AGBT blogging policy.

Scientific etiquette would dictate that information disseminated at scientific meetings, either through posters or platform presentations, is to be considered as a ‘personal communication’.  As such, presented information, particularly data and results would typically not be re-disseminated (e.g. through the internet) or published without the specific consent of the originator.  We request that meeting participants consider this carefully before re-disseminating any non-peer reviewed information.

Ok, well here’s my policy:  After consideration, anything I post is clearly not-peer reviewed, and is only for my own purpose… If you find use out of it, that’s entirely up to you.   I’m not sharing people’s data, and I’m not undermining anything that others have not decided to publicly disclose to the audience.

Elaine Mardis has just told us not to blog anything without the consent of the author….  I guess ‘ll be sending a LOT of emails at the break, I suppose.  [Edit: just to be clear, it’s not HER blogging policy, she just had the unfortunate task of announcing it to the crowd.]

17 thoughts on “AGBT blogging policy.

  1. Elaine Mardis should be ashamed of herself ! If she wants to keep things secret she should stay at home, but I guess this is too hard to ask for this money sucking board loving stock option wanting person… Just like in politics, it’s grand time a new generation of scientists take over these baby boomers and get down to business !

    • I don’t think it’s her fault, really. But yes, this policy is a bit outdated. If you’re speaking to 700 scientists in the room, you are effectively putting something out into the “public domain”, unless you specifically tell everyone it’s private… not the other way around.

      Anyhow, she has (so far) announced who’s talks can be blogged, which is much appreciated.

  2. If that is there policy, then it should be followed.

    Personally, I suggest having an AGBT hash tag. Any time you feel like tweeting something, instead tweet “#AGBT Interesting point by person X, censored by AGBT”. Humour might make the point better than irritation.

    • There is a hash tag, and people are doing that. The problem with this policy is that if they forget to announce, then the default is no blogging. This happened on the second speaker (Dr. Mungal, BCGSC), who was happy to have his talk blogged – but no announcement was made.

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  4. This is not Elaine’s policy, but it is the policy that was arrived at by the organizing committee (disclaimer: I’m on that committee). I encourage folks to talk to the organizing committee and make the argument about why there should be an open policy. In an age where not all of the speakers are aware of the reaches of social media, this is a happy medium for now. Having a policy makes everyone more aware of what is going on- but I know some speakers have not signed on for having pictures of their slides posted on the web. That is very different from listening to a talk, taking notes and then posting your take on things.

    • Thank you Dr. Church – I didn’t mean to give the impression that it was her policy, just that she was given the unfortunate task of announcing it. I agree that speakers must be aware of the blogging/tweeting going on, however, I disagree that the default should be “no public discussion”. Rather, it would be nice if people simply announced if the talks were not to be publicly disseminated. Bloggers do respect the need for privacy, but the default shouldn’t be draconian.

  5. I wasn’t expecting such formality! :)
    I would consider this a process with the hopes that the policy can and will evolve.

    • Thanks again, that does explain much! Yes, I certainly hope the policy will evolve – and I certainly expect growing pains. I suppose I had just hoped that more would have been learned from the discussion after Cold Spring Harbor’s draconian dissemination policy. Anyhow, I look forward to seeing how conferences approach this in the future.

  6. Seriously, some of these folks are using my tax public dollars for this research and the public can’t comment on it. SHAME ON THEM !

  7. Twitter/Blog Impact:
    I am very interested to know what prompted the Organizing Committee to decide against a de-facto “open micro-blogging” policy. Monetary or ethical quandary?

    In the short term, this will create a conscious efforts from Presenters to keep a wrap on data or (gene names, mutations) that they might otherwise decide to divulge, fearing that google realtime search by any grad student or postdoc will let the genie out of the bottle.

    However, on the + side, this is the fastest way to find your collaborators too ;)

    Everytime, you submit an abstract, you sign off the disclaimer saying that this has never been presented and that the Meeting has copyrights to the content including making money from it. So it is difficult to understand why scientists cannot disseminate scientific knowledge even after paying to attend it? Isnt it against the free world’s values?

    If a revolution in Egypt can be blogged, why not a little deletion in a gene in an anonymous person? ;)

  8. Having once had the pleasure of seeing my conference poster published in a stranger’s journal article, I would be extremely hesitant to present anything new at a conference, especially if I knew it was going to be immediately piped onto the web.

    I don’t think the policy is outdated – but perhaps it needs to be clarified. Completely open or a complete block, perhaps? I would actually favor a complete block for some conferences.

    • Not respecting other people’s work is always an issue, but blogging, discussing or reporting on it is hardly the same thing. If the policy is that we should not directly copy someone else’s talk, I would be entirely supportive on that – but posting my “coles notes” version, or discussing it in 140 characters is hardly the same thing and wholesale reproducing a poster or set of slides. comments?

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