USDA Scientists Ordered to Label Peer-Reviewed Research “Preliminary”

Silencing Science Tracker

USDA Scientists Ordered to Label Peer-Reviewed Research “Preliminary”

In July 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s acting chief scientist, Chavonda Jacobs-Young,¬†informed agency scientists that all research published in scientific journals must include a statement,¬†reading:

“The findings and conclusions in this preliminary publication have not been formally disseminated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and should not be construed to represent any agency determination or policy.”

The statement must be included even if the research has been finalized and undergone peer-review. Scientists have complained that labeling such research as “preliminary” is misleading. Christine McEntee, director of the American Geophysical Union, warned that research labelled as preliminary might not be accepted for publication.

Update:¬† On May 10, 2019, the Washington Post reported that USDA had “dropped its demand that staff scientists label peer-reviewed research as ‘preliminary’.”

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