Scientific and Technical Literature

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    SEVERAL suggestions for the improvement of scientific and technical literature are made by Commander T. W. Macalpine in the Publishers' Circular and the Publisher and Bookseller of July 18. Criticizing the present procedure followed by a specialist or a publishing company in regard to a projected scientific book, he suggests that the ex position of the subjects treated in scientific and technical works, etc., would be improved, their utility for easy and quick reference increased, the cost of production decreased, and their filing and storage on shelves, etc., facilitated, if there existed an indepen dent body of recognized standing in the world of science which could furnish authors and publishers with general information and guidance. At present ecti author is rarely able to give much information of assistance to the publishers on such matters as form of treatment, size of volume, number of words, type or types, number and kind of illustrations, diagrams, paper, binding. Accordingly, the utility of a book is liable to be limited by the publisher's experience. An independent advisory body of recognized standing which could supply information on such matters, assist in the standardization of nomenclature and symbolism, as well as of formats and sizes of printed area on pages, and advice on subdivision, synopsis, contents list and index, etc., would make an important contribution to efficient publication.

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