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December 20, 1902

LITERATURE REFERENCES.

JAMA. 1902;XXXIX(25):1601. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.02480510041010

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Abstract

An article in a recent medical weekly consisted of four columns of reading matter and two columns of bibliography. Over two hundred authors were quoted from German, French, Italian, Hollandish and Russian sources. Some twenty of the books and periodicals enumerated were found not to be accessible in the libraries of this country. The article was on a hackneyed subject and the literature to be complete should have included several thousand instead of several hundred references. The writer of this particular paper, who probably has no knowledge of any foreign language, manifestly did not consult the list of authors he referred to; the bibliography was either copied or compiled for him by some one else. This is an extreme example of a common abuse. The motive is dishonest. The pretense is altogether false. The borrowed halo of erudition fits badly. References to literature are of value chiefly to the original

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