Why is it that so much scientific research ends up making headlines? Because they ask us to report on their research, that’s one reason. Medical journals and research institutions work hard to make sure that their scientific papers appear in the news.
This is how it works: science and medical reporters are given special access to websites that give advance notice of upcoming research. There are dizzying lists of dozens of scientific papers from hundreds of journals, volumes of new research that is published every single day. There are armies of helpful public relations people who arrange interviews with the scientists, so we can all be ready for the moment when the embargo lifts.
The embargo is a strict deadline, enforced by threat of future exclusion, and reporters who mistakenly break the embargo can be punished for years by the offended journal, which will refuse all access to future papers. This fear of embargo-breaking keeps the international media in line. We all hold back on the story until the designated day and time, say 5 p.m. on Wednesday, when the embargo magically lifts, and the headlines fly out around the world, giving the impression that news has just broken wide open.http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/201 ... crowe.html