, she gets this response: Read the rest of this entry »
Long-time Embargo Watch readers — and you reprobates know who you are — may recall a February 2011 post involving science writer Ed Yong and a public information officer (PIO) at the University of Manchester. That episode kicked off with “I think you have all you need for a blog,” and went on from there. Scores of comments later, including many from the PIO, an apology was offered, and accepted.
In 2012, when Gilles Seralini and colleagues published a paper in Food and Chemical Toxicology on the effects of GMO maize and the herbicide Roundup on rats, they did something very unusual: They forced reporters who wanted advance copies of the study to agree not to talk to anyone about it before the embargo lifted.
I called that an attempt to turn reporters into stenographers, and Carl Zimmer said that any journalists who agreed to the terms was engaging in a “rancid, corrupt way to report about science.”
The paper was retracted last year, but Seralini et. al. have republished it, and sent the new version to reporters under embargo for today at 11 a.m. Paris time.
This time, they didn’t put the same restrictions on the embargo, but they did do something else unusual: They intentionally omitted the name of the journal from the embargoed materials, saying they’d release that during a press conference just beginning as this post goes live. Why? Seralini told me by email: Read the rest of this entry »