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March 1986

Non-Peer-Reviewed Publications a Place for New Ideas, Impressions

Arch Ophthalmol. 1986;104(3):334. doi:10.1001/archopht.1986.01050150028006

To the Editor.  —I read Dr Finkelstein's1 editorial in the November 1985 issue of the Archives with a jaundiced eye (pardon the pun). Does he really believe that the printed matter in "non-peer-reviewed publications" is taken as Archives of Ophthalmology gospel? Certainly ophthalmologists can decide for themselves which statements have merit and which are pure promotionalism. Although I agree that only a randomized, doublemasked, prospective study can scientifically answer a question, sometimes pure clinical conjecture is responsible for the creation of just such a study. Clinical observations pose the question concerning panretinal photocoagulation for diabetic retinopathy, photocoagulation for neovascular membranes in involutional macular degeneration and histoplasmosis, and in the PERK study. Sometimes the observation precedes the explanation.New ideas, impressions from years of clinical practice, or radical deviations from the standard of practice of ophthalmology do not appear in peerreviewed publications, and that is unfortunate. The original article on

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