ATS Embargo Policy
The ATS considers original manuscripts for publication only if their primary findings have not been reported elsewhere. Authors may talk with the press about their work, but should coordinate with the ATS Communications staff in advance, so that reporters are fully aware of the ATS policy and understand that papers are embargoed until after publication. Manuscripts remain privileged documents and will not be released to the press or the public before publication, unless it is done under embargo, under the auspices of the ATS. The ATS may refuse to publish, despite acceptance for publication by an editor, if the information in the manuscript has been disseminated prematurely in the media.
The embargo policy rests on the premise that publication in a peer-reviewed journal is the appropriate validation and forum for original research. The peer-reviewed journal should be the primary source of information about the research, as the peer-review process is an essential step before the information is publicly disseminated and discussed.
The media embargo period for a manuscript begins with the time of an author's submission and ends two weeks after the article appears online under “Articles in Press” or the ATS's rejection of the manuscript.
For example, if an article appears online on Thursday, the 10th, it is under embargo until 12:01 a.m. (Eastern Time) Thursday, the 24th.
The embargo date is directed at ensuring that ATS members and journal subscribers have access to the science before the general public. The embargo policy benefits ATS members by enabling them to consider the full body of work before being expected to publicly comment on a specific study. On the specified embargo date, all restrictions on the publication of information contained in the current issues of the ATS journals are lifted. The manuscripts enter the public domain only after undergoing the rigorous peer-review system and after ATS members and journal subscribers have an opportunity to consider the impact and significance of the findings.
A publication that publishes the key findings of an article published in the ATS journals prior to the embargo date would be in violation of the ATS embargo policy. An author or other interested party who releases the manuscript or its key findings to the media prior to the embargo date, unless under the auspices of the ATS Communications Office, would also be in violation of this policy.
ATS Media Releases and Complimentary Online Subscriptions for Journalists
The ATS does not wish to hinder communication between scientists. Material previously published in abstract form or presented at scientific meetings will be handled in the usual manner. Scientists are permitted to discuss their manuscripts with their peers in general terms, but should not discuss or distribute any portion of an unpublished manuscript in a manner that may directly or indirectly result in the distribution of the materials to the press or general public prior to the embargo date. Scientists also should not encourage or participate in the publication of their findings by any news media, including journalists attending scientific conferences and lectures. The ATS may refuse to publish, despite acceptance for publication by an editor, if the information in the manuscript has been disseminated prematurely in the media.
Official ATS Documents
Documents, including all drafts, remain privileged information and will not be released to the press or the public before publication, unless it is done under embargo, under the auspices of the ATS Communications staff. Again, the ATS does not wish to hinder scientist-to-scientist communication, and committee members may discuss documents with their peers in general terms prior to publication. However, committee members may not distribute any draft or portion of any draft to their peers or to the press. Committee members may not state or imply that documents or positions are approved or endorsed by the ATS until the ATS Board of Directors has issued its final approval. Scientists may feel free to discuss previously published results, but should not comment on final conclusions or recommendations expected to be included in the document. The American Thoracic Society is the official author of all ATS documents, and the ATS holds the copyrights to the document and all working drafts.
For further information about this policy contact:
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