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April 12, 1995

Too Many Words? Mozart 1, Emperor 0-Reply

Author Affiliations

British Medical Journal Baltimore, Md
Harvard Medical School Boston, Mass

JAMA. 1995;273(14):1088. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520380023016

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In Reply.  —We agree with Dr Goodman and accept his criticism of our article.In response to his question, we believe that responsibility rests mainly with the editors. We believe that editors are teachers for authors, and that editors would do well to spend extra time working with authors whose manuscripts contain flaws in design, methodology, or expression.However, the senior editors are already fully occupied with the work they do to select manuscripts and improve their scientific accuracy and completeness. Manuscripts could be rewritten best by additional people with mastery of both written expression and clinical science. Do additional resources exist to sustain such people?Perhaps the problem rests more fundamentally with medical educators. How many universities or medical centers have writing coaches or experts (not ghostwriters) who help teach young and inexperienced authors how to express themselves clearly and concisely?

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