Fifty randomly selected references from a single monthly issue of The American Journal of Surgery; Surgery, Gynecology and Obstetrics; and Surgery were evaluated for citation and quotation errors. Thirteen major and 41 minor citation errors were found in the three journals. Thirty-seven major quotation errors were identified. The data support the hypothesis that authors do not check their references or may not even read them. This hypothesis may be expanded to maintain that reviewers do not check references.