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Mixed Messages

An audit of excuses

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: (Published 24 December 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:1739
  1. V Wright, ARC professor of rheumatologya
  1. aRheumatology and Rehabilitation Research Unit, Research School of Medicine, Leeds LS2 9NZ

    The Rheumatology and Rehabilitation Research Unit at the University of Leeds is a vigorous, productive department in four segments, clinical science, bioengineering, clinical pharmacology, and rehabilitation. To foster the illusion of having things under control, the professor has a monthly research meeting at 7 30 am and also a quarterly review of each group. The normal agenda comprises apologies for absence (none if members value a reference for their next job), suggestions for communications to the next meeting of the British Society of Rheumatology or the British Orthopaedic Research Society, progress reports of papers to be published, review of work being currently undertaken, and ideas for future studies. At the last meeting of the clinical review group there were 80 papers in various stages of preparation. As it was the professor's last meeting before retirement, under “any other business” he was presented with a list of “reasons,” culled over the years, for the lack of progress of papers. In the expectation that they will be of value to other junior staff members in a similar position they are reproduced here.

    Writing up

    These excuse the non-appearance of the results of work, often long since finished, which has not seen the light of day.

    • It's in the pipeline

    • It's next on the list

    • It's on the pending …

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