Letter from the Editor

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March 14, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

In the face of a global health emergency, I contend that it is our ethical duty as scientists, specialists, and content experts to use our collective education and professional expertise to help mitigate unnecessary spread of disease and further loss of life, which can be achieved in part through the rapid collection and widespread dissemination of correct and useful information. Therefore, I am resolved to mobilize my professional network to help gather facts, data, medical observations, recent research discoveries, and prudent recommendations regarding SARS-CoV-2 and the COVID-19 Pandemic to materially assist other researchers and laboratories, medical and nursing students, and all other interested parties worldwide who might benefit from such a detailed resource. This time-sensitive living project is intended to be freely-distributed as an original collaborative work of scholarly merit that is partially expository in nature but also contains new research and analysis. However, there is no intent or expectation for return or personal gain with this effort. It is intended to be an act of service written by a team of passionate individuals working remotely but in concert, the likes of which only modern technology could allow.

Please consider assisting with this massive undertaking in some material way and contributing to a section with the appropriate content including text, figures, diagrams, tables, citations, and other useful information, and also taking part in the general proof-reading, fact-checking, and editing of the contributions of others in a manner consistent with the scientific peer-review process, the Hippocratic Oath, or relevant professional standards and duty. This includes the proper attribution of credit, careful evaluation of methods and merit, consistent exercise of prudence in expression, and avoidance of unethical credit-seeking, hearsay, speculation, political opinion, improper paraphrasing or plagiarism as well as any other action prohibited in our respective professions.

If you accept this responsibility, please consider adhering to the following additional guidelines: Use proper academic writing including good grammar as well as the appropriate level of scientific, medical, and/or mathematical terminology, as needed. However, please avoid extremes like verbose or overly obfuscating and terse technical language, if possible, so as not to exclude the general educated audience. Your contributions, whatever they may be, should be concise and comprehensible, but also accurate and rigorous. Aim to educate and not instill fear or panic with potentially alarming statements. Lastly, and most importantly, please refrain from retaining or circulating early drafts of this document until it is edited and nearing final form, and do take necessary measures to preserve its confidentiality until it is officially released. This is done primarily to allow time for proper fact-checking to avoid inadvertently disseminating erroneous, suspect, or false claims in a rapidly evolving and complex situation.

I thank you in advance for your trust, rapid response, willingness to contribute, professionalism, and your cooperation with our guidelines. Your efforts are (and will be) appreciated by many but, most of all, by me.

Sincerely (and with Hope),

Robert Martinez, Ph.D.

rem294@g.harvard.edu