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Letters—an editor’s dilemma
The publication of letters within a medical journal can challenge ideas that have gone through the peer review process, correct mistakes, and initiate a dialogue between researchers and clinicians. Many important discoveries first surfaced as letters to learned journals. Indeed the idea of correspondence between researchers on a world wide basis lies at the foundation of the scientific and clinical strides that have been made across a wide range of subjects. It began to emerge as early as the 15th century when scientists across Europe exchanged ideas and challenged each other’s thinking. In our time the emergence of email has promoted the almost instant exchange of thoughts around the globe. It is against this background that many journals, including the Postgraduate Medical Journal, have fostered this exchange of ideas both in print and online. It is not surprising that so many letters should therefore start with the immortal words: …
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