Findings on the utility of the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) continue to be mixed. As testimony to the ongoing research interest in this assessment scale, seven papers on the GAF were recently submitted, independently, to Psychiatric Services, and they have been compiled as a special section in this issue. First, two articles by Greg A. Greenberg, Ph.D., and Robert A. Rosenheck, M.D., report on a study of the reliability and validity of the GAF in a Department of Veterans Affairs setting (see page 420 and page 427). Similar lines of investigation were undertaken in two studies conducted in Sweden, reported by Per Söderberg, M.Sc., Stefan Tungström, M.Sc., and Bengt-Åke Armelius, Ph.D., who assessed the utility of the scale in routine clinical practice (page 434 and page 439). An article by Gary M. Burlingame, Ph.D., and his coauthors reviews one state hospital's approach to outcome assessment that included the GAF (page 444), and an accompanying State Mental Health Policy column covers some of the more pragmatic aspects of implementing such an approach in that particular hospital (page 411). In another study, by Cornelis L. Mulder, M.D., and colleagues, GAF score was one of the variables used in assessing level-of-care decisions in a mobile psychiatric emergency service (page 452). Finally, Karen J. Shedlack, M.D., and her coauthors, in a brief report, outline the limitations of the GAF in evaluating persons who have both mental retardation and mental illness, comparing the scale with the Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC) (page 484). Together these papers make a substantial contribution to the growing evidence of the advantages as well as the disadvantages of the GAF.