Intended for healthcare professionals


Standards in medical research Criticism unjustified and unfair

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: (Published 19 March 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:790
  1. W Kelly,
  2. M Kelly,
  3. R Mahmood,
  4. S Turner,
  5. K Elliott
  1. Diabetes Care Centre, Middlesbrough General Hospital, Middlesbrough TS5 5AZ
  2. Cleveland County Council Research and Intelligence Unit, Middlesbrough TS1 2YW
  3. Shackleton Department of Anaesthetics, Southampton University Hospitals, Southampton SO9 4XY.

    EDITOR, - We wish to clarify the matter raised in the letter from Ray Jones and colleagues, which was published under the subheading “sloppy use of literature often to blame.”1 Our paper on the influence of social deprivation on illness in diabetic patients2 was prominently cited as an example of sloppy use of the literature.

    To make these adverse criticisms of our research is unjustified and partly misdirected for reasons that may not have been apparent. Our article was originally submitted as a full length paper with numerous references. The paper was accepted as a short report and hence was reduced to only 600 words with at most five references; we note that in their letter Jones and colleagues were allowed 17 references, three of which they seem to consider that we had overlooked; two of these, however, were irrelevant to the …

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