Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Richard Smith critique of medical journal publishing

Richard Smith, a former editor of the British Medical Journal, has published a book titled, "The Trouble With Medical Journals" (Amazon record and RSM Press description), based in part on his 13 years of experience as BMJ editor. There's an excerpt from the initial part of the book published in the March 2006 issue of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine; this article introduces the series:
"Medical journals, which many imagine to be as dull as telephone directories and twice as obscure, influence the lives of everybody—and not always for the better. Not only do they affect how doctors treat patients and the actions taken by public health authorities, they also influence how we think about birth, death, pain, and sickness. It may therefore make sense for you—the thoughtful but not necessarily expert reader—to pay attention to the ways of medical journals, particularly as many of those ways are deficient and need reform. That is the thesis of this series of articles. "
The full text of other excerpts from the text have been published in the same journal over the last couple of months.

Commentary on the book:
- "Medical Journals Slammed by Former Editor," Life Style Extra (UK)
- "The trouble with medical journals: bias, fraud, and lack of OA," Open Access News
- "How worthy is research?," The Times (UK)
- Royal Society of Medicine press release

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