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Preliminary No More

US Department of Agriculture researchers will no longer have to tag their published work as "preliminary," the Washington Post reports.

Last month, the Post reported that researchers at the agency had been told to identify their peer-reviewed, scientific journal articles as preliminary with this label: "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."

But due to the ensuing criticism, the Post says the policy has changed. In a new memo, USDA chief scientist Chavonda Jacobs-Young has outlined a new disclaimer, it adds, that reads: "The findings and conclusions in this [publication/presentation/blog/report] are those of the author(s) and should not be construed to represent any official USDA or US Government determination or policy."

The Union of Concerned Scientists' Rebecca Boehm tells the Post that the removal of the "preliminary" tag is a positive shift in language, but notes there may still be barriers to agency researchers publishing in peer-reviewed journals.