Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Warning! Warning!

People have been telling me that I might be in violation of the SVP embargo on presentations and poster sessions (although I didn't blog about any poster sessions). I may have to take the post down, so keep that in mind if it disappears in the next day or two.

Update: Notice that the post is gone. Sorry, folks, but I'm erring on the side of caution. I don't want to step on any toes. Dave Hone informed me that at least one topic I discussed was currently in review, so it's probably best to take the post down. This leaves me asking an irritating question, though: What's SVP for? Dibs? If the topics can't be discussed in a public venue (like the Interwebs), it seems like the presentations were for telling people, "I found this, you didn't, just lettin' you know. You can't talk about it until my paper is in print." That seems selfish and counterintitive. Remember Julia's rule of thumb? "Don't be a dick!" Is claim-jumping that big of a problem? As long as you cite the author(s) and make sure you don't make it sound like YOU made a particular discovery, what's the big deal?

Anyway, it's annoying. I was going to write several blog posts on particular talks, but now I can't. I had drawings and everything! :-(


ScottE said...

I thought it was okay to talk about them after they were presented:

"NOTE: ALL abstracts are embargoed until the day and time of their individual presentations."


Laelaps said...

I thought the same thing, Scott, and I hope you don't have to take the post down, Zach! It would seem to be antithetical to trying to get the public interested in paleontology. And what about the poor suckers like me who couldn't attend?

Bill Parker said...

Didn't mean to freak you out but I personally just find it best to not discuss the entire talk or presentation outside of what is in the published abstract...there is probably a reason why that information was left out. Also taking pictures of peoples' posters and then distributing them is also a no-no, as is listening in on conversations and then reporting what was overheard on blogs and mailing lists and such (this can be career ending). There is no reason why you cannot discuss presentations, just be careful and judicious about it.

The abstract embargo would seem to me to pertain to only the written abstract. Maybe I am being to strict...but I would rather err on the side of caution. Unfortunately I cannot remember where I saw the SVP note discussing these cautions, but it is covered somewhat in the media section.

BTW...I did not see in your posts where you would have any reason to worry.

JJ said...

Hmm, sorry if I misadvised you Zach. I went on the basis of what the website said (as Scott said) and the fact that every year we've had long posts on the various mailing lists with people's highlights.

Perhaps best to limit it to "Professor X presented a cool new fossil theropod from Kazakhstan" with a couple of the details from the abstract, and leave it at that. It's a shame, and I understand exactly what you're getting at. I could ask the program committee chair for his opinion and some guidance, but SVP in general is not that amenable to blogs post-Aetogate, so we may have to tread carefully.

Amanda said...

On the bright side, you can wait just a little while for the papers to get published and then have the WHOLE PAPER, right at your fingertips...more details at your disposal!

Bill Parker said...

OK...this is a bit late but official. Check out the last page of the SVP abstract book and it states the policy on posting information from presentations and posters. Basically you cannot do it without author permission. Sorry for any confusion.

Zach said...

Thanks, Bill. Still pisses me off, though. :-(