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Ulster Med J. 2010 May; 79(2): 108.
PMCID: PMC2993152

The Role of Mathematics on Human Structure: As The World Reviews

Reviewed by Dr Lynch Tom

The Role of Mathematics on Human Structure: As The World Reviews.  Adhikari Kumar.  Dipali publication. August  2009. Paperback.  48pp. RRP £10.95 ISBN  81-901643-4-1.
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Over the past few years, I have been asked to review quite a number of books and manuscripts but none as unusual as The Role of Mathematics on Human Structure: As The World Reviews.

A publishing house uses the term “vanity publication” to describe books that are not commissioned, but instead, the author will pay for the printing of the manuscript.

On occasion, such books may have some merit, perhaps overlooked by sales-hungry literary agents and publishers. Generally though, such publications are books without commercial appeal and have little or no intrinsic merit.

When asked to review this publication, I expected a book about the mathematics and biomechanics relating to Human Anatomy. Imagine my surprise to find that the book is in fact, a summary of the reviews of the author’s 2003 publication ‘The Role of Mathematics on Human Structure’. I was in fact, being asked to review a book of reviews, which had been published, at his own expense, by the author himself.

Let me be clear: the author’s initial publication is not the book that is now under review. The Role of Mathematics on Human Structure was apparently a book that considered the application of mathematical methods to aid more precise surgery, and produce better surgical outcomes, particularly in the orthopaedic population. The Role of Mathematics on Human Structure: As The World Reviews, the book currently under review, reproduces 33 reviews of his earlier publication and presents them to the reader. To be fair, it would appear that the majority of the reviews are favourable, but not all the reviews are in English. Several of the more detailed reviews outline the original book’s structure in considerable detail.

Why is there a need for the follow up publication? The term ‘vanity publication’ could have been coined specifically to describe this book. Why would anyone publish a book detailing reviews of an earlier book? More curiously, who would buy such a book? It is little wonder that this was published at the author’s own expense. Who are the potential readers of such a publication? (I can't, for the life of me think that anyone would waste their time or money on purchasing, let alone reading it).

Surely, in this day and age, any potential purchaser would choose the cheap, fast option. Simply Google the title and author, check out the Amazon reviews, and make a decision on whether or not to buy. I can think of no reason to recommend this publication to anyone, unless of course you are the doting mother or devoted partner of Dr. Kumar Adhikari.

Articles from The Ulster Medical Journal are provided here courtesy of Ulster Medical Society