If I report on my own conference presentation, have I just scooped myself?

At the end of October I will be attending the International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health (ICPAPH) in Sydney, Australia.  I attended the previous ICPAPH in Toronto and it was fantastic – by far the best conference I had been to up until that time, and possibly the best that I’ve ever been to (in my mind it’s tied with ACSM from earlier this year).  I’ll be giving an oral presentation at the conference, as well as helping out with a meeting of the Sedentary Behaviour Research Network, and there will be a ton of sessions focusing on sedentary behaviour in general, so I’m really looking forward to a great week (I’ll be posting more about specific sessions as we get closer to the conference).

In addition to attending the conference as a researcher, I’m also excited that I will be an official blogger for the conference.  I will be tweeting and blogging throughout the conference, so I’m hoping for lots of interesting content to share here on Obesity Panacea.  Which raises a question that I hope someone out there will be able to answer:

If I blog about my own conference presentation (including some very general stats, maybe a figure, etc), will that preclude my publishing the data in most mainstream journals?

It’s pretty normal to see news reports about conference presentations, and as far as I know that doesn’t preclude someone from publishing in an academic journal in any way.  Similarly, folks like Scicurious blog about presentations that they see at conferences on a regular basis.  However, I have yet to see anyone report on their own conference presentation.

Reporting on your own conference presentation seems very similar to simply publishing papers on your blog, and I know that many people (myself included) are hesitant to do that.  There are two main reasons for that:

  1. If you publish data on your blog people with similar data may decide to copy your analysis and “scoop” your publication (less of an issue with interventions than with cross-sectional studies)
  2. Publishing on your blog could somehow preclude publishing in an academic journal, since most journals require that you tick a box saying that the data in a given paper has never been published before (and grad students like myself are hesitant to do anything that might jeopardize a publication, given that they are pretty much the keys to the kingdom of academia)

Of course if you were simply publishing the same type of general info that typically goes into a news report about a conference presentation (essentially the main results, without many specific details), then I don’t see any reason why it would preclude publication.  And of course there are already places where you can archive your publications online prior to submitting to an academic journal (e.g. arXiv), although these databases aren’t really used by exercise physiologists at the moment.I know that a fair number of our readers are in academia, so I thought I’d see what people thought about this issue.  Is it kosher to publish results on your own blog in similar detail to what you would include in a conference presentation?  Why/why not? If you happen to sit on the editorial board of a journal I’d especially love to hear what you think.

Travis

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