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Although nearly a decade has passed since William Epstein forecast that "the age of the Year Book is drawing to a close" (Arch Dermatol. 1981;117:602), that publication continues to represent the most important reference source for physicians seeking to keep up with the contemporary dermatologic literature. In the 1988 Year Book of Dermatology, Arthur Sober and Thomas Fitzpatrick attempt to choose the "pick of the litter" from more than 700 medical and allied health journals published in the United States and abroad; each article so selected is summarized and critiqued by one of 12 Year Book contributing editors. Thus, the over 400 pages of text should represent a thoughtful commentary on the finest articles of interest to dermatologists published during the preceding year. Unfortunately, this promise is only partially fulfilled.
In general, I find it difficult to accept that the selected articles represent the "best and the brightest" studies on