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The mode of criticism in the medical journals of today is unsatisfactory. In many repects it is unprofessional and unjust to both author and reader. There are not so many meritable medical publications that each can not be thoroughly, but concisely, and intelligently and dispassionately reviewed. A glance at the current review columns shows that this is not the present status of affairs.
Many good books are inadequately noticed and many inferior works are given undue prominence by reasons of personal influence or publisher's advertisement. Much available space is wasted by the reviewers in the exposition of personal knowledge and judgment. Matthew Arnold says that to be of real service to his readers a critic should be entirely disinterested and should shun eccentricity of taste and violence of speech. There should be no misstatements or misconstruction of the author's object. A compend should not be viewed as a text-book, nor
THE REVIEWING OF MEDICAL PUBLICATIONS. JAMA. 1897;XXVIII(3):129–130. doi:10.1001/jama.1897.02440030033004
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