A Tale of Vegemite (or Marmite) and Credit Where it’s DuePosted: October 22, 2014
I had an interesting experience recently regarding some media coverage of my work. Readers of this blog will remember my Vegemite aroma analysis from June last year, which at the time got a nice amount of media attention, notably this Guardian article and this interview on ABC radio.
On October 6th (AEDST), I became aware through a Google Alert I have on my own name (narcissist, who me?), that the UK publication Chromatography Today had picked up on the Vegemite work and written an article in their ‘Breaking News’ section. 16 months old is quite a loose interpretation of breaking news in my opinion but hey whatever.
I thought it a little strange that they had gone ahead and written this article without even contacting me, but I’m a bit of a noob when it comes to media coverage and whatnot so I’m not really sure if this is normal or not. Once I read the article I could see that there were a few errors contained within, the major one being that they’d said I did the work on Marmite. Can you believe it, Marmite? That horrid stuff? As if!
Anyway, there was a link off to the right hand side of the article to “Request more information” so I submitted a little thingamajig there pointing out the mistakes and asking for them to be corrected, receiving only this automated reply.
I also contacted the @Chromtoday Twitter account, even though it had not tweeted for over 2 months.
Then I waited. After 5 days I still hadn’t received a reply through either of these channels to I sent the following email to the generic info email account of Chromatography Today. I recognised that my initial reactions were made in the heat of the moment, and maybe I had not been as courteous as I could have, so my aim was to be polite and civil in my email communication. In order of importance (to me) the changes I requested were:
- Correcting Marmite to Vegemite
- Removal of the false assertion that this work is part of my PhD studies
- A link back to the original work here on this blog
- Correction of typographical/methodological errors
Again I received no response, this time I waited 9 days before taking the next step. With a bit of Google-fu I was able to find the personal email addresses of several employees of the company that produces Chromatography Today. This information was publicly available by a Google search, I didn’t do anything special other than to select the right search terms. So I sent to all of these employees pretty much the same email I’d sent to the generic account earlier, slightly modified to explain that I hadn’t received any responses from my prior enquiries.
Hours after I sent THAT email, I get a response! Finally!
And then this the following day.
GREAT RIGHT? Well, let’s have a look at the changes they made using the compare feature in Word
- Correcting Marmite to Vegemite KINDA YEP (in the text only not the title)
- Removal of the false assertion that this work is part of my PhD studies YEP
- A link back to the original work here on this blog NOPE NOPITY NOPE
- Correction of typographical/methodological errors YEP
Well, I’m not going to take this any further but I can’t say I’m fully satisfied with this outcome. I still feel like it is quite bad manners to not link back to the original source but this is over for me now, I’m not putting any more effort into pursuing this. As always, opinions and stuff welcome here and on the twoots.