Objectives: To determine whether it is possible to contact authors of previously published papers via email.
Methods: A cross sectional study of the Emergency Medicine Journal for 2001.
Results: 118 articles were included in the study. The response rate from those with valid email addresses was 73%. There was no statistical difference between the type of email address used and the address being invalid (p=0.392) or between the type of article and the likelihood of a reply (p=0.197). More responses were obtained from work addresses when compared with Hotmail addresses (86% v 57%, p=0.02).
Conclusions: Email is a valid means of contacting authors of previously published articles, particularly within the emergency medicine specialty. A work based email address may be a more valid means of contact than a Hotmail address.
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Conflicts of interest: none declared.