Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Just "Preliminary" Work

The US Department of Agriculture instructed researchers there to label work appearing in peer-reviewed, scientific journals as "preliminary," according to the Washington Post.

The directive came down last July from Chavonda Jacobs-Young, the acting USDA chief scientist, it adds, saying that the label scientists were told to include reads: "The findings and conclusions in this preliminary publication have not been formally disseminated by the US Department of Agriculture and should not be construed to represent any agency determination or policy."

Ed Gregorich, editor of the Journal of Environmental Quality and a researcher at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, tells the Post that researchers who see such a statement in a journal article would likely be "very confused" as peer-reviewed articles are "the end product to your research."

William Trenkle, the USDA departmental scientific integrity officer, tells the Post in a statement that the term "formally disseminated" refers to the publication of official agency positions and that the department plans to change the phrasing of the label soon.

The Post adds that the disclaimer appears to be a compromise that USDA researchers reached so that they would be able to publish their findings without having to get them officially reviewed as policy.

The Scan

Foxtail Millet Pangenome, Graph-Based Reference Genome

Researchers in Nature Genetics described their generation of a foxtail millet pangenome, which they say can help in crop trait improvement.

Protein Length Distribution Consistent Across Species

An analysis in Genome Biology compares the lengths of proteins across more than 2,300 species, finding similar distributions.

Novel Genetic Loci Linked to Insulin Resistance in New Study

A team reports in Nature Genetics that it used glucose challenge test data to home in on candidate genes involved in in GLUT4 expression or trafficking.

RNA Editing in Octopuses Seems to Help Acclimation to Shifts in Water Temperature

A paper in Cell reports that octopuses use RNA editing to help them adjust to different water temperatures.