Editorials: To sign or not?

Only a few major journals continue to print anonymous editorials representing a publication's point of view. Most opt instead to run articles signed by staff or outside experts -- and many in the scientific, medical and publishing communities say that's a good thing. Image: Guillaume Carels via Wikimedia CommonsNewspapers across the globe are known for taking political stances, with anonymously authored pieces spreading a publication's point of view across its editorial pages. Major scientific

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob Grant is Editor in Chief of The Scientist, where he started in 2007 as a Staff Writer.

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Aug 25, 2010
Only a few major journals continue to print anonymous editorials representing a publication's point of view. Most opt instead to run articles signed by staff or outside experts -- and many in the scientific, medical and publishing communities say that's a good thing.
Image: Guillaume Carels via Wikimedia Commons
Newspapers across the globe are known for taking political stances, with anonymously authored pieces spreading a publication's point of view across its editorial pages. Major scientific and medical journals have been moving away from the practice, but there are some hold outs -- such as __Nature__ and __The Lancet__ -- that continue to print unsigned editorials. linkurl:Caleb Alexander,;http://alexander.uchicago.edu/ pharmacoepidemiologist and general internist at the University of Chicago, coauthored an linkurl:opinion piece;http://chestjournal.chestpubs.org/content/129/6/1395.2.full in a 2006 issue of the journal __CHEST__ entitled, "Should Editorials in Peer-Reviewed Journals Be Signed?" His conclusion: it's probably a good idea. "I think there's been a real push...

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