The Evolution of a Medical Literature, Selected Abstracts and Citations, 1852-1972
Schistosomiasis has been described by the Rockefeller Foundation as “the greatest unconquered parasitic disease now afflicting man and animals.” One hundred and eighty million people in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and South America have schistosomiasis, and it continues to spread without a good means of treatment or control. The literature on schistosomiasis has been abstracted and presented in this book in five major categories—Parasitology, Experimental Animal, Man, Snail, and Epidemiology and Control—and spans 115 years, the oldest citation being a translation from Ancient Japanese.
The book is unique in a number of respects. Selection of articles for abstracting was done by a consensus of 47 experts chosen by the World Health Organization using Dr. Warren's previously published complete computerized bibliography, which covered the period 1852 to 1962. The present volume consists of 384 core articles all abstracted by one individual—the author—in a uniform format emphasizing the Materials and Methods and Results sections of each paper in an attempt to provide the researcher with the basis for an objective evaluation of the contents. Finally, the presentation of these abstracts, which are carefully organized by subject matter and cross-indexed by author and by subject, demonstrates the evolution of medical and biological knowledge of schistosomiasis and its many subfields.
Also included in this major work is an introduction on the methodology used in its preparation, a general description of schistosomiasis (from the Cecil-Loeb Textbook of Medicine), and a brief history of the diseases that points up many key investigations and their place in the bibliography. The appendixes contain representative citations from the latest literature (1963-1972) selected by subject field experts, and an alphabetical listing by first author of all citations (1852-1962) that were selected two or more times.
This extensive selection of the best of a widely dispersed literature may be used as a textbook on schistosomiasis, as a means of studying the growth and development of a scientific literature, and as a source of data for information scientists studying qualitative aspects of this literature.