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National Library of Medicine Technical BulletinNational Library of Medicine Technical Bulletin

Table of Contents: 2012 SEPTEMBER–OCTOBER No. 388

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Author Replies to Comments to be Cited Separately in MEDLINE/PubMed

Schmidt S, Cox N. Author Replies to Comments to be Cited Separately in MEDLINE/PubMed. NLM Tech Bull. 2012 Sep-Oct;(388):e5.

2012 November 01 [posted]
Other pertinent article:

MEDLINE Data Changes — 2013

MEDLINE journals regularly include letters from readers who wish to comment on published articles. Authors often respond to these letters, writing what are known as author replies. According to current National Library of Medicine policy, the Index Section does not create a separate MEDLINE citation for an author reply that appears in the same issue as the letter, and the reply is not indexed with MeSH. Rather, pagination for the author reply is added to the citation for the commenting letter, following the phrase "author reply."

The author reply policy is changing. To enhance the completeness of the MEDLINE/PubMed record and promote better access, author replies to commenting letters will be cited separately and indexed with MeSH effective with the 2013 MeSH update. Citations for author replies will be linked to the commenting letter and to the original article as per the following "mock up" example of a partial citation in PubMed.

Example of the new PubMed Abstract (text) display for a citation for Author Reply:
Med Educ. 2013 Sep;25(9):533.
The future of medical education: a reply to Carter.
Taylor AB, Smith SM

Comment on
Med Educ. 2013 Sep;25(9):532-3. [Link to letter commenting on original article]
Med Educ. 2013 May;25(5):234-8. [Link to original article]

Author responses published with "Reply," "Author Reply," or a similar non-distinctive title will have their titles amended to include the PMID of the commenting letter in the format "Author Reply: To PMID 12345678."

This author reply policy change will be implemented prospectively for journals with a publication date of 2013 and later.

By Susan Schmidt and Nancy Cox
Index Section

NLM Technical Bulletin National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health