Author replies to be indexed separately in PubMed in 2013

MEDLINE journals regularly include letters from readers who wish to comment on published articles. Authors often respond to these letters (“author replies”). Currently, 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.”

Beginning in 2013, author replies to commenting letters will be cited separately and indexed with MeSH. 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 in: 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.

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