sciencewriters2010

This is my Prezi presentation for the panel "How to Cover a Medical Conference: Tips from the Pros," which I moderated at the ScienceWriters2010 meeting.
Ingelfinger Letter

Sometimes investigators at medical meetings decline to speak to reporters, citing the infamous Ingelfinger Rule. They mistakenly believe that if they speak to reporters about their presentations, they'll be prevented from publishing the research in one of the big journals, such as the New England Journal of Medicine or JAMA. They're mistaken, so I wrote the following boilerplate note, quoting chapter and verse.

I'm donating this text to the public domain. Please feel free to use it or modify it to meet your needs. Attribution is unnecessary.
--Bob Finn

Subject: JAMA publication policies

Dr. Smith,

I'm happy to set your mind at ease regarding the effect my article in [my newspaper] will have on your intended publication in JAMA.

It should not hurt your chances of publication if we report on the study as you and your colleagues presented it at the meeting. In general, medical journals follow rules approved by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors regarding prepublication publicity. (See NEJM 328(17):1283, 1993, and NEJM 324:424-8, 1991). Specifically:

"Policies designed to limit prepublication publicity should not apply to accounts in the media of presentations at scientific meetings or to the abstracts from these meetings (see the section 'Prior Duplicate Publication' in the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals). Researchers who present their work at a scientific meeting should feel free to discuss their presentations with reporters, but they should be discouraged from offering more detail about their study than was presented in their talk."

And in the JAMA instructions to authors at http://jama.ama-assn.org/misc/ifora.dtl#PreviousPresentationorReleaseofInformation it says, "Previous Presentation or Release of Information. A complete report following presentation at a meeting or publication of preliminary findings elsewhere (e.g., an abstract) is eligible for consideration for publication. Media coverage of presentations at scientific meetings will not jeopardize consideration, but direct release of information through press releases or news media briefings may preclude consideration by JAMA. Rare instances of papers reporting public health emergencies should be discussed with the editor. Authors submitting manuscripts or letters to the editor regarding adverse drug or medical device reactions, reportable diseases, etc should also report such to the relevant government agency."

I hope this answers your concerns.

Sincerely,