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A beginner’s guide to criticism

Edzard Ernst
Med J Aust 2007; 187 (11): 649.
Published online: 3 December 2007

A brief taxonomy of reviewers, and how to deal with them

Progress, we are told, can be helped by differences in opinion. If we always agreed on every issue, advance would be slower or perhaps even non-existent. This applies to all walks of life, and medical publishing is no exception. But differences in opinion can involve criticism, and criticism can be difficult to take. Today most journals rightly insist on peer review, which essentially means you receive written criticism on your submission. Having had my fair share of it, I would like to assist the novice by describing the archetypical critics and by suggesting strategies for dealing with them.

  • Edzard Ernst

  • Department of Complementary Medicine, Peninsula Medical School, Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, Exeter, United Kingdom.

Correspondence: edzard.ernst@pms.ac.uk

Competing interests:

None identified.

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