October 1973

Reasons for Writing

Arch Surg. 1973;107(4):511. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1973.01350220001001

The wails resulting from the withdrawal of federal research funds are still justifiably strident. But one cannot boo hoo forever, and, although many important programs have suffered deplorably, others were overdue for dispatch. We must welcome a related benefit. The demand for "prestige" research is dying. We hear less the fatuous question, "How is our research PROGRAM doing?"

But how does this slowing of the wheels of the paper mills affect the journals? There has long been an outcry that too much literary trash, potboilers, and articles with no point, no conclusions, and even with no data, reach the light of day, the Index Medicus, and the bibliographies of the trophy hunters. In the same breath, we hear, "There are too many journals."

Let us define "trash." I submit that the onus of having to wade through the mass of print that reaches our office mails and libraries stems more

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