Treatment of maladies in medical writing

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MEDICAL literature and medical writing, we think, will be with us as long as physicians investigate disease and wish to share their findings. The rate at which scientific information (science in general) is published is so great that it has been called an “information explosion,”1 though Weale2 has said it is “. . . the cataract of information: ‘explosion’ is hardly the word for what is occurring since this term refers to something that is sudden and finite.” A glance at the pages of journals indexed in Volume 7 (1966) of the “Cumulated Index Medicus”3 gives some idea of the number of medical journals that is being published—several thousand journals is a safe estimate. There are still others that are not indexed.

An interesting proof of the increase in scientists and in scientific writing is documented by Dexter,4 Historian of The Ohio Academy of Science. The Academy, incorporated in 1892 with 59 charter members, had increased to more than 2000 members by 1964. During the first 50 years of the existence of The Academy, 3,829 papers and lectures were presented at Academy meetings. The number must have increased enormously in the last 25 years.

Focus on Improvements in Writing

Quality control of medical literature has become a matter of great concern to numerous persons and organizations. Some medical journals publish pages of information for contributors. The instructions to authors are guides in the preparation and submission of manuscripts. A number of medical journals have published papers, editorials, or . . .



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