By David Tuller, DrPH
Earlier this week, Dr Fiona Godlee, editorial director of BMJ, e-mailed me in response to concerns expressed about the study of the Lightning Process published in Archives of Disease in Childhood, one of the journals under her purview. Those concerns were expressed in an open letter to her signed by 72 scientists, clinicians and other experts, along with more than 60 patient and advocacy organizations.
I sent that letter to Dr Godlee in late November. I had previously sent her the letter, with fewer signatories, in July. She had not previously responded.
Dr Godlee’s letter to me is below. It is disappointing, if not particularly surprising. In this case, BMJ’s abdication of its editorial obligations continues.
Dear Dr Tuller,
I am writing in response to your emails dated 28 August and 25 November. I recognize that it has taken me some time to reply.
I have reviewed the issues raised in your complaint and have discussed the matter at length with my editorial colleagues and our statistical advisors. While acknowledging that mistakes were made in the initial peer review and publication of this article, I am satisfied with the process and outcome of the post-publication review.
I believe that the correction and the detailed editor’s note present a robust account of events and that the level of uncertainty and caution now expressed by the authors is appropriate. In my view, readers and guideline bodies are now equipped to reach their own conclusions on the quality of the evidence in support of this therapy.
Thank you again for bringing the issues to my attention.
With best wishes.