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March 18, 1998

GastroenterologyDiseases of the Gastrointestinal Tract and Liver

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Copyright 1998 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.1998American Medical Association

JAMA. 1998;279(11):887-888. doi:10.1001/jama.279.11.887-JBK0318-4-1

How does one begin a discussion about a large reference tome in today's modern world? What is the relevancy of a 1500-page book with something about everything but which may not give you enough about some things, and which, the day it is published, is already on its way to becoming outdated? In fact, what sort of reference work, if any, is needed in the day of the modern library, computer, and gigantic all-inclusive search engines of the daily literature?

The answer I will give is that there is definitely a need for such a work, and the editors of the current third edition of Diseases of the Gastrointestinal Tract and Liver have produced a revision of their text worthy of inclusion in the armamentarium of students of the field. Between the first and second editions we had 7 years, and now we have 8 years to the third. During the past 8 years the field has continued its persistent growth, and the literature is reflected in the text. Thus, perusing the many chapters, not only are references to the classic literature present, but many as recent as 1995 are also noted.

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