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December 6, 1995

Journal's Aversion to Prepublication Publicity Silences Researchers at Human Genetics Meeting

JAMA. 1995;274(21):1666. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530210020007

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ONE OF the most eagerly anticipated presentations at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) in October never made it to the podium.

The eleventh-hour withdrawal resulted from pressure by the editor of a journal, who threatened to cancel plans to publish the new findings if news accounts of the presentation by reporters covering the public meeting appeared before the journal's November 30 publication date.

Officials of ASHG said that the presentation, "Isolation of the Bloom's Syndrome Gene Identifies It as a Member of the DNA/RNA Helicase Gene Family," was canceled by a team of investigators from the New York (NY) Blood Center and the University of Cincinnati (Ohio) College of Medicine after they received a fax from the publisher of Cell warning that prepublication publicity would jeopardize the paper's appearance in the journal.

Bloom's syndrome is an extremely rare genetic disorder characterized by stunted growth;

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