There is a wide range of opinion as to the purpose for which chemical abstracts are prepared, varying from the view that they should be little more than a record of the title, author and reference, to that which vaguely hopes that they will contain ‘everything of importance’ from the original communication, and in some way, thereby, save the reader the trouble of consulting that original. There is an element of justification for both views, and it is of value to define the purpose of the chemical abstract in some detail.
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