Role and importance of journal reader: Scientific contribution of letter to editor : Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care

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Role and importance of journal reader: Scientific contribution of letter to editor

Kumar, Raman

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Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care: August 2022 - Volume 11 - Issue 8 - p 4117-4118
doi: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_1602_22
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It is indeed a challenging task to publish a scientific paper. Research work, research writing, and publishing reports are considered daunting work for any scholar. Scientific papers are systemically classified and archived through journal platforms. These are accessed through libraries, online platforms, and indexing agencies mostly by scholars who are interested in such research or within the context of their own studies. Scientific journals are not widely popular among the general public, but they are quoted by the lay press if something of interest arises in popular culture. Scientific journals do not have the privilege of popular readership, and limited interest among even peer researchers and academicians. Finding a sincere and serious reader is a complement for any scientific journal. Readers not only benefit from the published work of other scientists but also are the critiques of the research work of fellow academicians. Letters to editors are written by enthusiastic readers who have an interest in advancing the work done.

Reflections by journal readers as letters to the editor are not often considered very high in the publication hierarchy but they contribute immensely to the growth and development of any discipline and scientific examination. In many academic settings, letters to the editor manuscripts are not accounted towards promotion and career advancement. However, letter to editor publications by active readers are no lesser contribution to science and they should be considered of equal stature and at par with other published manuscript types. Scientific literature is accepted after considerable scrutiny and peer review. Readers, send reviews and comments on the published articles. They automatically act as post-publication peer reviewers and guardians of academics. The actual peer review starts when the published work goes into the public domain after publication for review and critique of the readers. Thus, readers are one of the most important stakeholders of any scientific publication process. Good authors benefit from good readers.

The scientific community should acknowledge that the readers have a very important role in eliciting discussion and debates on pertinent therapeutic and scientific issues.

With this background, we acknowledge the contribution of Dr. Harish Gupta, one of the sincere readers of our Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care by publishing a special section titled ‘Letter to Editor by Harish Gupta’ in this issue of the journal. In the beginning, it was amusing to get far too many letters from readers or a group of readers, however over a period of time these letters were found to be supplementing the published work. This journal appreciates all readers from various backgrounds and disciplines for their contribution to the advancement of science.


Journal reader; letter to editor; peer review; scientific publication

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