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July 8, 1968


JAMA. 1968;205(2):104. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140280058015

Editorial sympathy is sorely taxed when it imposes on the busy clinician the burden of published material which is not of direct relevance to his craft. "The compassionate editor," states a recent editorial,1 "cannot honestly urge the physician to put a paper on molecular biology at the top of his evening reading."

No less a strain on editorial compassion than a basic science manuscript on molecular biology is the formidable technical communication. A basic science paper may have potential for future applicability; it may possess a certain intangible bouquet which delights or even ennobles the reader. But what is the redeeming feature of a complicated surgical technique used only by the select few to justify its publication in a nonspecialized clinical journal?

Publication of McGoon's communication (p 69) on the repair of the common truncus arteriosus bears relevance to this question. Has editorial compassion failed its test? We think