The accuracy of the reference list is considered an essential factor in determining the quality of a scientific publication, and has been reviewed and published in several medical journals. The rate of citation errors in NEFROLOGIA has not been published before. The aim of this study has been to examine the accuracy of the references citation in the numbers of the journal published for a period of 15 years, from the first issue in 1981 to the last one on 1995.
Material and methods: In this period 68 ordinary issues of the journal were published, with 520 original articles that constituted the data base, 87 articles were selected applying a table of random numbers with 5 references of each article selected to be reviewed with a total of 435. The accuracy of the name of the authors, title of the article, volume, initial and last page and year of publication were evaluated, accordingly with the NEFROLOGIA normative. Citation errors were considered major or minor depending on whether they prevented or not the immediate retrieval of the article listed.
Results: Of the 435 citations examined, 433 could be located, being impossible in 2 with the data supplied. In 189 (43.45%) 237 errors were detected, with 13.50% of them being considered major and 86.50% minor, with the greatest percentage of errors occurring in the data about the authors of the articles referenced 96 (40.50%).
Conclusions: The issues of NEFROLOGIA published in this period present a high number of bibliographic reference errors, being the rate similar to other evaluated scientific periodical journals. This fact should be improved, and authors and reviewers should thoroughly check their references in order to avoid these mistakes, as they affect the quality standard of the publication.