I would like to congratulate Dr Brian Day on his editorial in the October issue of the journal [BCMJ 2020;62:266]. It clearly lays out a problem that has dogged the medical and scientific community for years. I am sure a vast amount of valuable research has been lost through the years by way of this tedious process, not to mention the discouragement of young researchers. I would be interested in his views, and those of any other readers on the phenomenon of preprints, particularly medRxiv. A paper on this subject was recently published by JAMA (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2772749, login required).
I believe that this new method of publishing will speed up exponentially the communication of scientific and medical information as well as give instant feedback and encouragement to researchers. It in no way impedes the traditional publishing method, which can continue in the old way, albeit at a glacial pace.
—A.F. Shearer, MD
This letter was submitted in response to “Peer reviewers, editors, experts, and statisticians—do we need them?”
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."
- There is no period after the journal name.
- Page numbers are not abbreviated.
For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit www.icmje.org