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On the Editorial Process in the Medical Literature

Am J Dis Child. 1984;138(4):337-339. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1984.02140420003001.
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Once a medical article is posted to a journal, the author often feels much as a mother must after the birth of a child: exhausted, satisfied, and accomplished. There is a sense of completion, ie, an "I'm done with that!" sort of feeling. In effect, however, for both of them, the work has just begun. This editorial will attempt to cast some light on the editorial process, which provides the author with a guiding mechanism for perfecting his/her work.

THE INITIAL EDITORIAL EVALUATION  The editor who receives a manuscript usually analyzes it briefly for both form and content. Although errors in form alone will not preclude further editorial processing, correct form will facilitate it. Each journal has its criteria for the structure of the various types of articles. By adhering to these criteria, the author permits focus on content rather than the distraction caused by an unusual organization of the


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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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