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August 31, 1963


JAMA. 1963;185(9):722-723. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03060090054018

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If King Canute were a book-review editor, facing the tide of published symposia, conferences, and other works of multiple authorship, he might try to sweep back that tide, using an editorial instead of a broom. Canute, having dismally failed once, would probably fail again. Yet his efforts, even though they had no effect on the tide, might alert the reading public not to get their feet wet.

The term "multiple authorship" needs same explanation. We use the term specifically for books that have an "editor" and from five to 100 or more contributors. Such works fall into many categories. We may at once exclude from discussion the standard medical textbooks with their composite author-ship, and also compilations of review studies. The Festschrift, designed to honor some eminent personality, may also be excluded. There remain for consideration the various symposia, congresses, association meetings, and conferences, purporting to present material at least

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