JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer
Reiling, Assistant Editor.
There is an unfortunate practice—we do not know how far it is
unavoidable—of certain medical journals appearing later than their advertised
time and yet having nothing on their pages to show the exact date of appearance.
We have in mind one otherwise excellent journal which habitually appears about
three months late, the October number usually appearing in January, and so
on throughout the year. This is, in one sense of the word, an imposition on
its readers, and is more important when one comes to consult files of some
years back. For instance, if a journal has an article giving an account of
something new, some new discovery of importance, very serious questions of
priority might arise, and unless the fact of the delayed appearance were generally
known, injustice be done. An article published in a journal dated three months
or even one month earlier than its actual appearance might get the credit
of priority undeservedly. Such things have happened in the past, and are of
more serious consequence than perhaps at first appears. Another questionable
procedure is that of certain high-class publications which appear more or
less irregularly and do not have the exact date of their appearance anywhere
in their pages. A reform in this matter would also be advisable.
MEDICAL ADVERTISEMENTS AND THE RELIGIOUS PRESS.. JAMA. 2003;289(6):778. doi:10.1001/jama.289.6.778-a