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Verulam

Queries from several members convince us that there is a prevalent misunderstanding about written comments on papers published in the Journal; many seem to believe that these are not acceptable, but this is not so. The miscomeption probably stems from the decision not to give notice of a closing date for written comment as was at one time done for each paper. The reason for this was that quoting a terminal date inhibited and suppressed worthwhile observations, many of which were not formulated in good time and consequently not submitted. Comment which makes a useful contribution is welcome at any time; obviously the sooner after the publication of the paper concerned the better, since it will be fresher in the reader's mind and probably more readily accessible. Nevertheless, good comment is always useful no matter how far removed in time from its stimulus, and it must often be that grounds for comment do not become apparent until some application reveals a flaw, an inconsistency or, for that matter, a confirmation. Apart from the normal submission of comment to the Editor, there is lways this column in which we will be glad, as we always have been, to air the observations of members, anonymously if they so wish. Verulam