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Am Fam Physician. 1998;57(3):403

One of our readers' favorite AFP departments continues to be “Tips from Other Journals.” It's one of our favorites too. Also known as “Tips,” this department consists of practical summaries of research and review articles from other medical journals. In this issue, you'll find the typical smorgasbord of Tips starting on page 527. Beginning with the January 1, 1998 issue, titles of Tips are listed on the first page of Tips rather than in the table of contents.

Our most recent readers' survey, conducted at the 1997 Scientific Assembly in Chicago, showed that 75 percent of our readers read Tips regularly. That's a remarkably high readership. Past surveys have shown that readers rely on Tips to help keep them up-to-date with the medical literature and obtain clinical information that can be directly applied in practice.

Each year we publish hundreds of Tips, and last year was no exception, with the total number reaching nearly 400—representing almost 360 pages of Tips. Because of the high value of Tips, the large readership of the department and the significant amount of time readers spend with the department, we have started covering Tips in “Clinical Quiz” and offering CME credit for the department (see page 421). Quiz questions on Tips first appeared in the July 1997 Clinical Quiz, and each quiz has typically contained two or three questions of this type.

The success of Tips can be attributed to intensive efforts on the part of our medical editors and manuscript editors. Tips are written by a team of about eight medical editors who continually scan the literature for timely articles of clinical importance. Together, the editors critically review approximately 50 medical journals each month. Once a relevant article is selected, the medical editor condenses the pertinent information into a palatable form and then our manuscript editors make further refinements to make sure the Tip is easily digestible.

We are continually examining quality issues concerning Tips. Each year during an annual gathering of AFP's editors, we review the list of journals “Tipped” to verify that we are including the most valuable sources and giving them just the right amount of coverage. We also look for ways of keeping Tips fresh, in terms of both timeliness and content. This dedication to quality has kept Tips at the top of our readers' list for many years.

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Copyright © 1998 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

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