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January 1992

The Informative Abstract

Arch Dermatol. 1992;128(1):101. doi:10.1001/archderm.1992.01680110111017

Journals education in medicine, and about 80% of scientific information passes through these publications.1 Physicians spend many hours each January reading journals, and these publications provide essential services by disseminating new knowledge and providing continuing education. Indeed, a recent study of the factors affecting the knowledge base of practicing internists found that, of the continuing medical education activities examined, only ongoing review of the medical literature was positively correlated with better test performance.2 Physicians are inundated with peer review and controlled-circulation journals and other print materials. It is the obligation of editors and others involved in publishing to ensure that information printed in journals is easily accessed, readily assimilated, and presented in a fashion most readily translated into clinical practice.

The table of contents is that part of the journal most frequently read, followed next by the abstracts. Abstracts are meant to be an accurate, albeit abbreviated, reflection

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