Letters

Journals and the internet

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.314.7090.1351b (Published 03 May 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:1351

Medical journals will continue to be important in prioritising important data

  1. M Palat, Physiciana
  1. a Fachkrankenhaus Bernried, Clinic for Internal and Psychosomatic Medicine, 82347 Bernried/Starnberger See, Germany
  2. b Moorfields Eye Hospital, London EC1V 2PD
  3. c The Old Rectory, Bath BA2 8NB

    Editor—Over the past three years I have tried to keep track of the developments on the internet that relate to medicine. Although a computer enthusiast, I still find that few examples of organiser software can match the convenience of a well structured Filofax. The perceived divide between the information superhighway and paper biomedical journals seems to be an artificial one–just as few couples decide on “television or radio” or “television or film” or “film or book.” The media, which are seemingly in great competition when a new medium is launched, usually settle with time into a redesigned corner of the market and thereafter develop alongside each other.

    The internet is a marvellous phenomenon. There is no other way of conducting a discussion forum among tens or hundreds or thousands across the globe. There is no other means of having such a vast amount of information at one's fingertips for retrieval. At the same time, data gluttony is not the answer. The information overload (and data in printed form are much more responsible for this than the internet is) can be handled only if the important few data are prioritised, sorted, and concentrated on. Medical journals do a great job with this, as Richard Smith says.1 …

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