Embargo/Recording Policies

American Heart Association/American Stroke Association General Embargo/Recording Policies as of September 2017



This document outlines the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s (AHA/ASA) embargo policies for studies, statements and guidelines published in the association’s peer-reviewed journals and/or abstracts, studies, late-breaking science and clinical science special reports presented at AHA/ASA scientific meetings. They apply to all study authors, writing group members, individual reporters, media outlets, medical and scientific institutions, funding institutions and corporations.

Penalties for breaking an embargo will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Circumstances of the embargo violation will be evaluated before a determination is made regarding appropriate penalties. For study authors, penalties may include having a study pulled from publication or presentation at an AHA meeting.  For individual reporters and media outlets, penalties may include permanent loss of access to embargoed media materials and media credentials to AHA/ASA scientific meetings.

At AHA/ASA scientific meetings, the embargoes for late-breaking and clinical science special report trials are handled differently than embargoes for non-late-breaking science (see section on scientific meeting embargoes).  For questions, regarding the AHA/ASA’s embargo policies, call the AHA Communications Dept. at 214-706-1173 or contact the Journals/Meetings Communications staff via phone/email.

Back to Top


Who May Receive Embargoed Materials:

  • Reporters, writers, producers and editors with staff credentials from newspapers, magazines, online news services, wire services, radio or television networks and stations that produce daily or weekly health/medical / science news. Journalists with bylined news reports published on news wire services and media who produce materials for bi-monthly, monthly, or quarterly publications or programs will be considered on a case-by-case basis. This does not include hospital/university or other sites reporting their own news/press releases.
  • Freelance writers with approved credentials (must provide three bylined articles/clip links written for media outlets within the past 6 months) and/or an assignment letter from an approved media outlet.
  • Bloggers who provide daily or weekly coverage of health news.
  • Editors of peer-reviewed medical journals who are reporting on news being presented at an AHA/ASA meeting.
  • Editors, writers of newsletters created and distributed by universities and hospitals for the public/patient/student. This does not include hospitals/universities or other sites reporting only their own news/press materials.

Back to Top


Acceptable media credentials for journalists/freelancers:

  • National Association for Science Writers (NASW) membership card.
  • International Science Writers Association (ISWA) membership card.
  • Letter on official letterhead from an editor of a recognized publication or a producer of a recognized broadcast program certifying that reporter/freelancer is covering news for the respective organization.
  • National/International government-issued press credentials.
  • Official media-outlet-issued credentials/ID.
  • Business cards will not be accepted as credentials.

Back to Top


Who may NOT receive Embargoed Materials:

  • Industry representatives and financial/industry analysts.
  • Writers/editors or contributors for patient publications created and distributed by industry, such as pharmaceutical companies or device manufacturers.
  • In-house and/or industry newsletters/magazines/websites supported by industry or publications supported by a retail chain store, such as a drug store.
  • Staff from public relations firms, advertising agencies or production companies.
  • Representatives of corporate, academic or hospital public relations / advertising/marketing/ media departments.
  • Hospitals/universities or other online sites reporting only their own news/press materials.
  • Publishers (who are not reporters) of peer-reviewed medical journals and other media outlets that cover health news.
  • Bloggers who do not report daily or weekly on breaking health news.  
  • Wire or other online services offering syndicated or mass distribution of AHA/ASA embargoed media materials to journalists and non journalists

Back to Top

Description of Embargo Policies:

Manuscripts/studies published in AHA/ASA scientific journals:

The embargo on all manuscripts/studies published in AHA/ASA scientific journals, including those not being promoted in AHA/ASA news media materials, lift the day and time the articles are published online or in print (whichever comes first).

NON-LATE-BREAKING abstracts/studies presented at AHA/ASA scientific meetings:

The embargo on all non-late-breaking abstracts presented at AHA/ASA scientific meetings lifts at the actual time of the scientific presentation at the meeting or at the beginning of the AHA/ASA news conference in which it is featured.   

LATE-BREAKING clinical science studies and CLINICAL SCIENCE SPECIAL reports presented at AHA/ASA scientific meetings:

The embargo for each study lifts at the beginning of the overall late-breaking Main Event session in which the study will be presented to the scientific audience.  


Embargo Policies for News Media:

  • By accepting AHA/ASA embargoed materials through e-mail, fax, regular mail, from the AHA’s online password-protected embargoed media newsroom site or via media registration for scientific meetings, reporters agree to follow the AHA/ASA’s embargo policies.
  • AHA/ASA embargoed information is intended only for the reporter’s personal use and may not be published prior to the embargo time, and can only be distributed to experts being interviewed.
  • The AHA/ASA embargo policies also apply to any news materials issued by a university/institution/company when a study is being published in an AHA/ASA journal or presented at an AHA/ASA scientific meeting. (Please see the section below for Medical Institutions/Universities/Health Organizations for further information.)
  • Failure to abide by AHA/ASA embargoes may result in suspension of access to: AHA/ASA embargoed materials, media credentials at AHA/ASA meetings and pre-embargo interviews with AHA/ASA spokespersons. The media outlet that employs the reporter may also be penalized.
  • Once a media outlet/reporter has been suspended, it is the responsibility of the reporter and/or media outlet to reapply to receive embargoed media materials after the suspension period ends.

News Media Policies for Video / Photography / Camera Credentials at AHA/ASA Scientific Meetings:

  • Only registered news media can shoot photos/videos at AHA/ASA scientific meetings.
  • News media who want to shoot videos/photos at the meeting will receive their camera credentials upon their registration.
  • Once media receive their camera credentials, they may shoot photos/videos in the main concourse and in select plenary sessions only.
  • Recorded B-roll and interviews at the meeting site during a scientific meeting is prohibited for non-registered news media (see one b-roll exception below.) The best option for any interviews would be to secure a meeting room or other room at a nearby hotel.
  • Photography, video and recorded interviews are not allowed in the Science and Technology Hall (see exceptions below).

Policies for Recording Devices/Photography at Scientific Sessions 

Registered media attending scientific presentations may use video cameras, still photography or audio recording under the conditions described below.  

  • All cameras must be registered by the AHA/ASA Communications staff and display a camera registration tag.
  • Non-flash photography of speakers during oral or poster scientific presentations and his/her materials is allowed by registered media.
  • Video recording by AHA credentialed media is permitted in the AHA News Media Center which includes news conferences and broadcast interview rooms.
  • Hallway/concourse interviews – audio recordings, video recordings and still photography by accredited reporters is permitted in hallways and concourse areas; however, the media representative must cease their recording/photographing if a member of the AHA/ASA staff deems it disruptive.
  • No video recording is allowed in Scientific Sessions meetings and/or poster sessions; however, audiotape recording for strictly personal and non-commercial use is permitted if not disruptive.
  • Still photographs or audio recordings taken in meeting rooms/presentations for commercial use require advance consent by the AHA and the speaker prior to publication.
  • Exception: AHA-credentialed broadcast media may record video of the daily Late Breaking Clinical Trials (LBCT) presentations from a lockdown position on a riser available for news media in the LBCT presentation hall. No roaming photography/videography is allowed.  All interviews with presenters must be conducted after the LBCT presentation is complete.

Media Photography/Video in the Science and Technology Hall:

  • Media must have permission from a booth staff person/manager in order to use flash photography in a booth located in the Science and Technology (Exhibit) Hall and do not need to be escorted by AHA Communications staff. No roaming photography/videography is allowed.
  • AHA-credentialed broadcast media wishing to record video in the Science and Technology Hall must request permission from AHA Communications staff and schedule an AHA escort during the video recording.
  • AHA will provide at least one pre-determined location for broadcast television crews to lockdown a tripod and record general B-roll of activity in the AHA Heart Quarters exhibit booth only.  
  • Recording video/specific B-roll of other exhibit booths is strictly prohibited.
  • If a Science and Technology Hall booth manager wants to allow a broadcast media group to record video of their booth, the booth manager must request permission and secure an escort through their AHA Science and Technology Hall manager. This cannot be approved by AHA Communications staff.
  • Recording video interviews are prohibited in the Science and Technology Hall. All exhibitor interviews must be conducted outside of the main Science and Technology Hall area.
  • The AHA/ASA retains the right to cancel video recording in the Exhibit Hall should it become disruptive or potentially impact the safety and security of participants.
  • B-roll exception: If a company is an exhibitor and wishes to have a production crew take photos or record video/b-roll of their booth, they must get permission and make arrangements directly with the AHA Exhibit manager at exhibits@heart.org.

Embargo Policies for Researchers / Scientists:

  • Abstracts or manuscripts accepted for presentation at AHA/ASA scientific meetings or to be published in an AHA/ASA journal may not be presented at other meetings or published in other journals prior to the embargo time set by the AHA/ASA.
  • Any researchers associated with a study being presented at an AHA/ASA scientific meeting or with a manuscript being published in an AHA journal must comply with the embargo policies of the AHA/ASA.
  • Study and abstract authors are allowed to conduct embargoed media interviews as long as the embargo date and time are emphasized to the news media.
  • Study/abstract authors may not distribute embargoed written information (slides, manuscript, etc.) to the news media prior to the embargo date and time.
  • If the news media breaks an embargo as a result of a researcher conducting an embargoed interview or as the result of their public relations department/agency/institution providing them with written or visual information, the researcher risks having his study pulled from being published in an AHA journal or presented at an AHA/ASA scientific meeting. Embargo breaks in these cases will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.  
  • Failure to honor embargoes may also jeopardize future acceptance of studies and/or exhibition at AHA/ASA scientific meetings or acceptance of manuscripts for publication in AHA scientific journals.
  • Researchers who are presenting their study in an AHA/ASA embargoed media briefing or news conference may bring one co-author of the study as a guest to the AHA/ASA media event.Corporate sponsor representatives are not allowed in any AHA/ASA media events at AHA/ASA scientific meetings.

Back to Top


Embargo Policies for Medical Institutions / Universities / Health Organizations:

  • Studies published in AHA/ASA journals and non-late-breaking abstracts presented at AHA/ASA scientific meetings: Universities, medical institutions and health organizations that are involved in a study may distribute their own embargoed news release 2 business days prior to the embargo and authors of studies and representatives from the institution may conduct embargoed media interviews during the embargo period. However, no one other than AHA/ASA is allowed to issue embargoed media materials pertaining to scientific statements, guidelines or late-breaking clinical science prior to embargo.  (See Description of Embargo Policies for specific information on time of embargoes.)
  • Researchers may conduct pre-embargo interviews with reporters based on news materials provided by the AHA/ASA or the institution.
  • Universities and medical institutions must alert the AHA/ASA Communications dept. if they plan on issuing a news release on studies being presented at AHA/ASA scientific meetings by providing the name of the study, the first and last authors’ names that are listed on the study and the journal where it is being published or meeting where it is being presented. The requested information should be sent to AHA/ASA Communications Dept. at newsreleasenotifications@heart.org or call 214-706-1173. AHA/ASA does not approve or review news material content developed by universities/medical institutions but does need to be aware in case they receive media queries.
  • AHA/ASA requests that the universities/medical institutions include the name of the AHA journal where the study is being published or the name of the AHA/ASA’s scientific meeting where the study is being presented in their news release.
  • Universities, medical institutions and health organizations who need to confirm embargo dates and times should contact AHA/ASA Communications department at 214-706-1173 or newsreleasenotifications@heart.org.
  • Universities, medical institutions and health organizations must obtain specific study information from the researcher. AHA/ASA will only provide the embargo date and time and will not provide anyone with study information unless the researcher contacts the AHA/ASA asking them to provide the information.
  • Only the presenter/lead author of the study and one co-author of the study may attend an AHA/ASA embargoed media briefing or news conference at a scientific meeting. The co-author’s name must be listed on the abstract.
  • Universities, medical institutions and health organizations that have information being presented at an AHA/ASA scientific meeting may not conduct any planned embargoed promotional media activities, such as media briefings/news conferences, satellite media tours, corporate receptions, or investigator meetings before the embargo lifts.
  • At AHA Scientific Sessions, may register to have their media materials displayed in the Online Industry Newsroom for a fee (see Online Industry Newsroom section for more information).
  • If media break an embargo as a result of a issuing information or conducting an interview, the AHA/ASA may enforce sanctions against the reporter/media outlet, the researcher/scientist and university/institution/company as appropriate.

Embargo Policies Specific to Companies / Corporate Sponsors of Studies and their Public Relations Representatives:

  • Pharmaceutical companies, device manufacturers or companies that are corporate sponsors of a study and/or their representatives may not issue embargoed news releases, statements or proactively promoting their spokespeople prior to embargo.
  • Pharmaceutical companies, device manufacturers or companies that are corporate sponsors of a study and their representatives are not allowed conduct any type of event where media are in attendance prior to embargo.
  • Pharmaceutical companies, device manufacturers or companies that are corporate sponsors of a study and their representatives are allowed to make representatives available to answer incoming inquiries from the media during the embargo period.
  • If a company feels that for legal reasons it is obligated to release information about a study prior to the embargo, the company must notify AHA/ASA in advance in writing regarding the legal rationale as to why the information must be disclosed, and advise specifically who would receive the information, how/when the information would be disclosed and exactly what information would be released. AHA/ASA then will determine whether the study shall remain on the program of an AHA/ASA meeting or be published in an AHA/ASA scientific journal. One specific consideration will be whether the company plans to release qualitative information (i.e., the primary endpoint was/was not met) rather than quantitative data (specific study results).
  • At AHA Scientific Sessions, companies may register to have their media materials displayed in the Online Industry Newsroom for a fee (see Online Industry Newsroom section for more information).
  • Representatives from public relations agencies or companies involved in a study are NOT allowed in embargoed media briefings or news conferences at AHA/ASA scientific meetings.The only exception is when a representative of a company is an author listed on an abstract of a study being presented in an AHA/ASA embargoed media briefing or news conference.
  • Media interview rooms are for the use of media only, and PR representatives from pharmaceutical and device companies are allowed in the room only if specifically invited by a media representatives. PR representatives are not allowed to use the media rooms for their activities and will have to conduct their activities elsewhere.
  • Industry and exhibitor events for the news media may not be held during Scientific Sessions operating hours.Permission for officially-sanctioned satellite events must be obtained from the AHA scientific meetings staff.Media should not be invited and are not permitted to attend investigator meetings.Violating this policy is considered an embargo break and penalties apply.
  • Companies that have questions about issuing news releases should contact the AHA Communications dept. at 214-706-1173 or newsreleasenotifications@heart.org.

Back to Top

AHA's Scientific Meetings Online Industry Newsroom:

  • During AHA’s Scientific Sessions, companies/institutions/PR agencies/health organizations may register to have their media materials displayed in the Online Industry Newsroom. They may not distribute any materials in or around the News Media Center other than in the Online Industry Newsroom.
  • A fee is required for registration in the Online Industry Newsroom. For more information about the Online Industry Newsroom and how to register for this room, email onlineindustrynewsroom@heart.org  or call 214-706-1173. 
  • Once a company has registered for the Scientific Sessions Online Industry Newsroom, they must send their media materials to onlineindustrynewsroom@heart.org.
  • All media materials to be displayed in the Online Industry Newsroom may include news releases, background information and other industry information.
  • Company representatives may not pass out literature, statements or news releases in or around the adjacent hallways and areas of the News Conference/Media Briefing Room and the Media’s Working Newsroom.
  • Upon receipt of corporate media materials during Scientific Sessions, AHA Communications staff need at least four hours to post media materials in Online Industry Newsroom.

 Embargo Policies for AHA/ASA Scientific Statements / Guidelines Writing Committee members and AHA/ASA Spokespersons:

  • AHA/ASA guidelines/statements are embargoed during their entire development.
  • Members of the writing committee are not allowed to share any information, including the fact that there is a document in progress, about the content of the statement/guideline with the news media, colleagues or institution prior to the AHA’s Communications department issuing an embargoed news release.
  • If the AHA/ASA is developing a news release to highlight the statement/guidelines, the AHA/ASA will work with the chair or co-chair of the writing group as a representative of the writing group. Only the chair or co-chair may conduct media interviews about the statement/guideline, except in rare instances that must be approved by AHA/ASA Communications staff.
  • AHA/ASA statements and guidelines represent AHA/ASA positions. Therefore, institutions and universities may not issue embargoed news releases to promote their faculty member’s participation as a member of the writing group until the embargo has lifted.
  • Please note that AHA/ASA has Communications staff across the U.S. who will promote the statement or guideline locally.
  • If the AHA/ASA is not developing a news release to highlight the statement/guideline, this policy still applies.
  • All AHA/ASA writing committee members must agree to this embargo policy as part of their AHA/ASA’s non-disclosure agreement.


  • Share