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April 19, 2000

Thanking Authors, Peer Reviewers, and Readers—Constancy in a Time of Change

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Dr DeAngelis is Editor and Drs Fontanarosa and Glass are Deputy Editors, JAMA.

JAMA. 2000;283(15):2016-2017. doi:10.1001/jama.283.15.2016

The years 1999-2000 could serve quite well as a period of marked changes in biomedical publications. Several important developments involving scientific publications during this time represent significant changes that may be recognized as turning points for years to come. Perhaps most noteworthy is the tremendous capabilities of electronic information dissemination, with the ever-increasing power, speed, reach, and convenience of the Internet. This development has revolutionized and probably changed forever the dissemination of scientific information both from centralized repositories and institutions1 and from individual journals.2 In addition, concerns about ensuring proper attribution and credit for authorship of scientific articles have led to efforts to define the exact contributions of each author of a published article more precisely and to changes in ways to report these contributions more completely.3,4 Moreover, the dismissal of the editors-in-chief of 2 major general medical journals in 1999 resulted in careful reexamination of and substantial changes in the relationship between editors and owners of scientific journals.5,6 Yet, regardless of the magnitude or potential far-reaching implications of these changes and other challenges involving scientific publications, the importance of and appreciation for 3 key constituencies—authors, peer reviewers, and readers—undoubtedly have and must remain unchanged.