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February 2000

The Analysis of Clinical Research: Mandatory Submission of Data SetsJournals Should Have Access to Research Data

Arch Ophthalmol. 2000;118(2):273-274. doi:10.1001/archopht.118.2.273

CLINICAL eye research used to be reported in numbing detail. As disease patterns emerged in the 19th century, descriptive observation was the main way to link cause and effect. Papers had tables listing hundreds of patients that could take up more space than the article. When Jonathan Hutchinson showed the connection between interstitial keratitis and congenital syphilis in a chapter of his 1863 book, 4 of every 5 pages were devoted to reports and tables of his 102 cases. Most readers probably did nothing more than scan these charts, but were likely impressed by the extent of effort.

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