The public is interested in health information, and the public news
media try to provide it as quickly as possible. Peer-reviewed, primary-source
medical journals, however, consider original articles only if they have not
been published previously. Thus, a conflict sometimes exists between the representatives
of the news media and editors of medical journals who prefer to disseminate
complete reports of medical information after validation through peer review.2- 4 All concerned want medical
information to be as accurate as possible. Medical editors rely on rigorous
peer review to evaluate such accuracy prior to accepting papers for publication,
and clinicians rely on journal publication to provide complete reports of
validated information they can assess and explain to patients. Editors of JAMA
consider scientific and clinical reports (ie, submitted manuscripts) individually,
first, to evaluate the quality of these reports and to decide whether to accept
them for publication and, second, to appraise the need for and the timing
of the dissemination of medical information contained in these reports through
the appropriate media at the earliest possible time. With few exceptions as
described below, this dissemination should coincide with publication in THE
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