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ERIC Number: ED331080
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Pages: 22
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
A Ten-Journal Study of Reference List Inaccuracies.
White, Arden
A study examined the nature and frequency of faults and errors in reference list entries selected from 10 journals (principally in the fields of psychology and education). The elements used for data tallying and analysis were: surname, initial(s), and other identifiers, such as Jr. and III; article title; and journal name, volume, issue number, year, and page numbers. All departures from the original (additions, omissions, or changes) were noted. From a total of 10,149 entries, 40.3% were incorrect. These deviations could range from a fault which would not hinder retrieval, to an error which complicated or prevented retrieval. Errors and faults included: (1) omission of the author's middle initial; (2) punctuation faults; (3) misspelling of author surnames; (4) erroneous volume and page numbers; and (5) word changes, additions, replacements, and/or omissions in the title. The results indicate that faults and errors in scholarly writing occur in rather high frequencies. While many of these errors do not actually prevent recovery of the article, they could influence a reader not to seek out the original. No matter how the errors occur, responsibility rests with the writer(s), who should exercise more care in the preparation of reference list entries, as these writers are the models for writers-to-be. (One table of data is included and 26 references are attached.) (PRA)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A