To make a satisfactory contribution to literature, it is necessary first of all to select a subject, and then to be familiar with the literature pertinent to that subject.
Some knowledge of literature is in fact a necessary qualification, and this is not as difficult as it may seem, for our fundamental knowledge of any subject can be learned from textbooks. They contain the accumulated knowledge of previous observers which time has shown to be correct. Our knowledge grows through the addition of new observations, which in turn must be substantiated before they are adopted and admitted to the textbook. During this probationary period, which is necessarily often quite long, the observations must be made available by appearing in the current journals. A knowledge of these observations is necessary to keep abreast of one's subject. Their study creates new interest in our work, which from repetition frequently becomes monotonous, and
KNAPP A. IMPORTANCE TO THE PRACTICING OPHTHALMOLOGIST OF CONTRIBUTING TO LITERATURE. JAMA. 1926;86(23):1759. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02670490021007
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