How to Edit a Scientific Journal

Harriet S. Meyer, MD
JAMA. 1985;253(10):1464-1465. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350340118033.
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However many times one has begun a new job, to be the new chief editor of a scientific journal must surely present an overwhelming first day. A short, friendly, practical book on the subject could be the best anodyne. Claude Bishop, editor in chief of the National Research Council of Canada journals, has written a book that fits the bill. Experienced editors may have the uncanny sensation that Bishop was looking over their shoulders during its preparation.

As the cover notes, the tone is sympathetic, and the author writes with humor, including delightful examples of correspondence and some apt visual aids. Bishop covers the basics of journal editing, beginning with the editor, then editorial boards, review of manuscripts, ethics, manuscript records, and printing and publishing. Advice on such entities as the "offbeat submission," the "appropriate stage" in one's career to become an editor," and "nonworking [lazy] editorial boards" is eminently


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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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