How to cite this article: Murillo-Godínez G. Comentario sobre el uso desmedido de referencias extranjeras. Rev Med Inst Mex Seguro Soc. 2015 Jan-Feb;53(1):54.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
aMédico internista con consulta privada.
With regard to the observation made by Dr. Jesus Alfonso Peñaloza-Santillan, about the repeated excessive use of foreign references1 in one article of the journal,2 it is wise to remember two relevant comments, made by Fidel Fernández Martínez and Jose Torres Torija almost a century ago (89 and 85 years, respectively), as there seem not to be many differences:
[...] In most of scientific effort, we are stubbornly translators, when we could be gloriously authors ... but we nourish our brains on exotic sources, we blindly follow the traces given to us from outside, and believe no truths other than those that have the seal of customs ... we are no less skilled for productive work than foreigners, of whom we are humble copiers; what we lack is guidance, direction, habit, constancy in work, and blind faith in its results...3
[...] They are rare, in a word, the Mexican intellectuals charging ahead with the business of writing a book. Including those written by Mexican doctors ... where the ideas and experiences of the authors are condensed. The reasons for the withdrawal of our intellectuals to write are many, and it would be idle to enumerate them. Regardless of economic conditions and temperament, there are others with great weight, including perhaps the most important which is the disdain with which such books are viewed, the result of an effort, the more meritorious, the more difficult the circumstances of our environment. Painstakingly edited and with high prices, they barely get the honor of a small bibliographical note, and circulate among a small number of people to then get lost after some time in the shadows of oblivion, while foreign publications, sometimes of little value, run and are passed from hand to hand. For this reason, and without trying to penetrate the narrow paths of misguided nationalism, especially in the case of scientific topics, because science is universal, we do believe that the publication of a good book, written by one of us, deserves warm and appreciative comment, and not only that, but also that we should deploy our efforts to spread information and knowledge about it, because it represents, in the final analysis, the patient work of a professional, an intellectual.4