Implications and validity of results of scientific research
We take care to understand properly and reflect the true implications of medical or scientific study results that we obtain, especially those involving statistical data.
We will exercise caution with regard to results disclosed at a conference but not yet published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
In matters of human health we will take particular care to avoid arousing unfounded hopes or fears in persons living with or close to those living with serious illnesses. We will also avoid suggesting unproven benefits or risks to health related to changes in habits of consumption of food or pharmaceutical products.
Reporting of results of sponsored research
When the information is available, we generally identify to the audience the sponsors of a scientific study whose results we are reporting.
If the sponsor is not an academic institution, for instance an organization with commercial or other interests, and the study results favour the sponsor’s interests, we will take this into account in our treatment of the results and will advise the audience of this community of interest.
Persons or organizations preparing to publish the results of research or investigations will often offer us privileged access to the conclusions of their report on condition that we undertake to publish nothing of the shared content before a date set by the report’s author. This is called receiving information under embargo. A commitment to comply with the embargo may also have been made by a news agency that provides us with articles identified as embargoed.
Our policy is to fulfill our embargo commitments. Prior access to a study report allows us to better prepare our reports and to do rigorous reporting work on the results, and is thus a net benefit to the quality of information we publish. Also, we need to keep our word in order to keep information flowing from our sources.
However, if the embargo is violated by another media organization, we may consider publication after consulting editorial management and after informing the organization that asked for the embargo. We will inform them that the embargo has been broken and that we intend in turn to go public with the information.
If we have already obtained information covered by the material under embargo, we will avoid agreeing to an embargo and will publish the information according to our own criteria of newsworthiness and at the time we consider appropriate.