Emerg Med J 23:625-626 doi:10.1136/emj.2004.022103
  • Original Article

How accurate are the references in Emergency Medical Journal?

  1. U Y Raja,
  2. J G Cooper
  1. Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 J G Cooper
 Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds, UK; jamie.julie{at}
  • Accepted 16 April 2006


Objective: To determine the accuracy of references in Emergency Medicine Journal during 2003.

Materials and methods: All references cited in Emergency Medicine Journal during 2003 were examined carefully, and the accuracy of the citations was checked against reliable electronic and manual resources. References were categorised as correct or incorrect. The errors were classified as minor if the integrity of the reference was not greatly compromised and major if the error severely detracted from the quality of the reference.

Results: Overall, errors were found in 19% of all citations checked (n = 2561), and in 8% the errors were major and markedly detracted from the quality of the reference.

Conclusions: Citation errors reflect badly on authors and the publishing journal and may reflect underlying flaws in other areas of the research published. It is hoped that identification of this problem will lead to attempts to improve the accuracy of reference citation in the emergency medicine literature and to an improvement in the credibility of research in our specialty.


  • Competing interests: none declared