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Embargo / Ingelfinger Rule / NIH Policy


An embargo is an agreement between author(s) of scientific manuscripts, peer-reviewed journals and reporters concerning the release of information to the media in advance of a specific publication date. This agreement notes that the author(s) will defer releasing information and that the news media will defer coverage until a specified date set by the publisher of the manuscript in this case the Am J Health Behav. The embargo applies to the time between the submission of the manuscript to the publisher and the authorized release of information.

In tandem the two policies ensure that journal readers will have the full article when the media report on it. Reporters who violate embargo will be excluded from future embargoed information. Authors who violate this embargo will be banned from future publication in the Am J Health Behav.

It should be clear that authors may give interviews to representatives of the media who agree to the Am J Health Behav embargo. The embargo notes the information is confidential and cannot be made public by the media until you have received your final corrected PDF and there are no pending fees.

The embargo concept is designed to assure that the information conveyed to broader audiences through these practices is accurate and fairly presented. Researchers should follow these practices when making research results public and not issue premature public statements about their work before it has been published by the Am J Health Behav.

Ingelfinger Rule

In addition, the Am J Health Behav does not wish to receive manuscripts on work that has already been presented or published in large part elsewhere or contained in a previous publication; therefore, we fully support what is commonly referred to as the Ingelfinger Rule (named for the N Engl J Med editor who created it). Under this rule, the Am J Health Behav considers publication of the scientific manuscript only on the condition that its key substance has not been submitted or reported elsewhere.

A key exception to the rule is presenting material at scientific conferences, congressional hearings or other government proceedings. The data may have been reported at a scientific meeting; however, authors must refrain from presenting or handing out copies of author tables, figures and/or illustrations. It is also acceptable to talk to reporters in these venues; however, comments should be limited to what was addressed in the presentation.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) PubMed Central

The NIH Public Access Policy ensures that the public has access to the published results of NIH funded research. It requires scientists to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to the digital archive PubMed Central upon acceptance for publication. To help advance science and improve human health, the Policy requires that these papers are accessible to the public on PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication.

There are 4 methods ( to ensure that an applicable paper is submitted to PubMed Central (PMC) in compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy. PNG Publications publisher of the Am J Health Behav follows the procedure whereby, the author asks the publisher if they (the author) can deposit a specific final published article in PMC. Once the publisher provides approval, the author submits the paper for inclusion in PMC. However, there is a 12-month embargo for PubMed to NOT place online for free public access. After one year of publication date, the NIH funded manuscript can be released by the author to PMC to be viewed by anyone free of charge. However, the author can also choose to arrange with the journal for the deposit of a specific article and avoid the 12-month embargo. This involves choosing the journal's fee-based open access option for publishing the article on line immediately months in advance of publication date for a $500 fee. This allows the journal to recapture lost individual reprint fees due to placing the manuscript free of charge at PMC.

If additional questions arise, feel free to contact the Journal offices.

Last Modified: June 5, 2013
Ideas and opinions expressed in the Journal do not necessarily reflect those of the editors or publisher.

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