[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
Article
February 1977

The Medical Editor.—A Democratic Despot

Author Affiliations

Park Ridge, Ill

Arch Intern Med. 1977;137(2):149-150. doi:10.1001/archinte.1977.03630140005003

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.

Abstract

The editor exercises unique authority in the marketplace of scientific communication. Indeed, the degree of independence granted to the editor's office may be unequaled by any other educational or scientific position in the medical world. Critical decisions concerning publication or rejection are based ultimately on the judgment of the chief editor, and since submitted manuscripts are privileged communications, few additional individuals are party to these deliberations. At first glance, such practices would appear to resemble 19th century academic authoritarianism. An understanding of why the editor's privileges must be preserved can be attained only if we consider both actual and potential pressures to which he may be exposed.

A large number of journals of original investigation are published by specialty medical societies, and officers or staff presumably could exert overt or subtle pressure through elected or appointed positions. Fortunately, the editor's position is carefully isolated from such interference. Editorial decisions are

First Page Preview View Large
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview
×