Ingelfinger rule

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In scientific publishing, the Ingelfinger rule stipulates that the New England Journal of Medicine would not publish findings that had been published elsewhere, in other media or in other journals. Many scientific journals followed suit after it was first enunciated in 1969 by Franz J. Ingelfinger. In a defense of the policy,[1] the journal said in an editorial that the practice discouraged scientists from talking to the media before their work was peer reviewed. The rule was subsequently adopted by several other scientific journals, and shaped scientific publishing ever since.[2] Historically it has also helped to ensure that the journal's content is fresh and does not duplicate content previously reported elsewhere.[3] and seeks to protect the scientific embargo system which allows for more accurate reporting on study claims.[4]


The Ingelfinger rule has been seen as having the aim of preventing authors from performing double publications which would unduly inflate their publication record.[5] On the other hand it has also been stated that the real reason for the Ingelfinger rule is to protect the journals' revenue stream, and with the increase in popularity of preprint servers such as arXiv, figshare, bioRχiv, and PeerJPrePrints many journals have loosened their requirements concerning the Ingelfinger rule.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Angell, M; Kassirer, J (1991). "The Ingelfinger Rule Revisited". New England Journal of Medicine (The New England Journal of Medicine) 325 (19): 1371–1373. doi:10.1056/NEJM199111073251910. 
  2. ^ Marshall, E (1998). "Franz Ingelfinger's Legacy Shaped Biology Publishing". Science 282 (5390): 861–3, 865–7. doi:10.1126/science.282.5390.861. PMID 9841429. 
  3. ^ "Ingelfinger rule definition". 13 June 2000. Retrieved 2011-08-20. 
  4. ^ Schachtman, NA (20 June 2014). "Selective Leaking — Breaking Ingelfinger's Rule". Schachtman Law Blog. Retrieved 2015-05-23. 
  5. ^ Lariviere, V; Gingras, Y (2009). "On the prevalence and scientific impact of duplicate publications in different scientific fields (1980-2007)". arXiv:0906.4019 [physics.soc-ph]. 
  6. ^ Borgman, CL (2007). Scholarship in the digital age: information, infrastructure, and the Internet. MIT Press. p. 99. ISBN 978-0-262-02619-2. 

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