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February 1993

Faust Meets the Publication Explosion

Author Affiliations

4103 Camellia Ave Studio City, CA 91604

Arch Dermatol. 1993;129(2):246. doi:10.1001/archderm.1993.01680230136023

To the Editor.—  Dr Arndt's article1 about the publication explosion is mindboggling and humbling. Obviously, one can only hope to absorb a minuscule fraction of what is published in the scientific literature.One thinks about Goethe's great classic, Faust. Faust, in order to attain all human knowledge, offers to sell his soul to the devil. Alas, the devil clearly never heard of "publish or perish" or of 2 million biomedical articles published yearly. If he had, surely he would have said, "nonsense, I can't help you."Neither the devil nor anyone else has been able to resolve the conflict due to time restraints that many conscientious physicians face: the desire to spend as much time as possible with their patients vs taking the time to publish as yet another article.

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