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January 5, 1970

John H. Talbott, MD

JAMA. 1970;211(1):113. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170010067012

Both the Oxford and Webster's dictionaries define a journal as a periodical publication dealing with matters of current interest. Webster's Third International illuminates the definition by citing "the Journal of the American Medical Association" as an example of an official or semiofficial publication by a special group. Thus, The Journal, by definition and Websterian authority, is recognized as the shining example of international medical journalism. Undoubtedly this situation came to Websterian attention early in 1960, not long after editorship of The Journal had quietly changed hands. A new editorial name appeared on the masthead for the first time in the issue of Nov 7, 1959.

The final issues of 1959 seem to have been the overage from an accumulated backlog, collected under previous editorship. The Dec 5 issue contained the frightening number of 51 pages of REFERENCES AND REVIEWS, 11 of them masquerading as "foreign letters." Six pages of QUESTIONS