The most difficult task of the Editorial Board of a scientific periodical is the rejection of those manuscripts which are judged unsuitable for publication. Suitability is a rather vague characterization, based on many different and often diverse qualities. During the last two years one reason for rejection has occurred more frequently than any other. More than two thirds of the rejected manuscripts were returned to their authors because of failure to provide adequate controls from which the reader could judge for himself whether the author's conclusions merit acceptance.
It seems strange that this should be so, in view of the fact that most contributors to our journals have had excellent scientific training. However, ophthalmologists are not alone in failing to provide adequate controls in their papers. Ross1 has recently called attention to the fact that 45 per cent of articles published by a group of leading medical periodicals in
Adler FH. Editorial. AMA Arch Ophthalmol. 1951;45(4):365-366. doi:10.1001/archopht.1951.01700010373001