Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Medical acronyms

The problem with BEAUTY: a medical librarian’s perspective

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 20 January 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h312
  1. Fred King, medical librarian1
  1. 1MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC, USA
  1. fred.king{at}

I strongly disagree with one of Pottegård and colleagues’ BEAUTY criteria for the standardised assessment of acronym quality: five points if the acronym is a real word.1 From a medical librarian’s point of view, real words as clinical trial names—especially real words commonly used in medicine—make clinical trials very difficult to find in Medline and other databases.

Take, for …

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