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Electronic Journals and Duplicate Publication Is a Byte a Word?

Annette Flanagin, RN, MA; Richard M. Glass, MD; George D. Lundberg, MD
JAMA. 1992;267(17):2374. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480170100039.
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More than 300 years ago, general medical journals were created to capture in print the proceedings of scientific meetings and discussions and to communicate these proceedings to medical society members.1,2 Mostly during the last century, these informal collections evolved into today's scholarly, formally peer-reviewed journals, disseminating scientific reports to readers worldwide. We are now witnessing another information evolution—the electronic journal—spreading the scientific word in tiny, invisible bits and bytes.

An "electronic journal" transmits information to readers through a computer network. This information, which includes text, tables, and figures, is produced and stored on computers, is read on a video screen, and subsequently can be printed on paper.3,4 Since one of the goals of an electronic journal is to disseminate information (usually the work of an author) to readers (albeit faster than conventionally printed and mailed paper journals), an electronic journal is merely another medium of publication, and 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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