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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 60-61

Why write and why not to write a Letter to the Editor?

1 Department of Physiology, Raiganj Government Medical College and Hospital, Raiganj, West Bengal, India
2 Department of Physiology, Fakir Mohan Medical College and Hospital, Balasore, Odisha, India

Date of Submission19-Jun-2019
Date of Acceptance09-Oct-2019
Date of Web Publication8-Nov-2019

Correspondence Address:
Himel Mondal
Department of Physiology, Fakir Mohan Medical College and Hospital, Balasore - 756 019, Odisha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jdrr.jdrr_37_19

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How to cite this article:
Mondal S, Mondal H. Why write and why not to write a Letter to the Editor?. J Dent Res Rev 2019;6:60-1

How to cite this URL:
Mondal S, Mondal H. Why write and why not to write a Letter to the Editor?. J Dent Res Rev [serial online] 2019 [cited 2022 Nov 27];6:60-1. Available from: https://www.jdrr.org/text.asp?2019/6/2/60/270648


When we write a research paper, we can hardly detect our errors in the technical and methodological aspect of the manuscript. During the manuscript preparation, we write with our highest capacity. Hence, errors remain undetected.[1] However, as a reader, we can easily detect the error if we are familiar with the research. If a reader finds a major flaw in any published paper it should not be kept the secret, but to disperse the knowledge with journal readers as well as the authors. With the input, the authors can rectify themselves for future studies and readers can interpret the results with caution. This type of scientific correspondence is commonly published in journals as Letter to the Editor (LTE).[2]

When we learned the basics of peer review from an online platform, it gave us the task of postpublication peer review. This experience really helped us think about a paper critically. This critical thinking ultimately made us more self-critic. Along with the experience of peer review,[3] there are certain other advantages of writing an LTE in response to a published paper, which is shown in [Table 1].
Table 1: Advantages and disadvantages of writing, processing, and publishing an Letter to the Editor

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A coin commonly has two sides, the exception being that of film Sholay! An author needs to invest many hours in thinking, searching literature and preparation of the LTE, before sending it to the journal. Think of how she/he might be feeling when this much of effort is desk rejected by the editor! As correspondence LTE is concerned with a particular paper, it has limited future once rejected from the target journal.

With our experience, we listed some advantages and disadvantages of writing an LTE in [Table 1]. However, the statements are purely hypothetical. An enthusiastic author may consider these factors when thinking about writing an LTE as correspondence for biomedical journals.

Let us revisit the science class for laughter with three laws of scientific correspondence, it must be as shown in [Figure 1]:
Figure 1: Discussion about “Letter to the Editor” between Munu and Tunu, two imaginary characters

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First law: We either remain only as a static reader or become a dynamic reader-cum-critic until inhibited by some adverse events.

Second law: The “encouraging factors” for writing an LTE is equal to the “interest” multiplied by “scientific deficiency” in the paper.

Third law: When one author writes an LTE in response to a paper, the author of the paper writes a reply logically with equal vigor and in the opposite direction.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest

  References Top

Faber J. Writing scientific manuscripts: Most common mistakes. Dental Press J Orthod 2017;22:113-7.  Back to cited text no. 1
Hunter J. Post-publication peer review: Opening up scientific conversation. Front Comput Neurosci 2012;6:63.  Back to cited text no. 2
Kastner M, Menon A, Straus SE, Laupacis A. What do letters to the editor publish about randomized controlled trials? A cross-sectional study. BMC Res Notes 2013;6:414.  Back to cited text no. 3


  [Figure 1]

  [Table 1]


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