In the German literature the "Handbooks" are the classical summarizers of solid knowledge in each specialty and bordering specialties. The publisher can be sure that University libraries, all major hospitals, and the board-certified specialists, if the latter can afford it, will stock each new issue as soon as it appears. Individual "Handbooks" are republished after a lapse of many years and such books cannot be compared to the specialty year books in the United States. The Handbook editors did not choose the loose-leaf volumes used, for example, in "Practice of Pediatrics" where many experts try to keep up with changes in fashion and with new developments as they occur.
The format is the traditional academic treatment of history, pathology, clinical aspects, and therapy of disease entities and syndromes, often written three to six years previously by the established experts or by the younger generation about to earn their academic