Here's how the story continues. I copy below a message I just posted to fellow medical editors of the World Association of Medical Editors via our listserv. It's pretty self-explanatory. This truly boggles the mind!
I will keep you posted in case I get a reply.
you will recall probably the ongoing forth and back between the JAMA editors and Jonathan Leo.
I want to draw to your attention these two documents:
The first document is an on-line publication (incl doi number and all) from March by the JAMA editors. It has been very widely criticized in various fora and condemned pretty much uniformly by everyone with some knowledge of publishing ethics, no least bioethics outlets. What is significant is
a) JAMA has excised its first publication from its website as well as biomedical data-bases (I have no idea how the latter feast was achieved). No retraction notice was published, no erratum of any kind. As one of my colleagues pointed out: what does this mean for the substantial commentary (overhelmingly critical in nature) that was published in various fora on this now non-existent article?
b) My own publisher (Wiley-Blackwell) told me that anything published with a doi number online must not be changed in any print version or on-line without proper errata, withdrawal notes etc.; basically an on-line paper with a doi number ought to be treated just like one would treat a print article. So, one question I have is whether this is simply part of the lex JAMA (continuously revised by the paper's current editors, including seemingly the journal's publication history itself), or whether my publisher has given me false information with regard to the status of on-line publication with doi numbers.