In the preface of the first edition of his atlas in May 1904, Johannes Sobotta writes: ‘Long-standing experience in cadaver dissection clas-ses has prompted the author to ensure that the illustrations of the peri-pheral nervous system and the blood vessels depict the relevant struc-tures in the same way that the student is accustomed to seeing them on the cadaver, i.e. that they depict the vessels and nerves from the same region together. Furthermore, the atlas alternates between pages of text and full-page diagrams. The latter contain the key illustrations in the atlas, while the former — in addition to sketches and schematic drawings and legends — contain a brief, concise text to help the student find information quickly when using the book in the dissection hall! Just as fashions change on a regular basis, so do students’ reading and studying habits. The ubiquitousness of multi-media and the ready avail-ability of information and stimuli are surely the main reasons why these habits are changing at a much faster rate than ever before. Publishers and publishing houses must stay abreast of these developments and of students’ changing expectations regarding atlases and textbooks they wish to use, as well as ensuring the digital availability of the contents. In addition to interviews with students and systematic surveys, a pub-lisher can sometimes gauge students’ expectations from the textbook market itself. Detailed textbooks claiming to be completely comprehen-sive are increasingly being abandoned in favour of textbooks that di-dactically meet students’ educational needs and cover the contents of their courses and exams — whether they are studying medicine, den-tistry or biomedical science. Likewise, although the images in atlases such as Sobotta have fascinated many generations of doctors and me-dical professionals around the world with their precise naturalistic re-presentations of real dissections, they are sometimes perceived by students as being too complicated and too detailed. This realisation re-quires us to consider how we can build upon the obvious strengths of an atlas — which in the course of over 100 years of tradition and 23 German editions, has become a benchmark of accuracy and quality— to meet modern didactic concepts without the overall work losing its unique, exclusive characteristic and its originality.
Publisher:Elsevier Health Sciences
File:PDF, 107.60 MB
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