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JAMA 100 Years Ago
April 17, 2002

Reprints, Whence They Come and Whither They Should Go.

Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2002;287(15):1911. doi:10.1001/jama.287.15.1911


DENVER, COLO., March 28, 1902.

To The Editor:—There is an inborn craving in the hearts of medical men for reprints of their articles. The explanation of this universal phenomenon is based on a psychological fact, namely, that every writer wishes to give the stamp of individuality to his work. An article in a modern periodical is like a pin in a stack of hay. That an article nowadays may make a lasting impression upon the reader, it must be an extraordinary production, indeed. The individuality and force of the majority of writings is obliterated in the "crowd." Hence, the writer unconsciously makes an attempt to rescue his production from oblivion by giving it at least the form of individuality. A reprint is an entity, a whole, not a part of a conglomerate.