Office of the Ombuds

Our Assurance of Impartiality

Not Ready for Prime Time

July 10th, 2009 · No Comments

I’ve noticed lately that a number of vendors have taken draft documents they were sent during the Fact Check process and shared them (sometimes liberally) with people inside and outside of their organizations. We don’t allow this and push back strongly when we find out about these — I think for good reason.

A draft is just what that word implies — not ready for publication. It may change dramatically before it’s published: the opinions may change, even the backup data may change. Indeed, that’s why we ask vendors to review documents that include information about them: to make sure we’ve got all the facts right. And if you’ve read enough of these drafts you know they’re not copy-edited before we send them. So even if the content doesn’t change when they’re published, the wording and even structure might.

So what? You can probably tell we’re really sensitive to ownership of our IP — I’ve blogged about it, and we have a department of folks who work hard to ensure the rules are followed. But distributing drafts is worse than just breaking our external-use rules because the content isn’t even ready for the “external” world yet. So please, even if sorely tempted, resist the temptation to share until it’s been published… then follow these rules:!

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