Prior to the prev / next meta tag i would add a no index, follow meta tag to all pages in a sitemap, but still give the page <title> and <h1> its unique value.
Widget businesses starting with a
Widget businesses starting with a page 2
Now.... we have the prev / next meta tag but in this case...
a. i don;t want any of the pages indexed anyway.
b. The prev / next does show google they are a paginated series.
what... so... i add both meta tags now?