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December 14, 1970

Unsatisfactory Reprint Request Practices

Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1970;214(11):2060. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03180110068025

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To the Editor.—  Is it not time that a stamped, self-addressed envelope accompany requests for reprints? If this practice became standard procedure what a boon it would be to an overworked force, and incidentally to authors!Contraction from a large office force intensifies the problem of dealing with reprints. Retirement, blessed with releases, enforces restraints and strictures that accompany loss of position. Since my retirement (June 30, 1967), this office has had reprint requests in excess of 2,500 during a period of 40 months. Only twice have selfaddressed, stamped envelopes accompanied the request, which usually arrives in the form of a printed postcard.The only claim authors have upon emolument for journal publications is demonstration of reader interest, aside from the expectant hope, too often doomed to disappointment, that something helpful or durable may emerge from the effort.In 1931, as Harvey Cushing was contemplating leaving his post at the