JenniferReiling, Assistant Editor
A short time ago one of our contemporaries indulged in an editorial expression of opinion that was decidedly unfavorable to the plan adopted by this journal and by several others, of giving a brief résumé of the leading articles in the current medical literature. It charged that the abstracts were incomplete, superficial, generally unscholarly and uncritical, and it mentioned without specifications a flagrant case in which the author's meaning was wholly misinterpreted. Undoubtedly such things occur, but they also are observed in critical résumés such as are found, say in our critical contemporary. Indeed, medical literature abounds in recriminations caused by such mistakes, which are sometimes unavoidable. Abstracts should not be critical; it is the policy of THE JOURNAL to avoid this, as it is deemed better to give so far as is possible a perfectly unbiased statement of the author's ideas. It is a harsh accusation, however, to say that those appearing in four of the eight medical weeklies of the country are "generally unscholarly" and one that ought not to be made by anyone so open to the criticism of ignorance of foreign medical literature as apparently is the writer of the editorial in question. One ought to be quite invulnerable himself to make such a sweeping charge against the scholarship of others.
ABSTRACTS, A VALUABLE FEATURE.. JAMA. 2002;287(9):1086. doi:10.1001/jama.287.9.1086