The increasingly excellent Retraction Watch now has a spin-off, Embargo Watch. At present Embargo Watch seems to be mostly about tracking naughty media organisations which prematurely break embargoes on the reporting of new scientific papers.

There’s also a recent mention of press officers who refuse to write up new papers that have no embargo. I guess maybe the officers rightly think that any daily editor they send the story to will frown and say: “Old news. It was covered yesterday, elsewhere. Next story…”. Hence their work will have been wasted.

I don’t see Embargo Watch doing any tracking of advocacy groups — groups that use a press release about embargoed science to spin their alarmist news agenda across the media and blogosphere, days or even weeks weeks before the paper’s release, while avoiding awkward scrutiny of the actual paper. That sort of coverage in Embargo Watch, and perhaps even before/after comparisons, would also be welcome.

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