Pre-publication communication of research results
Until publication, communication of provisional scientific findings beyond participants in the study is typically limited. This practice helps assure scientific integrity. However, a dilemma arises when a provisional finding has urgent societal consequences that may be exacerbated by delay. This dilemma may be particularly pronounced when a discovery concerns wildlife health, which could have implications for conservation, public health, or domestic animal health. Eleven researchers suggest that common concerns about directed prepublication communication largely stem from misperceptions and that none should cause a delay in the communication of time-sensitive provisional findings to appropriate authorities. Instead, they suggest that rapid communication of a provisional discovery could be beneficial, such as in the example they use involving the potential discovery of the amphibian fungal pathogen Bsal that is currently causing salamander die-offs in Europe.