AB089. 247. Reference errors in otolaryngology—head & neck surgery literature: are we making any progress?
H&N/ENT Session

AB089. 247. Reference errors in otolaryngology—head & neck surgery literature: are we making any progress?

Madalena Rente1, Michael F. Armstrong2, Joseph H. Conduff III2, John E. Fenton1, Daniel H. Coelho2

1Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, 2Department of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery, Virginia Commonweath University School of Medicine, Richmond, Virginia, USA


Background: Proper use of both citation and quotation is crucial to the integrity of medical literature. The purpose of this study was to determine prevalence of quotation and citation errors in otolaryngology—head and neck surgery (OHNS) journals and how they have changed over time.

Methods: Fifty references were randomly selected from the first published issue of 2017 for eight leading OHNS journals. These were analyzed for errors in citation (data elements by which the article is referenced) and quotation (factual inaccuracies of the reference). Citation errors were categorized as major, intermediate, or minor. Quotation errors were categorized as major or minor. Results were compared with historical data from 1,997 articles.

Results: Citation errors occurred in 17% of all references studied, with 34% classified as major. Quotation errors occurred in 9%, with 69% classified as major. There was no association between journal impact factor and total number of errors (r=−0.33, P=0.42). This compares with a 37% citation (32% major) and 17% quotation (65% major) error rate from 1,997.

Conclusions: Citation and quotation errors are still prevalent in OHNS literature albeit decreased from previously reported data. Improvement in citation errors may be due to technological improvements in reference management. However, it is the continued responsibility of the authors, reviewers, and editors to further reduce quotation rates in order to maintain the integrity of our publications.

Keywords: Bibliometrics; citation; quotation; error


doi: 10.21037/map.2018.AB089


Cite this abstract as: Rente M, Armstrong MF, Conduff JH 3rd, Fenton JE, Coelho DH. Reference errors in otolaryngology—head & neck surgery literature: are we making any progress? Mesentery Peritoneum 2018;2:AB089. doi: 10.21037/map.2018.AB089