Accuracy of citation and quotation in foot and ankle surgery journals

Ma Luo, Charles Chuan Li, Domingo Molina IV, Clark R. Andersen, Vinod K. Panchbhavi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background: A recent review of technical editing of research suggests that over one third of references cited in articles in medical journals have some inaccuracies and one fifth of quotations to references in these articles are not accurate. Methods: Two hundred and forty-nine citation references and 408 quotes from 25 articles published in 5 orthopaedic journals were randomly selected to determine referencing accuracy. The presence of citation errors was examined by 1 of the authors while the presence of quotation errors was determined by 2 of the authors. Full copies of articles as well as the references were obtained to compare the accuracies. Results: The total citation error rate was 41% (103 out of 249 references), and the total quotation error rate was 20% (80 out of 408 quotes) for the 5 orthopaedic journals. Conclusion: Citation and quotation errors were still relatively common in orthopaedic journals. While we did not identify any factors associated with citation and quotation errors, the use of technical editing may reduce the amount of citation errors. Clinical Relevance: Readers and authors should be aware that many citations of studies are inaccurate and one should review the original source if it is to be used in another publication or to guide clinical treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)949-955
Number of pages7
JournalFoot and Ankle International
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • Citation error
  • Quotation error
  • Reference accuracy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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