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The Trouble with Medical Journals Paperback – September 15, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-1853156731 ISBN-10: 1853156736 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: CRC Press; 1 edition (September 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853156736
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853156731
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,406,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

5 Stars: This book is important to the general reader
I enjoyed the book - a real page turner!
Amazon customer review, Oct 2006

5 Stars: Editors unaccoutable as kings!
A stonking good read ... Wonderful stuff!
Amazon customer review, Oct 2006

5 Stars: A new classic
This book is a must read for anyone who practices medicine or conducts, peer reviews or publishes research. While the subject matter is extremely serious, with profound and unavoidable lessons for doctors, researchers, editors, reviewers and publishers, it is also highly entertaining thanks to Smith's story telling which makes each chapter a joy to read. The book has a broader remit than its title would suggest. It is as much about the state of medical research as a whole and its consequences for medicine, as it is about publishing. A new classic - highly recommended- 5 stars
Amazon customer review, Oct 2006

Lively, full of anecdote and he [Smith] is scrupulously honest
British Journal of Hospital Medicine

A punchy book that deserves to be read...All human life is in this book, which makes plenty of pertinent points...It is a real page-turner, and I recommend it.
Oldie

Richard Smith, a former editor of the British Medical Journal, has written a witty, readable and provocative account of the current and future role of scholarly medical journals...I suggest you drop heavy hints for this book to be added to your birthday present list.
Learned Publishing

I read Smith's book with interest and was concerned greatly by some of the accusations he made within its pages.
Pharmaceutical Marketing

Amusing ...
The Times

This is an absolute must read book. It is beautifully written, but the content is quite devastating. I read it from end to end in one sitting and was riveted throughout. Any illusions one might have had about the integrity of scientific research, the veracity of papers, and the altruism of journals are shattered forever. But the demolition is done with such a lovely blend of logic, humour, anecdote, and evidence that it really does make a cracking good read. It should be a standard text for all courses in scientific subjects, never mind medicine, as it would open students' eyes to the dangers of taking published work for granted. If you buy no other book this year, buy this one, and then reflect on which of your colleagues most need a copy too, and either a) give them your copy or b) buy some more.
Evidence-Based Medicine: Primary Care and Internal Medicine, BMJ, August 2008

The Trouble with Medical Journals is truly an eye opening book. Smith is able to lend instant credibility to his claims as a former insider of that world. This book is highly recommended for all medical libraries. With its clear conversational tone and broad coverage of research and publishing, it will be useful for doctors, researchers, and librarians, as well as consumers and patients.
Medical Reference Services Quarterly, Vol 26, 4, 2007

This must be the most controversial medical book of the 21st century, with the same kind of explosive impact as Ivan Illich's critique of the limits of medicine, Medical Nemesis (1976).
Medical Journalists' Association News, Feb/Mar 2007

A valuable educational resource for editors and reviewers, and a gold mine of data for journalologists.
The Journal of the European Medical Writers Association, Vol. 16, No. 2, 2007

About the Author

Richard Smith, Chief Executive, United Healthcare Europe. Former Editor of BMJ and Chief Executive of BMJ Publishing Group


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dr. A. K. Donald on October 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is a must read for anyone who practices medicine or conducts, peer reviews or publishes research. While the subject matter is extremely serious, with profound and unavoidable lessons for doctors, researchers, editors, reviewers and publishers, it is also highly entertaining thanks to Smith's wry story telling which makes each chapter a joy to read. The book has a broader remit than its title would suggest. It is as much about the state of medical research as it is about publishing. I predict it will become a classic in medicine. Highly recommended.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By R. Albin TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is well written, engaging, and thoughtful book about the role of biomedical journals. The author was for many years the editor of the widely read British Medical Journal (BMJ) and head of the publishing group that puts out the BMJ and a number other journals. Smith presents a thorough discussion of major issues facing biomedical journals. This book has a personal flavor because Smith draws on his extensive personal experience as an editor and because he was personally involved a number of controversies related to biomedical journals. Smith's experience, however, is a bit atypical in 2 ways. As a general journal, the BMJ is somewhat different and more journalistically oriented than the majority of biomedical journals. The BMJ, unlike the great majority of journals, has full time professional editors where most journals are essentially run by volunteer academics.

Smith has a thoughtful discussions of a broad range of important topics such as the need to balance the demands of public interest with scientific issues defined narrowly, the variety of ethical problems facing journals, the tangled relationships between editors and publishers, and between industry and journals, and the changing nature of biomedical publishing.

I found the section on the economics of biomedical publishing to be the most interesting. Smith cites some remarkable data. The dominant biomedical publisher, Reed Elsevier, had profits of approximately 2 billion dollars with an impressively high margin. The largest fraction of these profits come from biomedical publishing. Smith points out the actually stunningly obvious reasons for these remarkable figures. The raw material of journals is submitted manuscripts for which journals have to pay nothing.
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