At a recent medical convention, I spoke on the subject, "Medical Editor.—Fried or Foe?" The title appropriately described the mood of some authors in the audience who claimed that editorial boards frequently are arbitrary and capricious in judgment. Some recounted instances when reviewers had totally misunderstood major elements of their reports and that, as a result, unwarranted rejection of their manuscripts had occurred. These critics were startled when I in turn asked why they had not written or called the editors of the journals in question to request the opportunity for continued dialogue on the merits of their manuscripts. "I assumed," said one interrogator, "that when a rejection letter is received that ends the matter." I explained that it has always been my philosophy that an author should have recourse to further consideration if he believes that his paper has been misjudged.
I conduct what I term an open editorial