E-Mail, Continued

The e-mail list has resulted in several positive effects. There is an increased communication between child neurologists, particularly between those of different countries. Rapidity of communication is an advantage, and, for example, the list has been utilized at times when pharmaceutical companies were contemplating withdrawal of certain anticonvulsants from the market. By allowing the Child Neurology community to be quickly mobilized, we were able to speak in a quick, organized and loud voice. The list affords an opportunity to discuss matter of practice that either may not be dealt with in journal articles, or have just recently been published. Calls for research subjects also reach the appropriate physicians, and can quickly place appropriate patients with interested investigators. Practical diagnostic and management issues, both basic and complex, as well as ethical issues in our practice are freely discussed. Recently, the Child-Neuro e-mail list and other pediatric subspecialty e-mail lists were reviewed (Hernández-Borges et al, 1997) . It is of note that the authorship of messages to these e-mail lists are of similar quality (as judged in terms of recently authored publications) to authors of articles in the respective subspecialty journals. This would argue that the contributions to the lists are of similar quality to our other venues of communication. Although the messages are not peer-reviewed prior to posting on a list, the e-mail list typically critiques and discusses the postings after they are sent.