July 1971

Publish or Perish

Arch Surg. 1971;103(1):1. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1971.01350070027002

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The dictum "publish or perish" applies equally to the struggling young academician and to the wise old editor. The forces exerted on each result in a large number of hastily contrived articles which receive publication, not necessarily because of high quality, but simply because the journal must be filled. The basic theme of this piece is that there are far too many journals, including surgical ones, and that the quality of the presentations in these journals leaves much to be desired. I should like to address myself to the several factors which contribute to this state of affairs and to offer a suggestion for change.

It has been proposed, not so lightly, by one famous basic scientist that surgeons be disallowed publication of the results of experimental work in surgical journals. This seemingly facetious position was taken because critical scientific review is too frequently missing from the procedural evaluation pattern

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