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Reviews turn facts into understanding

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Your Editorial on h-index forecasting (Nature 489, 177; 2012) perpetuates the myth that: “Review articles, which may not add much to the research, count the same as original research papers, which contribute a great deal.” Probably the reverse is true. A research paper usually provides just one or two new facts, whereas reviews synthesize our understanding more broadly and make it more concrete.

Some reviews summarize thousands of papers (see, for instance, D. B. Kell BMC Med. Genom. 2, 2; 2009) and turn an inchoate and stochastic scientific literature into knowledge.

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Correspondence to Douglas B. Kell.

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Kell, D. Reviews turn facts into understanding. Nature 490, 37 (2012) doi:10.1038/490037e

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