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