Advance Publicity: ESA's embargo policy
ESA encourages authors to speak with reporters regarding their research. It is important, however, that authors abide by the rules below regarding publicity. These rules have been designed to protect the interests of both authors and the ESA; advance publicity can undersell the value of our journals and potentially damage the credibility of authors' work. Advance publicity can also result in the misuse or misinterpretation of data, which can be detrimental to ecologists and other researchers as a whole.
Once a paper has been accepted for publication in an ESA journal, the authors should abide by the following embargo policies:
1) The author will keep the paper a privileged document and will not release any part of the paper to the press or the public before publication. Authors are permitted, however, to distribute advance copies of their papers to colleagues and within the research community, as long as the papers are clearly marked "In Press."
2) The main findings of a paper should not be reported in the mass media prior to the paper's publication. Authors are permitted to present their data at scientific conferences and seminars but should not overtly seek media attention (but see #3). Specifically, authors should decline participation in news briefings or coverage in press releases relating to the particular research findings reported in papers that are "In Press." Authors should also refrain from granting interviews or providing copies of figures or data from their presentation or from the manuscript to any reporter unless the reporter agrees to abide by ESA's press embargo date. (Embargo dates typically match the date of the journal publication.) If a reporter attends an author's session at a meeting and writes a story based only on the presentation, such coverage will not affect consideration of the author's paper.
3) If an author presents a talk or poster at the Ecological Society of America’s annual meeting and the material in the presentation has been accepted for publication in one of the Society’s journals, then the author is permitted to speak to the press about his presentation. The author can provide data, figures, etc. from the presentation to journalists, but should not provide the accepted manuscript. When speaking to the press, the author should stress that the material has been accepted for publication and give the name of the journal in which it is to be published (Ecology, Ecological Applications, Ecological Monographs, or Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment). Once ESA meeting abstracts are posted online, members of the press may write about them and do not need to wait until the day the research is presented at the annual meeting.
4) If an article appears as an ESA preprint, the embargo is lifted, but it should still be cited as "in press."
ESA may choose to write a press release regarding papers to be published in the journals. In the event that a paper is chosen for a release, authors will be notified and informed of all embargo and publication dates. Authors will also be informed of any other publicity efforts being undertaken regarding their papers.
If an author's institution or the funding organization that supported the research wishes to produce a release regarding a paper, the institutional press officer should be asked to contact the ESA Public Affairs Office before the release is completed and sent out. Publicity efforts can be greatly strengthened by collaborative efforts. All institutions writing releases about work published in ESA's journals must abide by ESA's embargo dates.
Press officers are encouraged to contact Liza Lester, Communications Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org (202) 833-8773 x211