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Release of Information to the Public 

Ethical and Legal Considerations

Annette Flanagin

In many ways, biomedical journals and their editors act as gatekeepers for the release of scientific information to their readers as well as to the public. However, conflicts often arise between journal editors (who have an ethical duty to ensure that the information they publish has been appropriately peer reviewed and assessed for quality) and scientists (who want to disseminate their findings as widely and quickly as possible) and between editors and news reporters (who want to deliver information about new scientific developments to their readers as quickly as possible). The announcement of “scientific breakthroughs” at press conferences or through

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