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News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

Authors threaten to withhold articles from CMAJ

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 06 April 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:812
  1. David Spurgeon
  1. Quebec

    The authors of a popular series of articles published in the CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), have threatened to withhold further submissions unless the journal's owners clarify the reasons why its two top editors were fired (BMJ 2006;332:503, 4 Mar).

    Gordon Guyatt of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, spokesman for the 11 leading academic physicians, says a credible explanation for why the editors were dismissed is needed to ensure the journal's editorial autonomy. He and his colleagues have given the owners several weeks to respond.

    He said, “Not that we are terribly optimistic about the outcome, but we'll be interested to see what develops. It seems they are ready to endure any volume of negative publicity to protect their effective control over the journal, which is a shame.”

    The CMA contends that the two issues—the firings and the question of editorial autonomy—are not connected. It maintains that it has taken a number of steps to ensure editorial autonomy.

    Dr Guyatt and P J Devereaux, also of McMaster University, each noted in telephone interviews with the BMJ their concern that the committee appointed by the CMA to work with the former Supreme Court justice Antonio Lamer to work out a way of ensuring the journal's autonomy …

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