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The symposium whose proceedings are made into a book has become a symbol of an age of specialization, and a proliferating landmark on the contemporary literary scene. Although the main themes of symposia can vary from the minutely discrete to the broadly general, the published texts often have certain common, identifying features: ( 1 ) The remarks of the assembled panel of experts often seem to lose clarity when converted from oral to written form. (2) The editors, after struggling with garbled tape transcriptions, illegible platform notes, and overdue manuscripts, generally defer to their contributors and often arrange, rather than edit, the written material. (3) The multiple authors, covering overlapping topics, inevitably produce unevenness in writing, needless repetitions, and unresolved contradictions. (4) The reviewer is often left with the dilemma of determining the purpose of the book, the audience it best serves, and the durability of data and opinions that may become
Feinstein AR. Coronary heart disease. The seventh Hahnemann symposium. JAMA. 1963;185(8):675. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03060080071031