It turns out someone DID interview the editor of Obama’s JAMA article

Q. What was it like when the administration approached JAMA and was like, “Hey, we want to publish this in your journal?”

A. Well, we paused. It’s the first time certainly since I’ve been here that a sitting president has called — he’s been the only sitting president since I’ve been here, about five years — and said he’d like to write something for JAMA. For us, in some ways, it was similar to how we get queries for all special communications. Occasionally we’ll reach out to people if we have a specific idea, but I probably get a query a week about a group or someone who would like to write a special communication. In that regard, it was quite similar to other queries. The difference is obviously it’s the president of the United States.

…Q. Tell me more about what the editing process was like.

A. This paper was handled much like all other special communications. It underwent peer review with critiques and criticisms and was sent back to the president requesting changes, very specific and very general changes in the document. Our peer review is confidential, so I don’t want to detail what those requests were.

But I can tell you I was quite pleased that the president was enormously responsive to our requests. I am also willing to acknowledge that JAMA has a very clear, strong sense of the type of language we use, but I think we did allow the president a bit more flexibility because of who he is. For example, you’ll notice that he uses a personal pronoun on a number of occasions, “I.” He also has one or two vignettes in it of citizens in the United States whom he interacted with or who contacted him about the Affordable Care Act. Those are unusual for us at JAMA, but we thought, given what he was writing about and who he was, he deserved a bit more flexibility than some of our other authors.

Full article. Thanks to Jeff Mosenkis my IPA guest poster.

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