Dr Phil Ashmore recently submitted a historical article to the BCMJ entitled “The early development of cardiac surgery in British Columbia.” This article, soon to be published in our Journal, provides a well-written retrospective of the origins and rapid development of cardiac surgery in BC to the early 80s. Dr Ashmore’s articulate description of the development of this surgical specialty—which, in its infancy was the darling of Hollywood script writers and described by many in the popular media of the day as a “medical marvel”—is an engrossing trip down BC’s own medical memory lane. It is a story of ingenuity, bravery, foresight, inventiveness, and eventually, enormous success.
There are many stories like Dr Ashmore’s, and they all seem to have the same basic theme of adventure, dedication, and exploration. There never seemed to be a lack of individuals in BC who were ready to step up and develop their own held-together-with-bailing-wire machinery which, in many instances, ensured that BC’s physicians and surgeons could be part of the genesis of progress.
The importance of retrospective articles like Dr Ashmore’s is obvious to archivists, who are naturally interested in preserving history. Personally, I see retrospectives as a vitally important force in the creation and maintenance of a sense of belonging to something important, especially for our younger colleagues. Both purposes could be served if the BCMJ were to publish at least one retrospective from one of our professional divisions every year. The organizational logistics of this kind of project can be a little daunting, but the payoff in collegial approbation and service to the profession is well worth the investment.
So, who’s next?
Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee
of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally
accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.
About the ICMJE and citation styles
The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.
An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.
BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:
- Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
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For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit www.icmje.org