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January 1993

`Recent' Advances in Dermatology, Medicine, Cardiology, Surgery, and Rheumatology

Author Affiliations

Department of Dermatology University Hospital of Wales Heath Park Cardiff CF4 4XW, Wales

Arch Dermatol. 1993;129(1):45. doi:10.1001/archderm.1993.01680220057013

To the Editor.—  The authors of articles or case reports in medical journals frequently use the word recent when referring to previously published work. Often this may be done as a justification for their own efforts, or as a means of indicating how familiar they are with the current literature. However, their definition of "recent" is sometimes rather elastic, and often it is used to describe articles published several years ago. To examine what authors in medical journals mean by the term "recent," the latest issues of 10 highly regarded British and American medical journals were reviewed.Articles and letters appearing in the current and most recent issues of 10 journals were scanned for the use of the word recent or recently when referring to articles or presentations. The journals reviewed were the British Medical Journal, the Lancet, the Journal of the American Medical Association, the British Heart Journal, the

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