Unsigned Editorials, Anonymous Authors, Pseudonymous Authors - AMA Manual of Style

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Unsigned Editorials, Anonymous Authors, Pseudonymous Authors 

Ethical and Legal Considerations

Annette Flanagin

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PRINTED FROM AMA MANUAL OF STYLE ONLINE (www.amamanualofstyle.com). © American Medical Association, 2009. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the license agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in AMA Manual of Style Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy). date: 01 December 2015

The practice of publishing unsigned or anonymous editorials provides “vituperative editorialists” protection from the enemies they might make when taking unpopular stands in the pages of their journals. However, without named authors and affiliations, readers lack information to judge the objectivity and credibility of the articles. Although this practice is the norm for newspaper editorial pages, it has fallen out of use in most peer-reviewed journals. One rationale for anonymity has been that editorials, signed or not, represent the official opinion of the publication or the owner of the publication. However, such anonymity distances the real author(s) from accountability. For

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