Do authors check their references? A survey of accuracy of references in three public health journals

Am J Public Health. 1987 Aug;77(8):1011-2. doi: 10.2105/ajph.77.8.1011.


We verified a random sample of 50 references in the May 1986 issue of each of three public health journals. Thirty-one per cent of the 150 references had citation errors, one out of 10 being a major error (reference not locatable). Thirty per cent of the references differed from authors' use of them with half being a major error (cited paper not related to author's contention).

MeSH terms

  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Periodicals as Topic / standards*
  • Public Health*