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ARTICLE |

THE COMPASSIONATE EDITOR

JAMA. 1968;205(2):104. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140280058015.
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Editorial sympathy is sorely taxed when it imposes on the busy clinician the burden of published material which is not of direct relevance to his craft. "The compassionate editor," states a recent editorial,1 "cannot honestly urge the physician to put a paper on molecular biology at the top of his evening reading."

No less a strain on editorial compassion than a basic science manuscript on molecular biology is the formidable technical communication. A basic science paper may have potential for future applicability; it may possess a certain intangible bouquet which delights or even ennobles the reader. But what is the redeeming feature of a complicated surgical technique used only by the select few to justify its publication in a nonspecialized clinical journal?

Publication of McGoon's communication (p 69) on the repair of the common truncus arteriosus bears relevance to this question. Has editorial compassion failed its test? We think

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