Censorship of medical journalsBMJ 2006; 333 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.333.7557.45-a (Published 29 June 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:45
All rapid responses
Hickey (1)has queried the inclusion criteria of 'Medline' (and hence
The problem is perhaps wider than he realises: Medline has had a
reluctance to index major statistical journals which include substantial
amounts of medically relevant material.
To take an example, 'Web of Knowledge'indexes a major paper on the
Bristol Children's Heart inquiry in 'Journal of the Royal Statistical
Society'(2) but Pubmed does not seem to.
I can only suspect that other areas of equal relevance are excluded.
A further issue where policy could be clarified is the inclusion or
otherwise of conference abstracts published as supplements: quite simply,
some are referenced and some are not. It may be that there is a valid
scientific reason for the difference but we don't know what it is.
I do not suggest that 'Medline' is necessarily wrong or that 'Web of
Knowledge' and 'Embase' are better, but it is important to realise that
all of these have limitations and should not be treated as infallible.
(1)BMJ 2006;333:45 (1 July), doi:10.1136/bmj.333.7557.45-a
(2)Spiegelhalter, DJ; Aylin, P; Best, NG; Evans, SJW; Murray, GD
(2002)'Commissioned analysis of surgical performance using routine
data:lessons from the Bristol inquiry' 'Journal of the Royal Statistical
Society- Series A' 165(2) 191-221
I also have material which appears on 'Web of Knowledge' but not 'Pubmed'
Competing interests: No competing interests