Reading, Writing, And Revalidation

A tale of two citations: counting on numeracy in the digital divide

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: (Published 21 December 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:1452
  1. Igor M Gladstone, consultant in neonatology (,
  2. Vern L Katz, director of perinatal services
  1. Divisions of Neonatology and Perinatology, Sacred Heart Medical Center, Eugene, OR, 97401, USA
  1. Correspondence to: I M Gladstone IMG:

    The BMJ (British Medical Journal) and JAMA (the Journal of the American Medical Association) are vanguard clarions of their respective medical communities. In 1999 the BMJ published an analysis of JAMA cover art that was critical of the choices made.1 This criticism inflamed many post-colonial physicians, who rose to defend their homeland. With pride, those west of the Atlantic pointed to the technological advances, the rise of Silicon Valley, and the importance of numbers in the daily lives of Americans.

    To demonstrate this last item we evaluated whether numeracy in titles of articles in medical journals is more prevalent, and by inference more important to physicians, in the United States.

    Methods and results

    We reviewed issues of JAMA and BMJ for 2001. To maintain equivalence—that is, not comparing apples and oranges …

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