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[Correspondence] Prepublication culture in clinical research

In their Comment, Michael Lauer and colleagues (Dec 19, p 2447)1 make several fundamental errors in their case for prepublication of clinical studies on the internet before peer review. By suggesting that clinical studies should be prepublished in the same way that studies in astronomy are, the authors fail to note that clinical studies of poor quality can harm patients who might start or stop therapy in response to faulty data, whereas little short-term harm would be expected from an unreviewed astronomy study.