[Letters to Editor]

Abstract

IN considering the future of indexing, must not the method of indexing and abstracting depend on the purpose and future utility of abstracts? Do we want the means of manufacturing footnotes by unlimited references, or a guide in research? If for research, does a worker wish—or have time—to look up every reference, or does he want to get the sense of what has been done that will affect him? Can all classes of subjects be treated usefully on a uniform system, or is there any reason for doing so? Can a discrimination be expressed between papers that advance a subject, by new facts or new arrangements, and those that are inconclusive? Should an abstractor be entirely mechanical, or should any criticism be allowed?

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PETRIE, W. [Letters to Editor]. Nature 107, 550 (1921). https://doi.org/10.1038/107550b0

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