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February 1964

Annual Review of Pharmacology.

Arch Intern Med. 1964;113(2):302-303. doi:10.1001/archinte.1964.00280080138030

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Survey or review volumes often have a self-conscious air about them. It is as if they ask the reader, "how-are-we-doing?" At times they compound repetition with boredom—an insufferable brew. I think this comes from the laudable attempt of the editor or contributor to take his task too literally and do what the term "review" implies—to cover all of the literature within a given period of time, by listing all he can find. (There are truncated reviews too, for which the term "review" is a misnomer.)

I think that this is a mistake, for thereby the editor or contributor wears the hat of a compiler; while he tells the reader what happened during the preceding year or other period, he does not interpret the happening. In other words, he does not integrate the new event into the body of the discipline itself. We tend to forget that not all readers of

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